The SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is such a basic widely used tool, that we can just see you rolling your eyes at the idea of using it for your organizational analysis.
Here’s the thing though. It is its very simplicity that makes it such a powerful tool. Over and over during facilitated sessions with teams, we have seen that collective “eureka” moment as people deeply engage with each other over their Strengths and Weaknesses as well as the Opportunities and Threats they perceive.
A few things to think about to fully leverage this tool:
- Prep it: think about the key enablers to success in your industry, function, process and use them to systematically go through the SWOT
- Have it facilitated by someone external to the team who can ask questions and challenge you
- Move around: use the physical space you have around you to document each quadrant of the SWOT and move around as a team to discuss what you are seeing emerge
- Get curious: often the structure of a SWOT will tell us about the culture of the team we are working with (is your list of threats an arm long and your list of strengths two bullets?)
- Create a safe space for this conversation: agree on the rules of engagement up front
- Have fun