SWOT Analysis: A Critical Step in Strategic Planning

Let’s revisit our conversation a couple of weeks ago about strategic planning. A critical element to your strategic planning efforts is the SWOT Analysis. Let’s dig a little deeper:

A characteristic of an outstanding leader—and of a successful business– is to have a strategic business plan that outlines the direction for the stability and growth of the business. A leader sticks to a strong, focused business plan and guides his/her employees toward the fulfillment of that plan.

There are 3 parts of a strategic plan:

(1) Determine where you are now.

(2) Decide where you want to go.

(3) Develop a plan of action of how you are going to get there.

Start here. As a team, do a SWOT analysis. The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

  • What are your Strengths?
  • What are your Weaknesses?
  • Identify Opportunities, including building on strengths and working on weaknesses.
  • Define Threats. Some threats you can do something about: like weak systems or staff change. But some things—like the economy—you can’t do anything about. However, you can prepare yourself by steadfast commitment to excellent systems.

Don’t be threatened by anyone’s statement of opinion. Rather, be open to hear other people’s point of view. Great learning can be had from this kind of sharing. Be open. Do not blame. If you have questions or if you have a difference of opinion—share these in a professional and congenial manner. Blame is toxic. Look at the problems within a system rather than throwing blame at a person. You’ll go a great deal further.

The SWOT ANALYSIS gives you the measure of where you are at the present time. From here, your plan for advancement and improvement can be drawn. Start here.