SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

SWOT – Health Care

Strategic Directions – Health Care

Sustain, Delete, Rethink and Add-Innovate

This section includes the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) assessments from 2 teams of health care leaders for two distinct health organizations in Canada. The teams focused on discovering strategic direction for the two health organizations and served as an applied learning experience for the health organizations and leadership teams conducting the review. One health care organization (Caretakers) is located in Surrey British Columbia Canada, goes by the name Medi-Mental Health and Homecare (M-MHH). M-MHH is a private home support and mental health services company where one of the health care leaders, participating in the SWOT process, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the organization. The other team, Health Angels, reviewed the practices and habits of a fictitious health care organization called the Simon Health Authority (SHA) and is more a composite of experiences from the various leaders on the team, with suggested changes  they would make if a SWOT analysis were applied to the composite organization.

Following Ethics Review approval, one team interviewed members of existing organization, while the other opted to work with public information and not interact with human subjects and gather information from the organization’s public material to conduct their SWOT assessment. Processes used in each  investigation were not included in their final reporting, only findings related to the analysis for individual organizations is recorded.

Teams reviewed strategic choices through ‘brain storming’ or ‘brain swarming’ to develop information and review the SWOT principles applied in the assessment process. ‘Brain storming’ or ‘brain swarming’ allowed team members to gain understanding of methodologies for understanding the SWOT process, and assist in developing an effective strategic response to the health organizations reviewed and reflect on the strategic influences guiding them into the future. This also helped teams identify the necessary skills for strategically planning for challenges the organizations may face while navigating best practices for the future and gain needed skills to developing an effective strategic leadership toolkit for themselves.

Health care leaders followed SWOT analysis steps by using Richard Lepsinger’s 6 Bridge Building Principles in Closing the Execution Gap (2010), Hughes, Beatty and Dinwoodie’s assessment tools and six step after action review (AAR) process for assessing organizational capacity for change in Becoming a Strategic Leader (2014, pp. 130-134). Teams used the tools outlined in the texts and assessed developed strategies to determine the anticipated success or failure of suggested changes for each health organization’s future practice and determine the anticipated success for identified and suggested changes. Teams then submitted their results and findings to determine the likely success or failure in applying the changes to the health organizations reviewed in their SWOT Process.