SUPER S.W.O.T.™ – Every group knows more—much more—than it thinks it does

Every group knows more—much more—than it thinks it does
SuperSWOT is a brainstorming tool you can use with your team to focus your strategy. It goes beyond the traditional SWOT by taking your strengths and weaknesses and combining them with opportunities and threats in your market. It comes in very handy after you’ve done enough market research but haven’t figured out exactly what you want to do yet. It can also help validate or invalidate someone’s pet idea.

Download the SuperSWOT Facilitation Template below:

INNOVATIVE STRATEGY DESIGN: A SuperS.W.O.T.™ is a powerful innovation session that unlocks intuitions about strategy by employing graphic exercises, quick provocative sketches, and questions designed to seek marketplace hunches.

How Does It Work?

We begin by asking participants to define their Competitive Landscape on a large Quad Map—where is your brand positioned, and where are your competitors? Now we ask: “Where do you expect to be in three years?” This is the 3-Year Strategic Path and it visually defines your strategic goal. Following this exercise, the group visually analyzes 6 to 8 Key Players (see “Sam” below.) Then we delve into your S.W.O.T. analysis and dig deep for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. As the session nears a conclusion, participants vote for the “Top-2” S.W.O.T. factors in each S.W.O.T. category. (The voting is almost always top-heavy and leads directly to strategic insights.) Finally, we begin work on your strategic Battle Cry. This is a short, motivating statement that will tell your people how to act—and your customers & prospects what to expect.

There are “4 musts” for a BATTLE CRY:

1) It must be focused on what customers want

2) It must ring true in the marketplace

3) It must be ten words or less

4) It must be memorable and “sticky”

What Makes SuperS.W.O.T.™ Different?

Your group’s innovative thinking is not simply described with words—it is brought to life by being visualized. For example, as a customer is discussed, John Emmerling quickly sketches a cartoon and asks for a name. “Sam,” someone might suggest, and the magic begins to happen: “Tell us what you know about Sam?” “Is he devoted to your brand?” “Or would he easily switch to a competitor’s brand?” “What ideas could increase your brand’s appeal to Sam?” One by one, important customers and other Key Players are sketched and profiled—a rich mother lode of insights is uncovered.

As “Sam” quickly takes shape, he gives us insights and ideas.

Who Is Involved? How Long? Where?

Conducted in your conference room, or at an offsite location, these sessions are typically attended by 12 to 20 key managers, although we’ve facilitated groups with as many as 30 participants. Participants usually include management, marketing, advertising, sales, research, public relations and communications. Invariably, this free exchange of insights and ideas is an enjoyable, stimulating experience for everyone. A session can require as little as four hours—on up to a full day.

The Session Report

At your option, within two weeks of the session a comprehensive report can be presented. Your group’s insights, intuitions, and innovations will be depicted and summarized—and the strategic directions suggested by your group will be highlighted. The report will include all Battle Cry candidates generated in the session and, if desired, we can include several additional Battle Cry candidates for your consideration. This report will be a tool you will use—again and again—to help keep your team on strategy with all eyes fixed upon the goals.

How Your Company Benefits From SuperS.W.O.T.™

We have facilitated a large number of these sessions across a wide range of industries. In every case, this process reaps your group’s combined knowledge and experience to reveal marketplace insights, create better customer understanding, and bring innovative focus to the company’s strategic planning. You can also gain the powerful advantage of a market-honed Battle Cry.

Contact us if you would want help running a facilitated Business or Talent Management Session.

Joel Omeike
P4PE Institute

Redo Your To-Do List


As the new year approaches – and with it the inevitable wave of self-improvement plans–we’ve identified some strategies for advancing your career in 2016.

From recovering from an office blunder to learning why it doesn’t pay to be Mr. (or Ms.) Nice Guy, this plan offers daily tips on what to do and how to do it.

You are juggling way too many projects and goals at once. There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done. And the stress of keeping all those balls in the air is killing you.

I may not know you personally, but I’ll bet that’s a pretty accurate description of your work life. I’ve yet to meet a successful professional who feels like they have time and energy to spare.

You probably use some version of a To-do List to track of everything you need to accomplish. (There may even be another one on your refrigerator at home that contains things like clean out the backyard and paint the guest room.)

To-do lists seem like a good idea, but they merely catalog tasks–and cannot help you accomplish them.

If all you do is make lists of the projects you need to finish, odds are good that they will remain unfinished far longer than you’d like.

Decades of research on goal pursuit shows that when it comes to execution, there are two major pitfalls that keep us from doing the things we intend to do.

First, we don’t get specific enough about what exactly needs to happen – the various actions we must take to reach our goals. If, for example, your goal is to make a good impression on your boss, you need to break that down into component actions, such as arranging a weekly meeting or turning in reports on time. To-do lists be helpful on this end, so long as they contain specific actions rather than vague goals.

But the second problem – which To-do lists don’t solve – is that we miss opportunities to take action. Did you really have no time to work on that assignment today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Of course you had time, but you were probably preoccupied with something else, or simply forgot about it until it was too late – something busy people routinely do. Achieving any goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

The good news is that there is a solution to this second pitfall: It’s called if-then planning.

The trick is to not only decide what you need to do, but to also decide when and where you will do it, in advance. The general format of an if-then plan looks like this:

If (or When) __________ occurs, then I will _______________.

For example:

When it’s 3 p.m. today, then I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and work on that project.

If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, then I’ll go to the gym before work.

If it’s Tuesday morning, then I will check in with all my direct reports.

Studies show that this kind of planning will train your brain to be ready for a certain action at a certain time. On an unconscious level, you are actively scanning your environment, waiting for the situation (e.g., 3 p.m.) to occur. So you are much more likely to notice 3 p.m. when it happens, and seize the opportunity to take the action you included in your plan.

With each action on your To-do list, add a when and where. You can transfer your To-do list to your calendar if you prefer – just make sure that you pair what you need to do with details about when and where you’ll do it, and your productivity will soar.