Master SWOT Analysis and Business Strategy for Ongoing Success | Vicky Fung | Skillshare

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Master SWOT Analysis and Business Strategy for Ongoing Success

teacher avatar Vicky Fung, Senior Finance Executive, CPA

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

30 Lessons (3h 4m)
    • 1. The Magical Formula for Long Term Success

      4:38
    • 2. What is a SWOT analysis?

      4:12
    • 3. Strengths

      4:50
    • 4. Weaknesses

      7:08
    • 5. Important Notes on Strengths and Weaknesses

      6:32
    • 6. Opportunities

      7:02
    • 7. Threats

      5:49
    • 8. SWOT 2.0

      4:42
    • 9. How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis?

      8:48
    • 10. Introduction to Advanced Techniques for SWOT Analysis

      3:15
    • 11. MOST Analysis

      8:09
    • 12. Resource Audit

      9:44
    • 13. BCG Matrix

      5:47
    • 14. PESTLE Analysis Part 1

      9:52
    • 15. PESTLE Analysis Part 2

      4:46
    • 16. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

      9:52
    • 17. Strategy Formation and Implementation

      3:37
    • 18. New SWOT Analysis

      4:22
    • 19. What to Do After Your SWOT Analysis

      6:24
    • 20. Ansoff’s Matrix

      7:13
    • 21. Quick Tip on Developing Existing and New Markets

      3:44
    • 22. McKinsey 7-S Model Part 1

      7:02
    • 23. McKinsey 7-S Model Part 2

      7:24
    • 24. POPIT Model

      7:53
    • 25. Key Performance Indicators (Part 1)

      5:18
    • 26. Key Performance Indicators (Part 2)

      6:28
    • 27. The Outcome Frame

      3:26
    • 28. Wrapping Up on SWOT Analysis

      6:28
    • 29. Wrapping Up on Business Strategy

      5:42
    • 30. Conclusion

      4:11
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About This Class

No matter what kinds of businesses you are in, every organization wants to achieve its objectives, say amazing profits, large market share, good reputation etc.  They also want to be sustainable and stay competitive in the long run.  But how to do it?

In this course, we will explore a winning formula to achieve your desired outcomes.  We will start by understanding the SWOT analysis in details as you need to fully assess your current position before thinking how.  You will learn how to get a comprehensive view of the current position of an organization without missing any key factors. You will learn 5 useful techniques to get this done, namely MOST Analysis, Resources Audit, BCG Matrix, PESTLE Analysis and Porter’s Five Forces Model.

Just knowing your current position is not enough.  You will then learn how to make use of the SWOT analysis and derive your business strategies.  We will go through the 3 stages of business strategy, including formation, implementation and performance measurement.  You will learn how to conduct each part successfully by using 5 additional helpful techniques, namely new SWOT analysis, Ansoff’s Matrix, McKinsey’s 7S Model, POPIT Model and Key Performance Indicators.  You will also learn an easy approach, the Outcome Frame, to deep dive each strategy and get a complete picture from another perspective. 

To conclude, this is the course for everyone who wants to help your organization and team to be successful.  You will learn the SWOT analysis in details and also get learn 11 great business analysis techniques!  All these are essential knowledge that everyone in business, particularly entrepreneurs and leaders, should know about.  This is also the basic MBA knowledge that you should have.

If you want to learn all these, please enroll the course now!

Meet Your Teacher

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Vicky Fung

Senior Finance Executive, CPA

Teacher

Hi!  I am Vicky Fung, a senior Finance Executive with 20 years of experience in finance and accounting.  I have worked in many large companies with operations over the world.  I got 10 years of experience in recruiting and onboarding new staff, as I have actively involved in recruitment for my team and other positions for my ex-employers.  I would like to share my knowledge and experience with you.  Please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance. 

