Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The dangers of traditional business planning


Published on

Strategically analyze your business. Find out what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are. Increase your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, exploit your opportunities and avoid the threats. Check out:

Published in: Self Improvement, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

The dangers of traditional business planning

  1. 1. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business Plan The Dangers ofTraditional SWOT Analysis
  2. 2. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business PlanStrategically analyze your business. Find out what your strengths,weaknesses, opportunities and threats are. Increase your strengths,minimize your weaknesses, exploit your opportunities and avoid thethreats. Click here year again. And, no, Im not referring toIts that time of Christmasshopping. Its only September, for gosh sake!Im talking about strategic planning.This is the time of year to pause for a bit longer than usual and thinkand about what winning will look like next year. Its when we peerinto the future to determine where our organizations need to go andwhat we need to do to get there in the upcoming calendar year. Itswhen we identify our top three to five strategic objectives, lay out thespecific action steps needed to achieve them, and determine arealistic timeframe for reaching our destinations.For most companies, conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses,opportunities & threats) analysis is an integral part of the strategicplanning process. And it can be very helpful because an accurateidentification of SWOTs plays an important role in determiningsubsequent steps in the planning process.
  3. 3. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business PlanFor those not familiar with SWOT, strengths are those areas where weexcel that are not easily copied by others. These include things likefinancial and people resources, infrastructure, management, price,delivery time, brand strength, customer service, product quality andso on. Weaknesses are the risks or limitations that get in our way.Anything that constitutes a strength can also be a weakness if wedont perform well in that area.Opportunities represent possibilities that we can capitalize on orleverage. They come in all shapes and sizes and can pop up as aresult of market trends, new technologies, changes in the political oreconomic environment, competitor actions, and more. Threats consistof events in the external environment that give us cause for concern.For example, what are our current competitors likely to do, and wheremight unexpected competitors come from? An opportunity can also beconsidered a threat if our competitors are better positioned to takeadvantage of it.When used properly, SWOT is a powerful planning tool. Unfortunately,many companies misuse it by getting stuck in old patterns of thinking
  4. 4. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business Planabout problems and threats rather then looking ahead to where thecompany needs to go and focusing on winning.A primary goal of strategic planning is figuring out what you can do,not what you cant. However, rather than looking for new and betterways to add value to their customers, many companies use the SWOTprocess to focus on blaming competitors, the economy, or otherexternal factors for things they cant control. As a result, they end upspinning their wheels rather than gaining any real traction to movethe company toward its destination.The key to using SWOT effectively is not just identifying yourstrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Its asking the rightquestions and using the information that gets uncovered in anappropriate manner.For example, when considering your organizational strengths, askquestions like:Where have we really been able to excel?
  5. 5. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business PlanIs there something we have that we dont use/do enough?Is there something we can develop quickly that we can leverage?What do others consider our greatest strength?When considering weaknesses:What has gotten in our way in the past?How do we get in our own way?What processes do we have for identifying weaknesses in theorganization, and how well do these processes work?What processes do we have for addressing these deficiencies, andhow well do these processes work?What functional silos are scattered across the organization?Are we monitoring signs and signals from the marketplace that canboth support our expectations, if appropriate, and provide strongevidence when new paths are desirable or necessary?
  6. 6. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business PlanWhen identifying possible opportunities:Is there a product, a customer relationship, or a market presence thatwe can better leverage?Is there something we would pursue if we had more resources(people, dollars, time, etc.)?What are our competitors most worried we will do? Should we?What signals are critical to assessing our relationships with our marketand customers?How diverse is our portfolio of business relationships andopportunities? Are there numerous ways to succeed?What investments are we making whose primary returns will be in thelong term?Are our plans formulated in ways that they will support adapting toevolving or new market opportunities, including unexpectedopportunities?
  7. 7. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business PlanWhen considering threats:What are we most concerned about?Are their new or different competitors likely to emerge?Is there a potential supply problem?Do we have good relationships with employees, vendors andcustomers?It also pays to analyze and review how you conduct the SWOTprocess itself. Not just after the fact, but as youre engaged in theprocess. For example:What proportions of our organizations resources go towardsmaintaining and enhancing the status quo?How much time do we spend leading and nurturing new directions?What new efforts have we started in the past year? What efforts havewe stopped?
  8. 8. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business PlanIs our long-term thinking focused on the few critical things thatmatter? Are we vigilantly avoiding the many possible diversions?Do we have the people and financial resources to execute our planssuccessfully?Do near-term problems and opportunities frequently preempt long-tem plans and undermine progress?Does it seem like the rest will be easy once we have finished ourplans?Becoming a leader in todays chaotic markets requires fast, flexibleand highly adaptable organizations. Ones that anticipate and plan forchange rather than react to it after the fact.A SWOT analysis can help you achieve this strategic agility, but only ifyou use the information to break away from old patterns of thinkingand make strategic decisions based on where youre going rather thanwhere youve been.Next year will get here before we know it. What are you waiting for?
  9. 9. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business PlanConsultant, Author, SpeakerHolly Green is the CEO of THE HUMAN FACTOR, Inc.( She has over 20 years of executive leveland operations experience in FORTUNE 100, entrepreneurial, andmanagement consulting organizations.Greens background stretches across strategic planning, organizationdesign and development, and leadership assessment anddevelopment. She has been responsible for successfully designing andbuilding critical infrastructures in several organizations and hasworked as both an internal and external resource for multinationalcorporations including: AT&T, Dell Computer, Bass Hotels & Resorts,Expedia, RealNetworks, Microsoft and Google. She was previouslypresident of The Ken Blanchard Companies, a global consulting andtraining organization, and the biotech firm LumMed.
  10. 10. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business PlanHer commitment to educating executives on how to be effectiveleaders and managers in todays changing world is evident with aproven track record of value-added delivery. As a sought-afterspeaker and consultant, she has received national recognition and in2007 was honored as a dynamic business leader and role modelreceiving the Women Who Mean Business Award.Holly conducts more than 50 workshops annually for Vistage, theworlds largest CEO membership organization. She is also a frequentkeynote speaker for numerous corporate and professionalassociations. Her book, More Than A Minute: How To Be An EffectiveLeader & Manager In Todays Changing World( lends voice to her corporate experienceand goes beyond the theory of leading and managing by providingpractical action oriented information.Article Source:
  11. 11. The Dangers of Traditional SWOT Analysis Business Plan