SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Strategic Directions

Sustain, Delete, Rethink and Add-Innovate

This section includes team discoveries of  strategic direction for real time organizations being reviewed and serves as an applied learning experience using a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) assessment. SWOT, a long standing and seminal strategic process used successfully by various organizations over many years provided the backdrop for each team to interview and retrieve information about organizations reviewed to determine the strategic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats the organization faces while moving into their planned strategic future.

Following Ethics Review and approval, teams interviewed members of organizations from various parts of the world. Teams not interacting with human subjects extrapolated information from public organizational materials to conducted the SWOT assessment from those organizations. Processes used for each  investigation was not included in final reporting, only reports of findings related to individual organizational analyses were recorded.

Teams reviewed strategic choices using ‘brain storming’ or ‘brain swarming’ processes to develop and respond to organizational information gathered and review SWOT principles during the assessment process. ‘Brain storming’ or ‘brain swarming’ allowed team members to gain a better understanding of methodologies for the SWOT process, and assist with developing an effective strategic response to the assessments they made and the strategic influences guiding them into the future. This also helped teams identify the necessary skills required for the organizations to meet the challenges faced and navigate best practices for the future while gaining needed skills for developing the most effective strategic leadership toolkit for themselves.

Teams used 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) to perform the SWOT analysis. Using tools outlined in the texts and assessing developed strategies for the organization’s reviewed, teams determined anticipated success or failure of suggested change(s) for each organization’s future practice by determining the anticipated success for those identified changes. Teams then submitted their results and findings to determine the likely success or failure for applying the changes discovered in the SWOT Process.