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“SWOT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?”

“SWOT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?”
By Marian Y. Woods

Have you determined that you or your business has reached a fork in the road?  You deduce that you are not situated at a crossroad.  Crossroads present the option to continue down the same path.  Your condition, however, mandates a change; and a fork in the road depicts forward movement.  To incite advancement, you must veer right or left.  The fork forces action – so what are you going to do now?

SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) Analysis is a strategic planning tool.  It is a vital part of the strategic management process which encompasses strategy formulation, strategy implementation, and strategy evaluation.  A full SWOT analysis enables an individual or an organization to consider specific internal and external factors in conjunction with charting strategic direction.  SWOT examines your internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats.  As you plan your ascension, seriously consider taking inventory of the following:

Internal Strengths

What positive attributes do we possess that are critical to reaching the defined destination?  How may we leverage these attributes?

Internal Weaknesses

What negative attributes do we possess that could forestall reaching the defined destination?  How may we neutralize these attributes?

External Opportunities

What external factors could benefit us and cultivate reaching the defined destination?  How may we leverage these factors?

External Threats

What external factors could prevent us from reaching the defined destination?  How can we contend with these factors?

Identify a list of at least five factors for each SWOT area of concentration.  Once you have established your lists, apply the aforementioned strategic management process to address each of the four areas of SWOT.  Focus on and maximize your strengths.  Begin to view weaknesses as developmental opportunities and develop them.  Become an opportunist and capitalize on the external opportunities by creating a defense plan to guard against external threats.  Proper preparation prevents poor performance. It is important to address your dilemma.  Doing nothing detains you on the curb of stagnation at the intersection of failure and limited options.  Success requires a strategic compass.  Since it takes application for knowledge to have power – SWOT are you going to do now?

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