SWOT: Not Just for SOJC Projects


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.

Sydney Andree

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6 Responses to SWOT: Not Just for SOJC Projects

  1. Sam Cody says:

    Nice post Sydney, that sounds like a positive work environment you have going on there. It’s great to hear that the people who hold leadership positions within your organization listen to the feedback your team gives them. I am currently working on a SWOT analysis for a personal marketing project at my internship. They seem tedious, but they really are beneficial.

  2. That sounds like a very productive exercise. It can definitely be difficult to speak on your own weaknesses at times but like you said it takes a little bit of maturity. Many organizations don’t take enough time trying to improve and work on opportunities rather than staying the status quo. Good stuff.

  3. horsttyler says:

    I like the collaborative spin your organization has put on such a traditional and often times ‘boring’ communications planning tactic. I’ve really seen the idea of using sticky notes really make its mark in the creative industry in recent times and I also believe it can be very effective, especially for group-storming.

  4. andrewbantly says:

    I wonder if because you’re in a professional environment now, instead of a LED infested classroom, it feels this way? You see the weaknesses and strengths around you, rather than on a paper. I, personally, never did any SWOT anything, though I assure you we have our tedious nonsense too, I think it’s a cool perspective see the change of attitude towards something engrained in our minds from school finally blossom into something worth knowing.

  5. hmaarchive says:

    Way to find a positive to something most people dread doing! I think it’s cool your team recognized a need to sit down and do this, whereas most places sweep recurring issues under the rug or get rid of the ‘problem child’ of the bunch.

  6. clairecolby says:

    I’ve never had to do a SWOT, but it does sound like it could be tedious. I’m glad that you’re working with a great team and that they’re taking everyone’s comments seriously. You can’t always find that in a workplace!

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