At a recent Community Foundation Board of Trustees meeting, my fellow board members and I were conducting a SWOT analysis as part of the nonprofit’s 5-year planning. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and the exercise is designed to evaluate where a project or organization stands in the present in order to strategically plan for the future.
I’ve taken part in many a SWOT analysis over the years – some formally organized, some on the backs of napkins over lunch – as have many of you, I’m sure. They are always illuminating in one way or another, but what set this one apart was the insight I took away from the process thanks to Rick Doty, another trustee. He warned that many companies make the mistake of focusing too much on their weaknesses. He said that focusing on weaknesses gives you really strong weaknesses. I thought that was fascinating, and so true.
If we pour all our time and energy into our weaknesses, what will be left for our strengths? We should spend the majority of our resources doing what we do best, building on our strengths.
I’ve been thinking about how I can apply that concept to what I do every day at work. What this company does best is provide valuable content – in-depth news, stunning photography, interactive online tools and timely advertising information. The Camera has been our market’s No. 1 newspaper since 1891. What about your business? Where do you excel? How can you build on your strong points? And how can we work together to succeed?