So You've Completed a SWOT – Now What?

The SWOT also known as the Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats analysis is a critical component of any competitive strategy. A SWOT is usually done for your organization and your major competitor(s) in the same market, as outlined in Diag. 1.

However, I am suggesting that completing the SWOT is only half of the exercise, providing the source for thinking and action. A progressive management approach should move from insight creation to value creation, since the SWOT alone begs the question, “so what?” SWOT exercises should deliver operational value, by providing tangible to-do lists or activities that feed the go-to-market strategy.

For example, the team should create actionable plans to maximize the strengths of the organization and correct the weaknesses discovered. This is also a great opportunity for innovation to exploit the weaknesses of competing organizations. These actions better position your organization to take advantage of the opportunities described. In addition, your organization should use the environmental threats to create contingency plans that can be rapidly implemented if required. Diag. 2 describes how the SWOT should be used for value creation.

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