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Planning Exercise

SWOT Analysis Exercise
Strategy is all about alignment; in particular, alignment of the company?s capabilities and resources with its environment. Every company has the same opportunities. The issue is whether the company can seize the opportunities it pursues. Alternatively, a company capabilities and resources will be underutilized if it doesn?t pursue the right opportunities.

Analyzing a company?s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats through a SWOT Analysis is one of the best ways to find areas of alignment and misalignment. Company?s often conduct a SWOT analysis as part of their strategic planning process. However, they seldom take it to the next level which is looking at alignment. Knowing you have certain strengths and weaknesses without understanding how they impact the opportunities and threats the company faces is of little value.

SWOT Analysis Exercise

By using this SWOT Analysis Exercise you can easily tap into the insights of your management team. In this structured exercise the management team

  • Rates the company?s strengths and weaknesses in 38 areas
  • Identifies the company?s four greatest strengths and four biggest weaknesses.
  • Rates the opportunities and threats the company faces in 33 areas
  • Identifies the four greatest opportunities the company should pursue and the four biggest threats it must defend against

This is all done before the planning session. During the planning session the team

  • Reviews the results from the pre-work exercise
  • Identifies areas were strengths and opportunities align and don?t align
  • Develops strategies that leverage the companies capabilities to pursue its best opportunities.

If you?re organizing a strategic planning retreat, you need to do a SWOT analysis. It?s as simple as that. People are familiar with SWOT analysis and will expect to complete one prior to the planning session. The exercise captures the key information and insights needed to develop a sound growth strategy. It helps the team look at areas were there is alignment and misalignment between the company?s capabilities and the opportunities it could pursue

Get everyone involved in developing your Strategic Plan

One of the challenges in planning is how to get everyone?s input and ideas while maintaining a reasonable group size at the planning retreat. With the online pre-work SWOT exercise you can gather input from the entire management team without them having to participate in the planning session. Their ideas can be gathered through the survey and the results can be presented to the planning session participants for analysis and discussion.

Using the SWOT Analysis Exercise with your team

Simply download the instructions, available in both Acrobat (.pdf) and Microsoft Word (.doc) formats. The instructions include a facilitation outline with discussion questions and directions on how to navigate the site and set up your account.

Click here to try the SWOT Analysis exercise and see what type of information you will get from your team.


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"The fruits of life fall into the hands of those who climb the tree and pick them."

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