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Analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through a SWOT Analysis is a common tool for strategic planning for businesses, business units, departments, or projects.
The concept seems simple enough as the four elements are fairly easy to understand, but the results often seem to be subjective when the use of an "analysis" tool creates an expectation of more qualitative and definitive results.
The problem is often a result of using only one tool, brainstorming, for idea generation and not managing the use of that tool. While brainstorming is an ideal tool for starting this process, it isn't the only tool that is needed to complete the process.
Brainstorming tends to generate lots and lots of ideas, and without proper management can lead to generation of lots of redundant or irrelevant ideas. The next step has to be leaning out the list to something more manageable and meaningful in terms of priorities. This is where subjectivity creeps in to muddy the waters based on participants' biases, agendas, or perceived authority.
A more democratic approach can address this and drive participants to consensus. Lastly, knowing the priorities leads to the need to address them through action, where the same challenges pop up again in terms of generating too many options and not knowing how to select the right ones.
This webinar presents a number of tips and tools to use to make this process much more effective in terms of producing more definitive and usable results.
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