Firefly E-News

Do you know how strong you are?

Posted on January 14, 2021

Dear friends,
“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”
Alvin Toffler’s words are a challenge to anyone who manages day-to-day operations or is in a leadership position. It’s important to take time to look inward and conduct an honest assessment of how your organization is doing. 
One simple way to do that is through a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for StrengthsWeaknessesOpportunities and Threats. It's a timeless and powerful strategic planning tool.
What are the benefits of a SWOT?
There are many.
  • A SWOT creates robust discussions, builds consensus, clarifies thoughts and ideas, and allows for priorities to percolate to the surface.
  • The meeting convenes a diverse group of stakeholders who care about the organization’s future and creates buy-in from your team rather than pushing a top-down agenda.
  • It helps organizations adapt to change by understanding the challenges and opportunities they face. It helps shed light on the things you can do to change and improve and external factors beyond your control.
  • The process helps improve your strengths, mitigate your weaknesses, reveal new opportunities, and manage threats.
  • The information gleaned from the SWOT can be used as a launching pad for the rest of your strategic planning efforts - whether they focus on operational improvements or marketing and communications efforts.
How a SWOT Works.
Conducting a SWOT is always an illuminating experience!
The four categories are fully explored during a facilitated brainstorming session that lasts for a few hours and engages all stakeholders - either in-person or virtually during COVID-19. Then, stakeholders prioritize the issues. Once completed, you have the building blocks to move forward with more in-depth goal setting, planning, prioritizing, and implementing.
Can You Do It Yourself? can try...
A SWOT brings together a small but diverse group of people - whether they are senior management, frontline employees, board members, or other stakeholders - for an engaging discussion about the organization.  
While you may be able to conduct the SWOT on your own, it may result in a less effective, less productive exercise than having a neutral, third-party individual facilitate the process. (That would be me, by the way!)
  • Will employees be as open and forthcoming if the head of the organization or other senior staff member is standing in the front of the room, unintentionally guiding the outcome with their commentary?
  • Will everyone stay on track without a third-party representative gently but skillfully guiding the process?
  • If you don’t use an outside consultant to conduct the SWOT, compile results and offer recommendations who will be accountable within your organization to make it happen?
Are you ready for a SWOT?
It's the beginning of the year; the perfect time for big picture planning. Objective, professional SWOT facilitation is one of many services offered by The Firefly Group.
If you think you’re ready for a SWOT, shoot me an emailand we’ll set up a phone call or virtual meeting to discuss further.
Wishing you many sparks of joy in 2021,
Stacy Weller Ranieri
Founder, President, and Chief Illuminator
Visit our websiteemail or call us at 772.287.5272.


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