We’ve all had to do them: the dreaded SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). SOJC students are asked to do these analyses for communications plans or research documents. I’m sure many students would agree with me when I say that they are tedious and often times feel pointless. A recent exercise we completed at my internship has changed my mind.
During our weekly staff meeting, team managers asked us to write a strength, weakness, opportunity and threat on sticky notes. We organized them under the correct headers on the whiteboard in the conference room. For the next hour, we read what every note said and were encouraged to discuss. Talking about what the agency is great at made everyone in the room light up, as did discussing opportunities for the future.
What impressed me most is how mature and honest the team was during the hardest part: discussing the company’s weaknesses. Those who hold leadership positions were all ears when team members had suggestions for them; they also reassured the team that these pieces of constructive criticism are taken seriously and will be passed along to our president.
I have even more respect for this organization after seeing the team work through this internal SWOT analysis, and I would recommend this exercise to any team.