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Transcripts

1. The Magical Formula for Long Term Success: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 1 - The Magical Formula for Long Term Success All organizations want to succeed in everything they do. They want a magical formula to guarantee amazing profits and positive returns on investments. They also want to be sustainable and stay competitive in the long run. So is such magical formula existed? Hi, I am Vicky Fung, the instructor of this course. Yes, such winning formula really exists and this is where this course comes in. So here is the winning formula: Understanding current position + Business Strategy = Achieving the Desired Outcome This winning formula applies to all business. It looks pretty straightforward, but there are two main questions: First, SWOT analysis, how to do it appropriately, effectively and accurately without missing any key factors? Second, for business strategy, how to prevent creating additional troubles, no matter directly or indirectly, for your organization? Also, how to ensure smooth implementation? In this course, I will address these issues with you. The course will be divided into 2 parts. In the first part, we will start with assessing your organization’s current position in details by the SWOT analysis. SWOT, stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It sounds simple but there are many tricky points involved. Here are what you will learn: • The SWOT components in details and all tricky points • How to overcome the limitations of SWOT analysis • How to conduct an effective SWOT analysis at your organization As mentioned, the most important thing is how to avoid missing any critical factors for the SWOT analysis. Therefore, here you will learn 5 very useful techniques, including MOST Analysis, Resource Audit, BCG Matrix, PESTLE Analysis and Porter’s Five Forces Model. These techniques will help you to identify all the relevant factors of the SWOT analysis, without missing any critical factors. Just understanding the current position of your organization is not enough. To strive for success, you need to have business strategies. In the second part of this course, I will talk about business strategies. Business strategies are actions that help an organization to achieve its mission and goals. They help you to concentrate your resources on where they are needed, and to deliver your products and services to the standards that your customers expect. Business strategy involves 3 parts: formation, implementation and performance measurement. I will tell you how to conduct each part successfully by using 5 additional helpful techniques, namely new SWOT analysis, Ansoff’s Matrix, McKinsey’s 7S Model, POPIT Model and Key Performance Indicators. You will learn how to derive strategies using the SWOT analysis, how to determine your growth strategies, how to facilitate the smooth implementation of strategies as well as how to monitor progress and performance. I will also introduce you an easy approach, the Outcome Frame, to help you to deep dive each strategy and review it from another perspective. Finally, I will wrap up and recap the major points for these 2 parts, SWOT analysis and business strategy, for your easy reference. To conclude, this course is for any organization who wants to be sustainable and stay competitive in future. In just one course, you will understand how to get this desired outcome by using the winning formula. Apart from the SWOT analysis, you will learn 11 great techniques! All these are essential knowledge that everyone in business should know about. This is particularly important if you want to be a successful and effective business leader. If you want to learn all these, let’s begin with the SWOT analysis now. 2. What is a SWOT analysis?: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 2 What is a SWOT analysis? A SWOT analysis is a framework for assessing the positive and negative elements in the organization. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and so a SWOT Analysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business in an organized, easy and clear way. It is simple but very powerful and practical to use. It helps you to build on what you do well, address what you are lacking, minimize risks, reduce failure chances, eliminate hazards and take the greatest possible advantage to succeed. What more important is, no matter you are building a startup or guiding an existing company, based on the analysis, you can craft your business strategy that distinguishes you from your competitors, so that you can compete successfully in your market. SWOT analysis can be applied for overall business strategy or for a specific segment such as marketing campaign, production, a functional area, system, product or service. It can be used for various purposes, including market analysis, business development, strategic planning, exploring new initiatives, improving business operation, revamping internal policies, competitor evaluation and altering a plan midway through its execution. It can also be applied on a personal level to analyze your career or personal development. A SWOT analysis allows companies to assess their current positions in the market. It forces them to look at their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can leverage these to take advantage of the opportunities and threats that exist in the market. Meanwhile, pairing external threats with internal weaknesses also highlights the most serious issues that the companies face and should possibly be addressed. It also extends to the resources and efforts required to change, sustain or strengthen the current position, as well as clarifies the ongoing direction. To run a successful business, companies should regularly analyze their current positions to ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible. This is particularly important under the current economy, things are constantly changing and outdated quickly. Therefore, it is important for you to reassess your various strategies regularly. You may ask, so how regularly? This varies from industries and organizations, but typically SWOT analysis should be reviewed whenever a significant economic, political, environmental or technological change occurs that could impact your organization. In general, a company operating in the technology industry should do more frequent reviews than the one in the utilities industry. Ultimately, with the SWOT analysis and review, you should get comfortable managing risks and opportunities; and understand the Company’s positions from time to time. At a minimal, a new SWOT analysis should be conducted every 6 to 12 months. To make good use of this tool, it is important to understand its major 4 major components: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat. In the next few lectures, I will go through each of them and provide a list of sample questions to guide you completing the SWOT analysis. 