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SWOT  Analysis

A TBD transformation programme starts with an organisational wide bottom-up appraisal of the Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT Analysis).

What is the point of a SWOT analysis?

The first objective of an organisational wide SWOT analysis is to make all the stakeholders aware of any issues relevant to the survival and progress of the organisation.

The second objective is to then align the internal issues raised with those from the external environment. An effective TBD SWOT analysis motivates everyone to think about the four generic questions:

  1. What is good about the present situation; that is, what are our strengths that we can utilise and build on
  2. What is bad about the present; that is, what are our weaknesses that we have to compensate for or remedy?
  3. What is good about the future? What are the important opportunities that we can exploit?
  4. What is bad about the future or, in other words, what are the future threats that we must avoid or prepare for?Impact analysis

This is a powerful exercise, but answering these four questions only gets you so far.

To make the SWOT analysis a truly meaningful exercise you need to explain the impact that each issue has on the operation. When you know the impact you can then develop action plans to bridge any gaps between what is already happening and what needs doing. So a TBD SWOT analysis also:

What is unique about a TBD SWOT analysis?

Although the term SWOT is commonplace in organisations today, TBD adds three other powerful aspects to the process.

Firstly, TBD carries out the initial SWOT appraisal as a group exercise. The TBD coach involves all stakeholders in a thorough SWOT appraisal. Importantly this appraisal is not left to the CEO or an isolated group of strategic analysts remote from everyone else.

As a result the TBD SWOT appraisal provides a more holistic view of the organisation’s circumstances.This holistic viewpoint is vital to successful planning, as it prevents you developing new policies that suffer from the law of “unintended consequences”.

Secondly, a TBD SWOT analysis involves the three steps of a SWOT appraisal, impact analysis and root cause analysis before then being used as basis for improvement planning.

After all, a SWOT analysis on its own is pretty pointless unless you also carry out two important follow-up actions:

  1. You translate each answer to the four generic questions directly into an action plan
  2. You then delegate each action to a responsible party with the appropriate authority to improve the situation.

Thirdly, Apart from carrying out the initial SWOT appraisal with the whole organisation, TBD also uses a multidisciplinary planning team to develop the action planning. This is as opposed to one individual or small group of senior executives doing the planning on their own. This multidisciplinary team focus has three important benefits:

1.The group effort helps create an underlying consensus as to the situation. Importantly this is a consensus based on the facts of the situation not just opinion. Where you deal with the facts and not opinion you tend to get less argument and reduced conflict during the planning process. There is therefore much less obstruction to any remedial action that needs to be taken. Improvement projects move ahead much faster as a result.

2. A group appraisal based on widespread viewpoints is far more able to carry out a root cause analysis. You waste a lot less time trying to fix the wrong problems

3. Modern motivation theory recognises that if you involve people at the outset you tend to ease their resistance to change when you start instigating improvement plans. Being included in the decision-making process has a powerful stress reducing effect. This factor has an impact on people’s collaborative faculties including their enthusaism for new ideas and their commitment to making things work.

For more information about why the TBD collaborative leadership style is such a powerful means to generate dynamic change in an organisation read the secret to TBD's rapid organising power.

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