Yesterday’s post on using a new type of SWOT analysis to stimulate bolder strategic conversations in strategy meetings garnered quite a bit of attention. It received enough attention that we decided to share an additional strategic thinking exercise that puts a twist on the typical SWOT analysis.
In this case, the letters in the SWOT analysis name still stand for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. To add depth and breadth to the strategic thinking exercise, however, we add four probes to each area of the SWOT analysis. This helps a group inside of a strategy meeting work harder and more effectively to generate ideas.
Adding Deeper Dimensions to a SWOT Analysis
Here are the four questions associated with each SWOT analysis area:
What are our STRENGTHS relative to:
- How we deliver value for customers?
- Creating lasting relationships with stakeholders?
- Consistently moving with greater agility than competitors?
- Creating engagement with our employees?
What are WEAKNESSES relative to:
- Delivering the product attributes and performance most important to customers?
- Staying well ahead of competitors’ most important strategic moves?
- Being a leading instigator for market disruption?
- Cultivating a workforce with the greatest potential to create an amazing customer experience?
What are OPPORTUNITIES relative to:
- Market needs that we have yet to address?
- Better supporting employees in delivering and incredible brand experience?
- Entering new markets where our brand would have an underdog’s advantage?
- Better capturing the best, most attractive prospects that are not doing business with the brand right now?
What are THREATS relative to:
- Emerging competitors not playing by the same rules we and other industry players do?
- External forces beyond our influence that are redefining marketplace competitiveness?
- Gaps customers perceive in how the brand delivers its promise and experience?
- Systems and processes that are working fine, but whose failure could readily jeopardize future success?
You can use this strategic thinking exercise with a group to help them push their thinking into areas they might otherwise ignore – purposely or by accident.
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