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Wrong Way Driver

It is odd, but I saw this sign the same day, as the owner of a small IT company called me for help in the evening.

He was struggling to get relevant results out of his SWOT analysis. Next day we started performing it again together from scratch. After approximately 10 seconds we both knew the reason for the failure.

As the most of us may know SWOT: it is an old, simple but powerful tool to have Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats pictured in four quadrants of a matrix.

As simple it is, the problem is often that organizations tend to process the steps of the SWOT analysis in the same order as the letters follow each other in the acronym, assessing the Strengths and Weaknesses first and the rest as last – which is usually wrong.

They often run into dead ends, since it is difficult to identify their relevant strengths and weaknesses without first knowing the opportunities or threats, they need to respond to.

So next time, you may want to perform TOWS instead of SWOT. It can work wonders.

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