3. Strengths : Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 3 Strengths To explain the SWOT analysis, let me start with the first element, Strengths. A strength describes what an organization excels at and what separates it from the competition. It can be anything that brings an advantage, such as a strong brand, loyal customer base, highly-rated customer service, effective supply chain management, good market reputation, financial resources, motivated staff, workforce, access to certain materials, unique technology, a strong set of manufacturing processes, and so on. These strengths are the internal, positive attributes of an organization. They contribute to the success and are within the organization’s control. For example, a Company may have very advanced technology on automation and this strength speeds up its productivity and efficiency. Capitalizing the strengths help the organizations to sustain and enhance their competitive advantage. Strengths look very simple, however, please bear 2 points in mind: 1) Any aspect of your organization is only a strength if it brings you a clear advantage. For example, if all of your competitors provide high-quality products, then a high-quality production process process is not a strength in your market but it is a necessity. 2) What is not strong can be made strong with appropriate change and become the strengths of a Company. For instance, providing a training program can advance your staff to a level that transforms them into a strength. To determine a company's strengths, you may begin by looking at the resources and assets of the organization, such as customers, equipment, technology, financial resources, patent etc. In particular, you may analyze the people in the organization. Analyze their skills, knowledge, education, network, capabilities and the impact your employees have on others both inside and outside the company. You can also turn your perspective around and ask yourself what your competitors might see as your strengths. What factors mean that you get the sales ahead of them? To discover your strengths, you may also think about the following questions: 1) In general • What are you good at? • What are you more efficient at? • What can you do for less money and in less time? • What business processes are successful? • What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others cannot? • What valuable assets does your company have? 2) Employees • How experienced are the team members? • What advantages do your employees have? • What impact do your employees have on both inside and outside the Company? 3) Customers • What products are performing well? • What do your customers like about your business? • What do your customers love most? 4) Competitors - • What makes you stand out? • What do you do better than your competitors? • Why would a customer buy from you versus a competitor? • What do you do that no one else does? In terms of strengths, apart from employees, customers and competitors, Companies can also enjoy competitive advantages in other areas, such as research and development, brand name, reputation, financial resources, technology, distribution channels and so no. These are some areas that you can brainstorm. Later in Lecture 11 – 13, I will provide you a framework on how you can work out a comprehensive list of strengths. 4. Weaknesses: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 4 Weaknesses In the last lecture, I talked about strengths. Now let me proceed to the 2nd element, weaknesses. Weaknesses are the internal negative aspects of the organization that may hinder the success and growth. They put the organization at a disadvantage. They stop an organization from performing at its optimum level. These are the areas that the organization needs to improve to remain competitive. For example, a weak brand, out of date equipment and systems, high levels of debts, lack of capital, poor management, unskilled staff, higher than average staff turnover rate, inadequate supply chain and so on. These areas undermines the development of an organization. Some business leaders are reluctant to accept weaknesses or they may simply ignore weaknesses. They may even regard everything the organization lacks as an opportunity. Say, if a Company has poor brand image, some business people even put them as an opportunity! This does not make sense. Poor brand image clearly puts the organization at a disadvantage when compared to competitors. Ignoring this weakness actually puts the company at greater risk. Remember, a SWOT analysis will only be useful if you are honest, realistic and face any unpleasant truths as soon as possible. Although weaknesses may be difficult to change, they should be within your control. So if an organization is able to identify weaknesses honestly, it can make goals to minimize or mitigate these weaknesses, or even turn them into future strengths, with proper efforts and resources. For example, if an organization identifies that one of its major weaknesses is obsolete equipment and system, it can investigate the potential benefits and costs on new investments on equipment and system. This may allow the organization to turn a weakness into a strength. Nevertheless, some weaknesses simply cannot be changed or we can say these are limitations. Organizations should analyze their weaknesses to differentiate between those that may be remedied and those that are unlikely to change in any meaningful way. Failure to do so, will result in a waste of resources, time and effort. On the other hand, sometimes a strength may be a weakness. For instance, a company making low-cost products fulfill the needs of low-end customers. This makes the Company to enjoy a large market share and it is a strength. However, on the other hand, the company may not be able to attract high-level customers with either its products, services, brand name or its stores appearance. In this case, this is considered as a weakness. In this case, the Company should think very carefully about its target customers and the focused market segment. If the Company is focused on developing the low-end market, correcting this weakness may result in reducing customer base that is currently making the organization successful. Therefore, depending on the organization’s goals, vision and mission, a weakness may be and should be accepted in some cases. Thus before you consider an item is a relevant weakness in the SWOT analysis, it would be better to consider your organization’s goals and target. To identify the weakness, like strengths, you may focus on your people, resources, systems and procedures. Think carefully about what you can improve, and the sorts of practices you should avoid. In addition, take time to examine what, why and how your competitors are doing better than you and what you organization is lacking. Sometimes there may be weaknesses that we tend to blind to or in simple words, we have blind spots. In this way, you may also do some research and find out how other people see your organization and compare with other competitors in your market. For example, if your competitor provides products to the same customer base at the same prices as you but also provides free delivery service and attracts a bigger market share, you may consider this as a weakness. To discover the weaknesses, here are some sample questions for your consideration: 1) Organization itself • Does the organization have the enough resources to provide contingency funding? • Where are you wasting money, time and / or resources? • What are you bad at? • What could you improve to be competitive? • What is holding you back? • Where do you lack efficiency or expertise? 2) Team and process • What business processes need improvement? • Are there gaps on your team? • Do all team possess all the necessary skills to complete the process efficiently? • What disadvantages does your team carry? 3) Competitors and market • What do your customers complain about? • What do your competitors do better? • Which products are underperforming? • Which products have the lowest profit margins? Similarly to strengths, weaknesses can be appeared from any internal factors of the Companies. When you brainstorm the weaknesses, it does not only limit to my suggested questions mentioned before. Later in Lecture 11 – 13, I will provide you a framework on how you can work out a comprehensive list of weaknesses without missing any significant items. 