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Mistakes CEOs Make During Strategic Planning

As we experienced this last year, disruption happens when we least expect it. A business that has an eye toward the future can better handle these types of disruptions when they do occur. One of the biggest mistakes CEOs make during strategic planning is not leveraging simple, but incredibly effective analysis to help define strategies.

In this article, I'll provide you with an analysis user guide, complete with templates and examples and, most importantly, how to leverage this analysis during your strategic plans.


What Analysis Tools Should I Use?

There are tons of business analysis models that can help you better understand your business, but some of the most effective ones are the SWOT and PESTLE strategic analysis models.

SWOT stands for:


INTERNAL FACTORS

Strengths and weaknesses represent your company's internal environment—things that are happening now. They represent things that you have control over and can change.

EXTERNAL FACTORS

Opportunities and threats represent your company's external environment—things that are happening in the future. They are things going on outside of your company and are not something you can control or change.

A PESTLE analysis can be done in conjunction with a SWOT to more deeply analyze the external section in the SWOT. It is more valuable than SWOT for longer term strategic plans. PESTLE stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental.

  • POLITICAL: Government policy, corruption levels, trade controls, import and export restrictions, taxation changes
  • ECONOMIC: Exchange rates, disposable income levels, interest rates, unemployment rates, wealth distribution
  • SOCIAL: Education levels, population growth rate, religious harmony, attitude towards health, social welfare programs, generational shifts
  • TECHNOLOGICAL: New technology considerations, internet penetration, access to basic infrastructure, software privacy, technology competency of workforce
  • LEGAL: Tax laws and regulations, labor laws and firing policies, copyright and anti-piracy laws
  • ENVIRONMENTAL: Weather patterns, attitude towards recycling, attitude towards organic and green products
SWOT and PESTLE are simple tools that, when combined, provide a complete picture of your business environment for an effective strategic planning process.

Here are downloadable free templates and examples to get you started.

SWOT ANALYSIS TEMPLATE