For decades businesses have been drawn to the creation of a SWOT analysis that forces leaders to look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But, in our experience, the SWOT limits an organization to really be strategic and focus them to only look inside their own organizations and often leaving them blind to trends and new innovations.
To be successful, senior leaders need to dive deeper into their organizations and evaluate their inherent strengths and weaknesses. In other words, identifying what they do very well – deep within their core competencies and on the flip side, things that they don’t do very well and in some cases, will never change within the organization.
This helps the leadership team drive performance to the areas where they know they will be successful because they are strong in those areas and it provides clear direction to say no to situations where they know they won’t succeed.
Inherent weaknesses are those qualities that would be considered rooted or permanent and not likely to change, so why pretend you can do something that you know you cannot and if you install that piece of business that has requirements that sit in the middle of these weaknesses, you will ultimately fail.
Your resources are better suited finding the client opportunities that fit perfectly into your core competencies. That is area of your business where talent, training and investment should go. Focus on what you do extremely well and capitalize on that in multiple ends.
The second item that senior leaders should be focusing on during their strategic planning process is the trends that they are seeing around them. What is happening in the industry? To Technology? Product Innovation? Delivery Systems? What are your customers telling you about your competitors business models?
The one area that can slow your growth is the next company who has come up with something new and innovative that is a client attraction magnet. What are you seeing around you and what is your organization doing to stay fresh, innovative and on top of what the industry demands are.