5. Important Notes on Strengths and Weaknesses: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 5 Important Notes on Strengths and Weaknesses In the previous lectures, I talked about strengths and weaknesses. These 2 words sound simple but there are some key things you should bear in mind. Strengths and weaknesses are both the organization’s internal qualities. In general, there are 5 areas that you can consider: 1. Human resources, such as staff, volunteers, board members and target population 2. Physical resources, including your location, building, facilities and equipment 3. Financial situation, including funding, sources of income, investment opportunities, grants, funding agencies and other sources of income 4. Activities and processes, like programs, systems, department hierarchies and technology 5. Intangible resources, including access to natural resources, trademarks, patents, copyrights, brand name, reputation and past experiences When you are assessing the strengths and weaknesses, there are 5 points you should be aware of: 1) Consider outsiders’ perspectives - Although strengths and weaknesses of your organization are your internal factors, when you are assessing them, it is better to consider the perspective of all stakeholders, including the outsiders, such as your business partner, customers and suppliers. They may value assets or see problems that you don’t. To obtain these comments, say from the customers, you may conduct surveys, focus groups or reviewing their products review and ratings. 2) Be specific - When you are preparing the SWOT analysis, remember to list down the items as specific as possible. If you simply list out a term or a characteristic, it may provide little value to you. Sometimes an internal factor can be a strength, a weakness or neither. Take the example of young employees. They may be a strength for your Company, especially if your customers are mostly young generation. Young people may be more creative, energetic, understand the market trends more and they can give your Company an edge in providing products and services that the young generation like. On the other hand, young people can also be a weakness. They lack adequate work experience and may be less thoughtful in planning and making decisions. Therefore, do define clearly and be specific when you list down the strength and weakness. Don’t settle with one or 2 words, such as technology, staff, price etc. 3) Do benchmarking – When you deciding whether the internal factors are your strengths or weaknesses, you need to compare them to those of competitors. Say, 30% gross profit margin would be a very good margin for many companies in most industries and it should be considered as a strength. However, what if the average gross profit margin of your competitors are 40%? In this case, the 30% gross profit margin would be considered as a weakness. 4) Consider the availability and ease of imitation – when you are assessing the resource, you should consider the supply and availability as well as the ease of imitation. A resource is considered as a strength if it is valuable, rare and cannot be imitated. Otherwise, it cannot provide any strategic advantage for the organization. For example, under the Covid-19, as many cargo and passenger flights are cancelled, flight capacity become a scarcity. If a logistic company has channels to get adequate flight capacity for goods delivery, it will be a strength. Similarly, if your Company possess a technology which is easily to be copied by others, then obviously this is not a strength. 5) A strength can be turned into a weakness – some features that gave the organization a competitive advantage in the past, such as values, skills, know-hows, managerial experience, as the technology and environment changes, they may become obstacles for their future development. For example, Nokia was once a leader in the mobile phone manufacturing industry, however, right now, obviously they are no longer a market leader. Compared with Apple and Samsung, their technology and innovation in making smart phones may now become a weakness. In short, when you are assessing the internal factors, before you category they are strengths or weaknesses, do also consider the external factors, such as competitors, suppliers, customers, market environment, market supply and demand. Strengths and weaknesses also keep changing over times. Of course, do remember to explicitly spell out the details of each strength or weakness, instead of just listing one or two words. Lastly, remember to be realistic and honest. This is not the time to get aspirational around what your organization may be doing in the days ahead. This is about today. To keep a realistic focus, you may try to do it from a third person view. 6. Opportunities: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 6 Opportunities After talking about the strengths and weaknesses in the previous lectures, now comes to the third element in the SWOT analysis, opportunities. Opportunities refer to favorable external factors in your business environment that could give an organization a competitive advantage. They may arise from a wide variety of external influences, in general, including 7 items: 1. Market and industry trends, such as new products and shifts in customers’ needs and expectations 2. Economic trends and situation, including local, national and international financial trends 3. Political and environmental changes 4. Local, national and international regulations, legislation and monetary policies 5. Demographics, such as changes in the age, race, gender, culture of your target segments 6. Local, national or international events 7. Technological changes All these external forces have an impact on the business environment. For instance, under the Covid-19, many companies adopt the work from home arrangement. With more time spent at home, this leads to an increase in demand for home office equipment and furniture. Another example is if a country reduces the import tax rate on alcohol, an alcohol importer can earn higher profit margin. When we talk about opportunity, some people may mix it up with items related to the potential benefits resulted from winnings of a particular competition, project, contract or business case, or in other words, potential businesses. In most cases, they refer to the additional revenue stream from a particular customer. These kinds of opportunities are important for the Company to capture, however, in the SWOT analysis, opportunity mainly refers to the Company’s strategic position, rather than the incentive or motivation to aggressively bid and win a particular competition or project. Another common mistake is some people misinterpret opportunities as recommendations of “what could be done”. For instance, a restaurant may list “create a mobile application for online ordering” as an opportunity. But this actually is not an opportunity under the SWOT analysis, rather, it is merely a recommendation or an action that has not yet been done. Indeed, an opportunity may be the growth during the adoption of certain mobile phone technology or artificial intelligence. Or you may say, the phone apps are becoming easier to develop but most restaurants and competitors have not started using them. This is then an opportunity. Therefore, always bear in mind in SWOT analysis, an opportunity is an external factor that enhances a company’s chances of winning. It helps the organizations to identify the potential growth and development areas, where the effort, time and resources should be focused. Being able to spot and exploit opportunities can make a huge difference to your organization's ability to take the lead in your market. Even if the opportunities are just small advantages, they can increase your organization’s competitiveness and make a positive impact. Opportunities may be largely out of your control, but you can choose to leverage them. So the major question is how to look for opportunities? Here are a list of questions that may give you insights: 1) Market • What new market segments can you explore? • Is your market growing and are there trends that will encourage people to buy more of what you are selling? • What is missing in your market? • What openings in the market are there? • What are the latest trends in the industry? • Are there upcoming events that your company may be able to take advantage to grow the business? 