For years business have been using a standard SWOT analysis consisting of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The problem with this approach is it has led our senior executives to be too inward focused. For middle managers, the SWOT is still a good tool, but for our leadership team, we need something new.
Enter the Gazelles SWT worksheet, consisting of Strengths, Weaknesses and Threats.
Let’s go deeper into the specifics.
- Strengths / Core Competencies These are inherent strengths that have been the source of your success thus far.
- Weaknesses The key here is to identify inherent weaknesses that are unlikely to change. In a SWOT, we’re thinking of things we might be able to upgrade or change, but with the SWT, we’re simply identifying what’s so. Being clear on this, we can say “No” to opportunities that require us to be strong where we’re not.
- Trends What are the significant changes in technology, distribution, product innovation, markets, consumer, and social trends around the world that might impact your business? In 2013, the news is full of mobile this and mobile that, but that trend is no longer dominant. Now we need to be thinking about wearable computing such as Google Glass or the much-rumored iWatch. The rise of the sharing economy such as AirBnB and ride sharing startups is another trend to notice. Through the lens of your industry and your company, what else is changing that matters (or might matter)? Changes in health care? 3D printing? Always-connected consumers?
To use the Gazelles SWT Worksheet, have your leadership team complete the worksheet before your next quarterly planning session and then discuss together at the offsite, before choosing quarterly priorities.