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Swoot-AnalysisA Twitter friend tweeted something the other day about performing a SWOOT analysis. Thinking there may be a new type of strategic thinking exercise I need to check out, I clicked the link.

As I had already suspected, the SWOOT analysis was just a typo in the tweet. The article was really about doing a SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats.

Same old SWOT stuff after all, but the Twitter typo got me thinking.

7 Ideas to Turn a SWOT Analysis into a SWOOT Analysis

If there were a SWOOT analysis, what would that other O stand for? What new O word would add new depth, clarity, or insight into the standard SWOT analysis to enhance the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you’ve uncovered from the classic strategic thinking exercise?

Here are seven O’s to consider tucking into the middle of your next SWOT analysis (along with related strategic thinking questions) to add a new dimension:

  1. Objectives – From the strengths and weaknesses already identified, what are the most important and/or challenging goals?
  2. Occurrences – What events took place during the period you’re evaluating to shape future opportunities and threats?
  3. Obsolescence – What things or ideas are no longer relevant now as you explore your future situation?
  4. Opinions – What are the most strongly held opinions relative to the analysis, and which of them are fact-based opinions?
  5. Ordinary – What things are so common that they’ve become part of the backdrop but could emerge as big positive or negative issues?
  6. Objections – Amid the analysis of the current and future situation, what are the most serious objections to conclusions from the analysis?
  7. Organization – Where is the organization ready or not ready to capitalize on the opportunities and threats it will face?

I’m not sure a SWOOT analysis could or even should replace a typical SWOT analysis, but when a strategic thinking exercise is used frequently and becomes so common, it’s always worthwhile to inject something different to trigger new thinking.

That’s true even when the new strategic thinking exercise is prompted by a typo in a tweet! – Mike Brown

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swot-alternatives-cover

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5 Responses to “Strategic Thinking Exercise – 7 Ideas to Turn a SWOT Analysis into a SWOOT”

  1. I’m not nearly as good at creating innovative systems as you are, Mike. But I like using them. Thanks – great stuff!

    • Mike Brown says:

      Thanks Stephen!

      Over on Facebook, there were a couple of other suggested modifications to the SWOT:

      SLOT (Strengths, Limitations, Opportunities, and Threats) from Leanne Hoagland Smith

      SWOTT from Traci Greer (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, Trends)

  2. Nadyne G says:

    Creative as always. Love the way you turned a typo into a new type of analysis.

    • Mike Brown says:

      Thanks Nadyne! It comes down to always asking the question, “Would else could that mean?” If you get practiced at doing that, you can turn a lot of mistakes into fortunate accidents!

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  1. Strategic Thinking Exercise - 7 Ideas to Turn a... - June 1, 2013

    […] By Mike Brown A Twitter friend tweeted something the other day about performing a SWOOT analysis. Thinking there may be a new type of strategic thinking exercise I need to check out, I clicked the link. "As I had already suspected, the SWOOT analysis was just a typo in the tweet. The article was really about doing a SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. "Same old SWOT stuff after all, but the Twitter typo got me thinking."7 Ideas to Turn a SWOT Analysis into a SWOOT Analysis"  […]