2) Economy and government regulations • Is the current economy going to affect you in a positive way? • Are there upcoming changes to regulations that might impact your company positively? • What potential regulation changes could help your business? 3) Technology • What technology can you use to improve operations? • Are there new technologies that the organization should be aware of? 4) Current organization’s position • What demographics are you not targeting? • Is your cost of goods going down? • Can you expand your core operations? • Do your strengths open up new opportunities? • Is there a way to acquire useful resources that you do not already have? 5) Competition • Will this project take advantage of your competitors’ weaknesses? • Can this project help in different areas of the business? • What could you create or do better than your competitors? These are some sample questions for your brainstorming. Later in lecture 14 – 16, I will introduce some techniques to analyze the opportunities in details, so that you will not miss any important external factors. Lastly, before I end this lecture, there is one more point you should bear in mind. Even though you may identify plenty of opportunities, not all of them will align with the Company’s core competencies and its business model. You need to consider carefully and be cautious if the opportunity will lead you away from your core values and competitive advantages. Therefore, it is important to capitalize the opportunities with your strengths. Under the SWOT analysis, the 4 elements, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats actually link to each other closely. 7. Threats: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 7 Threats I have already explained 3 elements in the SWOT analysis, now let me explain the last element, threats. Threats are external unfavorable factors that can negatively affect an organization and you have no control over. These include natural disasters, government policies and regulations, technological development, economic downturn, trends in the market, rising costs for materials, increasing competition, tight labour supply, shifts in market requirements, supply chain problems and so on. In fact, the 7 external factors that I covered in the last lecture, “opportunities”, each of them can also bring a threat to the organization and impact the business badly. For example, trade war between the US and China is a big threat for businesses conducting in these 2 countries, as it may affect the tariff of the imported goods, and cause import and export restriction on goods. Another example is technological advancement, while it can present you plenty of opportunities, it can also bring in more new competitors entering the market and higher customers’ expectations on your products and services. These threats are largely out of your control, however, it is vital to anticipate them and to take action against them before you suffered. For instance, you may create a contingency plan to minimize the potential damage or mitigate their effects. You may think about the challenges you faced in getting your product to market. Say, you may notice that customers are expecting higher quality standards for your products, thus to stay as the leader, you may need to suit these expectations in advance. You may also stay alert with what your competitors are doing and how organization is going to react to your competitors’ actions and initiatives. For example, if your competitors are shifting their focus from traditional retail stores to online shopping, you should seriously consider if you need to follow. However, remember not to simply copy what your competitors are doing. Sometimes what they are doing might not be the right thing for you to do so. Before copying, make sure that you know how the actions help your organization and the benefits should outweigh the costs. To identify the threats, here are some sample questions that you may consider: 1) Company in general • Is your cost of goods increasing? • Is your market size declining? • Is a supply you rely on reliable? • What outside resources and companies do you depend on? • Will suppliers always be able to supply the raw materials you need at the prices you want? 2) Competitors • How many competitors exist and what is their market share? • Can competitors easily copy your capability? • How easy for a new competitor to enter your market? • What do your competitors do well? 3) Government regulations • Are regulations changing in a way that could hurt your business? • Are there any threatening government policies or regulations? • Are there new regulations that potentially could harm your operations or products? • What new regulations threaten operations? 4) Market situation • What consumer trends threaten your business? • Is consumer behavior changing in a way that could negatively impact your business? • What social changes could threaten you? • Is the industry or market environment changing in a way that could negatively impact your business? 5) Technology • Could future developments in technology change how you do business? • What technologies could replace what we do? These are some questions for your brainstorming. Same as opportunities, later in lecture 14 – 16, I will introduce some techniques for you to identify the threats in a more systematic way, so that you will not miss any critical items. Before I end this lecture, I would like to highlight an interesting thing about threats. As discussed, threats are external factors. They are likely have an impact not only on your organization, but also the whole industry. That means if you can actually turn a threat into an opportunity and realize that opportunity, you will have the potential to pull away from the competition. When you are facing with threats, you can start by looking for the positives and the opportunities. With the right mindset, willingness to take risks and a passionate team about delivering results, you may be capable to turn threats into opportunities and enjoy a competitive advantage! 