Strategic Management:

Strategy Formulation

SWOT Analysis

A Balanced Perspective: Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

By: Vadim Kotelnikov, Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited,,,

"The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Albert Einstein


Strategy Formulation Strategy Formulation The Power of Balance Searching for Opportunities Pursuing Opportunities Resource-based Business Development SWOT Analysis

A Balanced Perspective

You must be aware of:

  1. Your Internal Strengths: your core competencies, corporate capabilities and resources that provide the basis for your strategy

  2. Your Internal Weaknesses: what critical parts of your business you must strengthen or hide from your competitors

  3. External Opportunities: the benefits that are likely to accrue from pursuing your vision and external opportunities

  4. External Threats: the pitfalls and the dangers, the variations and exceptions possible.

Special Tools for Strategy Formulation

Contributing Factors

  1. Strengths: ability, resources, weakness of the competition, or the opposing sources.

  2. Weaknesses: failures, defeats, loses, and inability to match up with the dynamic situation of growth the change.

  3. Opportunities: possibilities of what can be done and where effectiveness is possible.

  4. Threats: changes in business environment, PEST forces political, economic, social, technological.



Leadership and Management

  • Leaders seize opportunities; Managers avert threats. Both together progress more.

  • Leaders amplify strengths; Managers reduce weaknesses. Both together develop more... More

5 Strategic Questions

You Should Ask to Understand Where Your Business Is Going

By: Jack Welch

  • In the last three years, what have your competitors done?... More

Enterprise Strategies

Look at Your Company from Outside In As Well As Inside Out

7 Sources of Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Turning Failures To Opportunities

Smart Executive

Business Architect

  Ten3 Mini-Courses   Presentation:    View    Download

Strategic Management (75 slides)

Venturepreneur  (100 slides)

What is SWOT Analysis?

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis is a strategy development tool that matches internal organizational strengths and weaknesses with external opportunities and threats.


Steve Jobs' 12 Rules of Success

  1. Make SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper... More

A Balanced Perspective

SWOT analysis helps you balance idealism and pragmatism, and obtain a balanced perspective of your internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats to develop an effective strategy.

Why SWOT Analysis?

SWOT Analysis is the Key Component of Strategic Development. It can prompt actions and responses.

Successful businesses build on their strengths, correct their weaknesses and protect against internal vulnerabilities and external threats. They also keep an eye on their overall business environment and spot and exploit new opportunities faster than competitors. SWOT analysis is a tool that helps many businesses in this process.

SWOT analysis is based on the assumption that if managers can carefully review such strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, a useful strategy for ensuring organizational success will become evident to them.


Two factors contribute to your strengths: ability and resources available.

Ability is evaluated on 3 counts:

  1. Versatility: your ability to adapt to an ever changing environment.

  2. Growth: your ability to maintain a continuing growth.

  3. Markets: your ability to penetrate or create new markets.

The strength of resources has three dimensions:

  1. Availability: your ability to obtain the resources needed.

  2. Quality: the quality and up-to-dateness of the resources employed.

  3. Allocation: your ability to distribute resources both effectively and efficiently.


Your weaknesses are determined through failures, defeats, losses and inability to match up with the dynamic situation and rapid change. The weaknesses may be rooted in  lack of managerial skills, insufficient quality, technological backwardness, inadequate systems or processes, slow deliveries, or shortage of resources. There are three possible outcomes to the analysis of your weaknesses.1

  1. Correction of an identified defect.

  2. Protection through cover-up and prevention strategies to reduce the exposure of your weaknesses.

  3. Aggression to divert the attention from your weaknesses.


Opportunities are abundant. You must develop a formula which will help you define what comes within the ambit of an opportunity to focus on those areas and pursue those opportunities where effectiveness is possible. The formula must define product/service, target market, capabilities required and resources to be employed, returns expected and the level of risk allowed.

Weaknesses of your competitions are also opportunities for you. You can exploit them in two following ways:

  1. Marketing warfare: attacking the weak leader's position and focusing all your efforts at that point, or making a surprise move into an uncontested area.

  2. Collaboration: you can use your complementary strengths to establish a strategic alliance with your competitor.


External threats arise from political, economic, social, technological (PEST) forces. Technological developments may make your offerings obsolete. Market changes may result from the changes in the customer needs, competitors' moves, or demographic shifts. The political situation determines government policy and taxation structure.

SWOT Analysis: Questions To Answer

  • What is your strongest business asset?

  • What do you offer that makes you stand out from the rest?

  • Do you have any specific marketing expertise?... More

The Art of War: Strengths and Weaknesses

Excerpts from the The Art of War, Sun Tzu

  • When you form your strategy, know the strengths and weaknesses of your plan.

  • Carefully compare the opposing army with your own, so that you may know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient... More

Building Your Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Sustainable competitive advantage is the prolonged benefit of implementing some unique value-creating strategy based on unique combination of internal organizational resources and capabilities that cannot be replicated by competitors... More





  1. "Getting Things Done," Francis Lobo




Ranked #1



Free Downloads





We invented Business e-Coaching in 2001

Today, we have customers in 100+ countries!

Our customers:

3M, ABB, Adidas, Alcatel, American Express, Bayer, Boeing, British American Tobacco, BP, Canon, Cisco, Citigroup, Colgate, Corning, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Fujitsu-Siemens, GE, Goldman Sachs, HP, Hitachi, Huyndai, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, Lufthansa, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, Renault, Samsung, Shell, Siemens, Sony, United Bank of Switzerland

Ten3 Mini-courses: SMART & FAST sets Full version of Ten3 Business e-Coach Ten3 Business e-Coach (home page)

Ten3 Business e-Coach

Inventor, Author & Founder Vadim Kotelnikov

Vadim Kotelnikov, GIVIS