Developing a Champion Mind-set
The understanding of Strength, is a subject in itself. Mental strength, physical strength, organisational strength, strength as an individual, strength as a team, inner strength, outer strength, invisible strength, spiritual strength, so on and so forth. This subject envelopes a number of sub-subjects and has a versatile and powerful presence.
Have you ever thought, what is that ‘niggling’ factor that stops you from reaching your success pinnacle? What power mantras do successful organizations AND successful individuals adopt, to stay at the top in spite of the fierce competition prevailing in the corporate arena? What is that you are missing on? The answer to this is quite simple, yet intriguing. You are basically missing the ‘S’ in the SWOT Analysis. Or maybe, you have not cultivated it well enough. To energize and maximize the ‘S’ of SWOT, let us first understand it better.
So, what exactly is SWOT? SWOT Analysis a study undertaken by an organization or an individual to identify internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT is also referred as TOWS or often called as Internal-External Analysis as it studies the internal and external environment by highlighting key areas to be focused on. In a business context, it helps you carve a sustainable niche in the market. SWOT is often used as part of a strategic planning process.
Now you must be wondering, why SWOT Analysis? In a personal context, it’s is an excellent tool for discovering and understanding our core strengths, overcoming our weaknesses, finding opportunities of growth, capitalizing on those opportunities and minimizing threats. It helps us develop our career, in a way that takes best advantage of our talents, abilities and provides us ample opportunities to flourish. It helps us in discovering the complete ‘I’ and helps unleash our hidden potential, thus helping us break free from the monotonous routine and get into self-analysis and a journey of growth.
In an organisational capacity, doing SWOT analysis on a regular basis, is a great way to guide business-strategy meetings. Having a bunch of key professionals discussing the core Strengths and Weaknesses of the organisation and then moving on towards defining the Opportunities and Threats, and finally brainstorming ideas to come up with effective solutions. The SWOT analysis is a simple yet effective tool for understanding Key Result Areas. Often SWOT analysis sheds light on those hidden areas which remain uncaptured while planning a successful business strategy.
To understand the S in SWOT – let us first understand the remaining three factors, which is WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS in brief.
WEAKNESSES: Weaknesses minimize performance. It can emerge from problems that you faced over the past, some in-capabilities or just lack of focus. For instance if you lost some crucial data which was of utmost importance to the organization just because of your negligence, it could be considered a weakness due to lack of attention to details. Alternatively you can also think about competencies or areas that could be improved. In an organizational capacity, it could mean internal or external weaknesses. For example, high attrition, poor customer services, weak brand portfolio, rigid organizational culture, poor brand visibility and so on.
OPPORTUNITIES: Opportunities emerge from changes, like changes in technology, government policies, lifestyle, standard of living and social patterns. It is important to therefore pay close attention to what could possibly change in the near future and how one could benefit from that. After analyzing the internal factors, it is crucial to understand the external environment as well. What good opportunities can you spot? What interesting trends are you aware of?
THREATS: The final step on the SWOT analysis is the evaluation of possible threats. The threats can appear either from external changes or from internal weaknesses that are pretty much not under your control, you can just minimize it or avoid it. Few questions like the ones below could help.
– What obstacles do you face? – What is the current market scenario? – What are the advantages your competitors have and you don’t? – Is changing technology threatening your position? – Are your weaknesses becoming a major concern?
How do we leverage our STRENGTHS to benefit from opportunities, dilute weaknesses and minimize threats?
First, we need to find out what our core strengths are, then harvest and nurture them. These strengths, in time, will help overcome weaknesses which in turn will offer opportunities to grow and blossom. There would be road blocks and obstacles, which are nothing but the Threats. These Threats need to possibly be avoided or eliminated, to continue a relentless journey towards success.
The questions one can ask here is, “What makes me unique”; Or “What does my organization do better than my competitors? You basically need to delve deeper and discover key strengths you possess that makes you stand out from the rest and be the best.
To unearth your possible strengths – whether at individual level or organizational level – try answering these questions: – What do you do better than anyone else? – How do you position yourself? – What qualities set you apart? – What do people in your circles see as your greatest strengths? – What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
The most important thing to remember is 90% of the problem is solved when you know the problem. Similarly, when you identify your strengths and start cultivating them to an extent that every opportunity that comes your way is maximum utilized. Stop spending time removing weaknesses. Instead concentrate on knowing your strengths and make them stronger, each time. That’s when you start developing a Champion Mindset.
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