Get Ready to SWEAT it Out

Management by Objectives (MBO) was made popular by management guru Peter Drucker who rightly predicted many an event through his series of theories based on real-time analysis. MBO, as we all know, is the need to manage businesses by balancing different requirements and short-term goals, rather than subordinating an institution to a single viewpoint. Most strategic plans focus on the four areas of SWOT – an analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats – with alignments and re-alignments done accordingly.

The SWOT analysis, a key strategic management concept, is top-down and typically done while building businesses. They have very little to do with the present and always have the future in mind. Although many would argue that at least two of the areas i.e. Strengths and Weaknesses are attributes measured in the present, I would still categorize them as tools that are analyzed by keeping the future prospects or perceived threats in mind. Often, organizations fail to measure efforts and evaluate the approach taken

I propose that one actually has to also make a “SWEAT” analysis to enable the basic exercise of running a profitable organization. By SWEAT, I mean “Strategies” “Work ethics” “Efficiency” “Alternatives” and “Tactics”. The SWEAT analysis should be done for each and every component of the business. This will lead to a deeper understanding of an organization’s condition in a broader sense than either the SWOT or Portfolio analysis. It will help us understand whether resources – Human Capital, Financial, Branding, and Marketing – are all moving in the desired direction towards the organization’s vision. Let’s take a brief look at each of them.

Strategies
End the boardroom, whiteboard, back of the envelope methods. Every member of the organization is part of the strategy. Strategic thought must be an ongoing process and should be imbibed across both the executive and management levels. Unless every resource is allowed to understand and participate in the macro strategies of the organization, any strategy will be rendered meaningless. The flow will help one analyze the impact of a particular strategy that can be changed or built upon for the future.

Work ethics
Constant feedback on work ethics is crucial for any workplace. Culture and ethics go hand in hand and these two cogs of the wheel significantly nurture an organization’s brand image. Any deviation from organizational ethics needs to be corrected right as soon as it is detected and leaders need to be alert at every stage

Efficiency
One of the more effective methods to attain efficiency in performance is to conduct frequent business audits that are not necessarily restricted to compliance audits. Audits should be conducted across the entire business environment with the proactive participation of control departments. Employee efforts can be measured quantitatively in terms of what improvements they have brought about in the efficiency of operations as well as measuring how profitability also improved.

Alternatives
SWEAT analysis helps in identifying alternative routes when there is a deviation from the organization’s vision. Constant analysis helps to identify pain points and suggest appropriate replacements quickly. When businesses behave in an opportunistic manner, then they end up with unrelated diversifications. SWEAT analysis will help one to understand such deviations and suggest appropriate remedies at the right time.

Tactics
Many confuse Strategy and Tactics. A strategy is long-term, while tactics help in maneuvering when the strategy wheel is veering without control. SWEAT analysis helps to figure out what kind of tactics need to be used and when. Increasingly, the business environment is extremely unstable and volatile and being tactically sound ensures that the strategy used to accomplish the goal is the most appropriate one.

Are you ready to SWEAT it out?

For more details on how to do a SWEAT analysis and other strategic management concepts that you can apply and grow your business, contact Ramakrishnan on +91 74110 35211 or ramakrishnan@venturebean.com

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