8. SWOT 2.0: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 8 - SWOT Analysis - In a traditional SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are listed in a 2x2 matrix. Each element are equal to each other. There is no mechanism to rank the significance of one factor versus another within any list. As a result, a minor weakness can balance a major strength. Without prioritization, some factors might be given too much or too little emphasis and the most relevant factors might simply be overlooked. The true impact of each factor on the objective cannot be determined. We called this traditional model as SWOT 1.0 model. To overcome this limitation, here is the SWOT 2.0 model, with prioritization of factors. The aim of the SWOT 2.0 analysis is to identify the most significant factors of the analysis from the items listed on it. So how to do it? Here is my suggested model. You may feel free to modify it as you think fit. First, let’s prioritize the internal factors, strengths and weaknesses. These 2 elements can be evaluated on 3 categories: 1. Impact – this shows how critical a strength or a weakness is for an organization in its industry as some strengths or weaknesses may be more important than others. You may assign a rating ranged from 1 to 5 based on the impact to the organization as follows: • 1 means No impact • 2 means Minimal impact • 3 means Moderate impact • 4 means Major impact • 5 means Massive impact 2. Significance – similar to impact, assign a score of 1 to 5 to each factor to indicate whether it is a minor (1) strength or a very major (5) strength for the organization. The same rating should be assigned to the weaknesses where 1 would mean a minor weakness and 5 means a very major weakness. 3. Score – after you have rated the impact and significance, multiply them and you get the score for each item. This score allows you to prioritize the strengths and weaknesses. You should rely on your most important strengths and defend your weakest parts of the organization Now let’s talk about the external factors. Opportunities and threats are prioritized slightly differently than strengths and weaknesses. Their evaluation includes: 1. Impact – this shows the extent that strengths and weaknesses. Their evaluation includes: 1. Impact – this shows the extent that Again, assign a number from the range of 1 to 5 to each item under opportunities and threats. 1 denotes no impact. whereas 5 means massive impact. 2. Probability – this shows how likely the opportunity or threat will have any impact of the business. It should be rated from 1, lowest probability, to 3 (very high probability). 3. Score – Same as the internal factors, simply multiplying impact and probability together will give you a score for prioritizing opportunities and threats. You should focus on eliminating those factors with high scores. Prioritization and evaluation are important. Say, if your Company relies mainly on one big supplier, even though you know it is difficult for them to find another supplier, this is clearly a very big weakness. It will have very significant impact on your business if this really happened. In short, the SWOT 2.0 model with prioritization of factors allow management to identify how to allocate their resources and derive strategies accordingly. The highest score require the most attention whereas those which score least should be ignored as they are not likely affect the business. 9. How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis?: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 9 - How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis? SWOT analysis looks simple. Some people think at most one or two hours should be more than plenty. For me, a SWOT analysis does not happen in a single meeting. It should include 4 major steps. 1) Gather the right people 2) Conduct briefing and invite for preparation 3) Brainstorming session 4) Finalization Let me elaborate each of the major step. 1) First Step – Gather the right people First, gather people from different aspects of your company to join the SWOT analysis. In order to decide who to be involved, you need to identify the purpose of the SWOT analysis first. A SWOT analysis can be focused on your Company as a whole, or focus on specific aspects, products, services, projects, functions or processes. The clearer the purpose, the more effective and actionable your analysis results are likely to be. The reason is this purpose helps you to determine what preparation is necessary, including who to be involved, the areas to be focused and so on. If the SWOT analysis is targeted on the Company as a whole, for the best results, make sure that you have representatives from every department and team, say from sales, customer service, marketing, product development, supply chain, IT and Finance. The collective knowledge from the diverse mix of people will enable the Company to learn from entirely different perspectives and analyze the business from all sides. This is an essential criteria for conducting an effective SWOT analysis. In short, the more perspectives you can include related to your analysis, the better. If your SWOT analysis is not focused on the Company as a whole, but just a situation, a project, a product or a function, then you can gather a group of members that are directly responsible for that situation assessment in the Company and can take action on the results. Thus in order to determine who should be involved, do identify the purpose first. 2) Second Step – Conduct briefing and invite for preparation - Now you should have the list of people involved in the SWOT analysis. Before collecting their feedback, you should brief them on the purpose and process prior to the formal meeting, so that they can prepare in advance for the coming brainstorming session. It will be helpful to define clearly the definition of the 4 major areas in the SWOT analysis, in order to avoid misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Invite them to independently analyze each of the four elements before the meeting. 3) Third Step - Brainstorming session - On the brainstorming date, each participant is encouraged to share their individual comments and ideas. A relaxed, friendly, open and constructive setting will facilitate this process. You can adopt any types of brainstorming techniques to draw the ideas for each of the 4 elements for the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. No matter what techniques you are using, the key is don’t evaluate or judge the input until you obtained all the ideas, otherwise, you will discourage people to share their ideas with you freely. One of my favorite technique is using sticky notes. In the first 5 to 10 minutes of the meeting, I suggest giving everyone a pad of sticky-notes and have everyone quietly generate ideas on their own to start things off. This prevents groupthink and ensures that all voices are heard. This is particularly important for the discussion part on weaknesses. This is because many staff may not be willing to voice out the weaknesses in front of the founders, owners or management. However, the more honest the team about the Company’s weaknesses, the better prepared your organization will be for the coming challenges. Thus by use of sticky notes, everyone can write down their comments anonymously. After 5 to 10 minutes, put all the sticky notes up on the wall and group similar ideas together. Allow anyone to add additional notes at this point if someone else’s idea sparks a new thought. If there are any points which seem to be vague, invite people to discuss the items in more details freely. Once all of the ideas are organized, it is time to rank the items based on importance and priority. Sometimes people may be hesitate to put their hands up for voting. To avoid this embarrassing moments, you can give everyone 5 or 10 “sticky dots” in different colors as a means of votes. Based on this voting exercise, you should have a prioritized list of ideas. The top 5 items can form the preliminary SWOT analysis. There is no need to have an excessive list of factors for each element. It will be better to finalize this preliminary analysis in the next meeting. One point to note is that for those non-top 5 items, there is no need to throw away. Though you are not going to focus on them now, keep this list for future reference. What is less important now may become critical in the future, and you need to be aware of that possibility. You can always rearrange your list or come back to an item later. Or you can revisit these items in your next review of the SWOT analysis. 