How to Recognize a Need to Change with SWOT - dummies

How to Recognize a Need to Change with SWOT

By Christina Tangora Schlachter, Terry H. Hildebrandt, MA, MA, PCC

A SWOT analysis looks at an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. If change isn’t easy, why in the world do you want to change in the first place? Pinpointing your need is the perfect way to start the change cycle.

SWOT is a good tool to help leadership identify what areas need to change in order for the organization to thrive in the future and to help executives begin to frame the need for change. It can also help teams align the vision and goals with the costs and benefits of making the change happen.

Here we take a look at a quick SWOT analysis for a small consulting firm looking to expand its market share.

  • Strengths: The company’s strengths include knowledge of its offering, strong leadership, and a great product design.

  • Weaknesses: The big weakness it needs to overcome is a small customer base and being the “best-kept secret” rather than the best-known firm.

  • Opportunities: After considering strengths and weaknesses, leaders recognize a few opportunities: The company could partner with other firms, focus on specific niche marketing, or perhaps work to build its local market.

  • Threats: Threats come in the form of large competing firms that may have more recognizable names.

The company now needs to decide what is going to change. In this case, the change involves building the customer base. To convey to employees why things need to change, management should start by explaining that although being the best-kept secret in the industry sounds neat, not being known means not being in business.

The company sees the need for change as becoming a recognized name to build a bigger business (more customers) while maintaining its expertise in the field (its strengths).

Building the business case for change is one of the first steps leadership takes when undertaking an organizational change project.