Approaches to SWOT Analyses In the process of identifying strategic issues, there have been some common themes in recent years, and issues related to information technology, human resources, and financial management have been extremely popular.

Thinking back to your personal SWOT analysis, it was probably pretty easy to come to an internal consensus about strategic issues to be managed. After all, you only had to consult one person—you! However, would identifying these issues have been as easy with one other person, partner, or teammate? How about with two others? Thinking about friends or coworkers, do most of them share the same fears or areas of personal or professional uncertainty? They probably do not. Because of these inherent differences between people, the identification process for strategic issues, even in small groups, deserves significant time and attention. Approaches to SWOT Analyses In the process of identifying strategic issues, there have been some common themes in recent years, and issues related to information technology, human resources, and financial management have been extremely popular. Although these issues will be different for every organization, these are some of the most common themes. Additionally, there are a number of different ways that organizations can proceed with identifying strategic issues. These include a direct approach, which is where planners simply review the existing mandates and SWOT analyses and proceed directly to identifying strategic issues, and a goals approach, which is where desired outcomes are presented first before identifying strategic issues that must be addressed in facilitating or reaching the goals (Bryson, 2018). The more visual, action-oriented strategy mapping approach involves the creation of diagrams linking causes and effects of potential actions (or non- actions) in determining which areas are most pressing or present the most strategic issues (Kyeremanteng & D’Egidio, 2015). Also, an alignment approach is used to identify existing gaps in the manner in which the organization self-governs, manages itself, and engages in general operations in order to determine which strategic gaps need to be filled (Bryson, 2018). In describing a selected issue, wording the issue as a workable problem with multiple solutions and discussing consequences for not addressing the issue are desirable for inclusion. Upon compiling and describing each of the strategic issues that the organization faces, it is possible to compare the extent to which each issue is truly strategic, both individually and in relation to each of the other identified issues (Bryson, 2018).

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