4) Last Step - Finalization People may have new insights on the preliminary SWOT analysis following the brainstorming meeting. Thus you should arrange a follow-up meeting with all the participants, say a week after the brainstorming session. Take out the preliminary SWOT analysis and invite for new comments. If this preliminary SWOT is accepted, then proceed to prioritize each factor under the SWOT analysis for better allocation of resources. You may follow my suggestion in last lecture, Advanced SWOT. Rate the impact and significance of each strength and weakness; as well as the impact and possibility of each opportunity and threat. Remember to quantify them to make them measurable and easy comparable. After that, re-arrange the orders of the items in the SWOT analysis and you will get the advanced SWOT analysis. Lastly, check the following items and finalize the SWOT analysis: 1. Ensure there are only 3 – 5 items for each element. All items are based on facts, not opinions. 2. Ensure the items are clearly define and specific. Never settle with just one word or two. For example, if an organization simply write, “brand reputation”, this is considered as vague. However, “strong brand reputation” will look more precise and “Reputation valued at $10 billion, which is the most valued brand in the market. This is considered as clearly define and specific. 3. The items are prioritized. This will determine how importance each item is. 4. All the factors are action-oriented and can derive a follow-up strategy. For example, “slow response to customer’s enquiry” is action-oriented weakness. Once the above is done, the SWOT analysis is prepared. 10. Introduction to Advanced Techniques for SWOT Analysis: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 10 Introduction to Advanced Techniques for SWOT analysis - In my previous lectures, I have explained each of the 4 elements of the SWOT analysis and have recommended some samples questions to facilitate your analysis of each one. I have also introduced the workshop format for brainstorming the factors in these 4 areas. However, this approach is not rigorous and can be too informal to make a comprehensive SWOT analysis. There is a risk of missing significant factors. A better approach is to use formal techniques to derive the SWOT analysis. This ensures all the relevant areas are considered and the key issues are identified. Basically, SWOT analysis focuses on 2 parts: internal capability and external business environment. Assessing the internal capabilities helps the organizations to understand their core skills. This will facilitate them to derive relevant and appropriate courses of actions to strive for a higher chance of success. Meanwhile, understand their internal weaknesses is of equal importance. There is little point for any organizations to put too much reliance on this area. To examine the internal capabilities, there are 3 formal techniques: (1) MOST analysis, (2) Resource Audit; and (3) BCG matrix. I will talk about each of them in the Lecture 11 – 13. For external business environment, an organization should also monitor regularly to identify any influences that may require action. They should timely address the changes that have arisen, or can be predicted to be arisen, within their operating business environment. Failure to do so will certainly runs the risk of encountering business problems, which may lead to serious consequence. To examine the business environment, there are 2 formal techniques, namely, PESTLE analysis and Porter’s Five Forces analysis. the business environment, there are 2 formal techniques, namely, PESTLE analysis and Porter’s Five Forces analysis. These 5 formal techniques are great techniques to be used for SWOT analysis. If you just use one technique, there may be some gaps in understanding the complete picture of the organizations. Using all these 5 techniques together, you can analysis the internal and external factors of an organization without leaving any key factors. You can then produce an enhanced and more comprehensive SWOT analysis with clear sources. The items listed in the SWOT analysis will all be the key issues. They should be examined in details and form the basis for the organizations’ strategies. 11. MOST Analysis: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 11 MOST Analysis – Technique 1 for Assessing Internal Resources - MOST Analysis stands for Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics. Let me briefly explain what these 4 elements mean. 1. Mission - Mission refers to the rationale and direction for the organization. It should be the answer to the question, “What do you do?”. The more specific your mission is, the easier you will define the remaining elements when using this technique. Now take an example. Suppose you own a car repair service shop. Compare the following 2 missions, which one is more specific? a) My mission is to provide the best possible car repair services that impress each customer who comes through the door.  This mission might sound good but it is not specific enough to give you any direction to go on. b) My mission is to become the top car repair service shop with an average customer rating of 5 stars in my city.  This mission is more tangible and it is easier to you to assess if you have reached your goal. Obviously, mission B is much more specific. 2. Objective - Objective means the goal that the organization aims to achieve. In other words, mission is actually formed by adding up the individual goals together. Objectives should follow the SMART guideline, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and with time-bound. This will allow you to evaluate if your objectives are achieved. Continued with the previous example, you need to highlight objectives that will outline how you can become the top car repair service shop in the city. For example, you may say the following 3 objectives: a) To grow sales by 10% each month from Jan to June this year. b) To attract 60 customers to switch from your competitors in 3 months. c) To receive 100 customer’s ratings of 5 stars in 3 months. 3. Strategy - Strategy represents your plans and actions in order to reach your objectives. It is the high-level decision that shapes what should be done and how. The strategies should be specific and actionable. Continue with the example that I have been using, here are some sample business strategies that could be done: a) Launch a promotion program to attract new customers switching from your competitors, say maybe a 20% discount for their first order b) Place more advertisement on car magazines c) Offer benefits to customers who take the time to provide suggestions for your services 4. Tactic - Tactic is the detailed plans and actions that will deliver the strategy. It figures out how to implement the decision in practice. It should be the specific details that will guide your daily daily activities. Say, if you are going to post an advertisement on the car magazine, some tactics would include designing the advertisement, choosing the target magazine etc. Therefore, a MOST analysis is used to analyze what an organization has set out to achieve, that is the mission and objectives; and how it aims to achieve these by the strategy and tactics. A MOST analysis provides a statement of intent for the organization, and is usually created following some strategic analytical activities. It is also used during the strategy analysis, since it can demonstrate strength within the organization or expose inherent weaknesses. MOST Analysis is conducted as a part of an internal environment analysis to identify areas of strength expose fundamental weaknesses in an organization. This is done by evaluating 4 main areas, definition, clarity, communication and organizational commitment. I will quote some sample questions for your reference here. 1. Definition • Is there a well-defined MOST for the organization? • Is it complete and consistent? • Are there any elements missing or out of alignment with each other? • Does each part include all relevant information? 