Wednesday 7 December 2011

OTSW - a SWOT tool for mixed-up times?

Because SWOT is spelled that way, users tend to start with Strengths, attempt to eliminate Weaknesses, explore Opportunities and obsess on Threats, in that order.
For the past 30 years I have been applying the technique as OTSW, based on the logic that Opportunities and Threats are outside the business, are independent of it and transient, whilst Strengths are not absolute, but are relative to Opportunities. Threats are outside restraints that simply need to be factored into the exercise.
Weaknesses need not be terminal, but simply need their ability to dilute strengths constrained. Attempting to eliminate weaknesses takes precious time, and at best creates a ‘perfect’ organisation for an opportunity that has moved on….
A ‘new’ tool for crazy times!
Know any SWOTs who might benefit from a switch to OTSW?

1 comment:

Greavsie said...

Very sensible way to approach a tool that everyone has defaulted into a certain way of using because it's "catchy" verbally. Seth Godin is spot on too - to be fair he normally's too easy to adopt a lazy attitude with words.