How to SWOT like a BOSS

One great tool that I think every leader should have in their arsenal is the SWOT analysis. What makes it a great tool? It helps the team decide without the influence of the HIPPO (HIghest Paid Person Opinion) or the loudest voice in the room.

So what is SWOT all about?

SWOT is a strategy for analyzing hypotheses based on its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This analysis is focused on identifying both internal and external factors. Once all the items have been identified we will try to mitigate the Weaknesses and Threats, and how to track the Strengths and Opportunities.

Let us start by understanding what are the internal and external factors.

Internal Factors

minimalist photography of open door

Is it something that your team/organization already controls?

Strengths

Strengths are internal factors that can move your idea forward faster and with the least amount of friction possible.

  • Things that we do that can improve on this situation.
  • Knowledge or skills that you or your team already have.
  • Technologies that we already have that can be used.
  • Budget that we can easily allocate.
  • Advantages that you or your team can bring to the table
  • Everything else we can already use without having to ask for it.

Weaknesses

Weaknesses are also internal factors that will create resistance and attrition to your idea.

  • Organization rules and regulations
  • Knowledge or skills that you or your team don’t have access to.
  • Budget that you need
  • A limited number of people and/or resources
  • Disadvantages that you or your team bring to the table

External Factors

calm body of water near brown mountain under white and gray sky

Is this something that is outside of our realm of control?

Opportunities

Any external factors that you or your team do not possess yet but can become an asset in the future. Anything outside the realm of control that you can tap into.

  • Knowledge that you can acquire that will be useful in the future.
  • Possible new technologies or ideas that you can test.
  • Any external factors that can help you achieve your objective.
  • Improvement in customer experience

Threats

External elements that can endanger your vision or idea.

  • Something that can make your idea obsolete.
  • Changes in rules and regulations.
  • Customer attitude or ideas that can change.
  • Problems that are outside of your realm of control.

Now that all factors have been identified, we can now look at the harmful and helpful items, and come up with ideas to either mitigate the harmful or improve/monitor the helpful.

HARMFUL items

rotten green apple

Threats

  • Can any of our Strengths mitigate the Threats that we have?
  • How likely is this Threat to occur?
  • What alerts can we put in place to make sure we get a proper warning in case this happens?

Weaknesses

  • Can any of our opportunities help overcome our weaknesses (i.e knowledge that can be acquired)
  • Is there anything we can acquire/get rid of that eliminate this weakness?
  • How big is this weakness and how much will it impact us?

Helpful Items

Adventure, Height, Climbing, Mountain, Peak, Summit

Strengths

  • How can we make sure we keep this strength?
  • Is there a way to make this strength stronger?
  • Is there any threat/weakness that can impact this strength?

Opportunities

  • How can we track this opportunity?
  • How can we know that this opportunity has created value?
  • Do we have any threats/weaknesses for this opportunity? If so, how can we track it?

Simple right? Now you are ready to SWOT like a BOSS.
I am currently creating a slide deck for my team that I will share with all of you when its done.

Have you ever performed a SWOT analysis? If so, how did it go? Any tips you can share?

Cheers,

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