Strengths are things you do well. The things that distinguish you from your competitors. These things might be the talent, experience, or motivation of your staff, access to superior materials, or a strong set of manufacturing processes. Is it a good thing? Does it make you better or more competitive than the corporation across the street? Then it’s a strength. Write it down.
Oh, and if the other guys all have the same strength, then it’s not a strength. It’s a necessity for doing business in your market.
“Strengths” was the fun part. It’d be great if all we had to do is bask in our strengths, but it’s also vital to look in the other direction and identify what it is that we don’t do as well as the competition. Take a deep breath, open your eyes, and face the truth.
Our failures and weaknesses can be our greatest teachers and a springboard for greater success in the future.
Opportunities are openings for something positive to happen. They might be developments in your market, or advances in the technology you use. You need to be able not only to spot them but to exploit them. They don’t need to be earth-shaking: even small advantages can increase your organization’s competitiveness.
Threats are anything that can negatively affect your business from the outside. Shifting market requirements, supply chain problems, or a shortage of recruits are all important threats to identify. Anticipate threats. Take action against them. That’s the only way to avoid being a victim of them.
As Churchill said:
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Threats and opportunities can often be one and the same.
draw.io in Confluence
Remember what we said earlier about the power of visualization? When you’re ready to create your SWOT, draw.io is a powerful tool that lets you create powerful infographics to make the results of all your brainstorming crystal clear.
draw.io also allows your team to work together on the same document, and for companies using Confluence as their knowledge management system and single source of truth, you’ll do your strategic planning in Confluence. And draw.io is fully integrated. It’s the ideal tool for facilitating this visualization process.
draw.io in Confluence is there to support you whenever your strategic brainstorming needs to be visualized. We offer readymade templates (just like the SWOT diagram above) that you can download as a XML-file and embed in your draw.io template manager (For more information on using draw.io templates for all of your visualization needs, check out this video on how to create templates). Or you can use our infographic library to easily create your own custom infographics.
The point is this: When it comes to the variety of strategic insights that can affect your business, it’s better to know than to guess. And draw.io is there to help you communicate them to everyone who needs to know.