It’s our job to shine a light on your strengths – and weaknesses.
Finding the perfect time for your business or nonprofit organization to plan and strategize your short and long term goals can be difficult. Between employee schedules, client expectations and other responsibilities, it can be a daunting task. But it’s important to set aside time to look at how your business is doing, how it’s growing, and to figure out new ways to improve your operations and attract more customers or clients.
One of the simplest and most powerful planning tools a business or nonprofit can use as part of a successful strategic planning effort is a SWOT analysis.
What’s a SWOT?
A SWOT Analysis (or “SWOT” for short) is a planning tool used to objectively evaluate your organization’s Strengths and Weaknesses as well as the Opportunities and Threats that you face.
Effective SWOT analysis facilitation is one of the many services offered by The Firefly Group. If you are considering conducting a SWOT, Firefly can provide you with the objective and professional facilitation you’ll need to successfully conduct this useful exercise.
How does a SWOT work?
Conducting a SWOT is always an illuminating experience.
The process opens up a robust discussion, builds consensus, clarifies thoughts and ideas, and allows for priorities to percolate to the surface. The four elements are explored during a facilitated “brainstorming session” that lasts for several hours. After the SWOT, you will have the building blocks needed to move forward with more in-depth strategic planning, goal setting and implementation.
Completing a SWOT helps you to improve upon your strengths, mitigate your weaknesses, uncover and take advantage of new opportunities and manage threats.
Is it really worth doing?
A SWOT forces you to take the time to go through the exercise, get your people together, and have a frank and productive discussion about the organization and its future. It requires you to think about and discuss your ideas about the organization. The information generated can then be used as a launching pad for the rest of your strategic planning efforts - whether they focus on operational or administrative improvements, or marketing, brand identity and public relations tactics.
Can you do it yourself?
The SWOT brings together a relatively small but diverse mix of individuals involved with your organization – whether they are front-line employees, C-suite executives, board members, clients or other stakeholders for a frank, civil discussion about the organization.
While you can conduct the SWOT in-house, it will likely result in a less effective and less productive exercise compared to having an outside, neutral, third-party individual who understands how to properly facilitate the SWOT process.
- Will employees be as open and forthcoming if the head of the organization is standing in the front of the room, unintentionally guiding the outcome with their commentary?
- Will everyone be able to stay on track without a third-party representative gently but skillfully guiding the process?
- If you don’t hire a professional consultant to conduct the SWOT and follow up with the summary of the meeting and the next action steps to be taken, will you really carve out the time to make it happen?
Are you ready for a SWOT?
If you decide it’s time for your organization to do a SWOT, we hope you’ll give Firefly a call. The Firefly Group can provide the objective and professional facilitation you’ll need to successfully conduct your SWOT and help you take the next steps to make sure your company or organization shines brighter than the rest.