2. Clarity • Does the MOST set out a clear direction and a plan that will enable the organization’s development? • Does the MOST provide a focus for the work carried out? • Can achievement against the MOST be measured? 3. Communication - • Are the staff aware of the MOST? • Is it available as a context for the work they do? • Have the staff been trained to master the work? 4. Organizational commitment • Do the staff work to deliver the MOST? • Do they agree with the content of the MOST and are they supportive of its intent? • Are areas working together delivering the MOST? If the answer to any of these question is “yes”, there are potential strengths in the organization. For example, the clear definition and planning in the MOST can help to motivate the staff working towards the agreed set of objectives. On the contrary, if the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then there is a potential for weakness in the organization. For example, the senior management may have defined the MOST, but the staff might not agree with the direction and objectives, and as a result might not be motivated to deliver them. MOST analysis can be a tricky technique to use when assessing internal resources. Do remember that only defining and displaying a coherent MOST does not necessarily result in buy-in and motivation of staff. Strength is gained when the MOST provides a clear focus and direction for the organization. Where there is no clarity or agreement, the MOST may indicate some the MOST may indicate some fundamental weaknesses. Also, simply defining a coherent MOST analysis will not result in successful change, it should be used with the SWOT analysis and other techniques I covered in the class. 12. Resource Audit: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 12 Resource Audit – Technique 2 for Assessing Internal Resources - Understanding what you have available to you as a business owner or manager is a crucial part of the overall puzzle. If you don’t know what resources you have at your disposal, you have no way to making good decisions that maximize your opportunities while minimizing your risks. Resource audit is a technique to assess the resources that will enable business change and those that will undermine or prevent such efforts. In other words, it helps to identify areas of strength and weakness in an organization. To conduct a resource audit, you need to go through everything that your business or organization has available to it. These resources can take on many forms, including both tangible and non-tangible. In general, there are 5 areas of resources to be examined: financial, physical, human, reputation and know-know. I will briefly talk about each resource and provide you some sample questions for your reference. 1) Financial – Financial resource audit includes analysis and listing out sources and uses of financial resources, capital structure, working capital, accounts receivables, control of debtors and creditors, loans, cost of capital, credit terms, relationship among shareholders, bankers etc. We should consider whether the organization is financially stable, and whether it has access to funds for investment and development. Sample questions include: • Does the organization have access to financial resources that will facilitate the development of of new products or services? • Is it in financial difficulty, lacking the ability to invest in new products or services? • What kind of short-term and long-term financing does the organization have access to? The review of financial resources should be conducted on an ongoing basis. You should keep finding more efficient ways to use your money, to ensure every dollar spent is worthwhile. 2) Physical – These are things like the land, buildings, warehouse, machines, vehicles, equipment and stock available for use, whether owned or leased. It can also include office location and work condition. For physical audit, the assessment should be made in terms of their potential benefits by examining their age, condition, location, capabilities, etc, instead of their numbers and book values. You may assess the resource by the following sample questions: • Does the organization have access to land and buildings that will provide a basis for the development of new products or services? • Is some of the space in your buildings going unused, or being wasted on an unnecessary purpose? • What is the age, condition and utilization rate of your machines? Are they technologically up to date? When you take the time to review everything that you do and how you use what you have, you might be surprised to notice inefficiencies where you didn’t think any existed before. 3) Human – the people employed by the organization, whether on a permanent or a temporary basis. In every company, payroll should take up the largest part in the overheads. It is important to ensure that you get the most out of each individual staff. Human resource audit includes assessing, verifying and listing out the number of employees, their skill, age, qualification, knowledge and capability. Here are some sample questions for assessment: • Are the people working within the organization motivated to deliver excellent products and services, or are they demotivated? • Have your organization encourage exploration and collaboration of your staff, and provide opportunities for their development? • Are there programs in place to align management incentives with the long-term interests of the organization? 4) Reputation – the marketplace perception of the organization and the amount of goodwill. This includes the brand image, customer loyalty, relations, public image about the firm, quality and reliable service etc. You may brainstorm new ideas from this question: • Does the organization have a reputation that will support the development of the market for its products and services, or is the brand devaluated in a way that will hinder these efforts? 5) Know-how – the information held within the organization and the way it is used to support the organization’s work, including patent, trademark, intellectual properties and techniques. You may evaluate by the following questions: • Does management have the ability to generate and share relevant and timely information within the organization? • Does management have the ability to easily collect and analyze information from within the organization to support strategic decision making? • Can our current knowledge base support the organization? Here is a simple resource audit example for a small advertising company: 1) Financial – good financial control and stability. Gross profit margin around 40%, no deficiency in assets, cash balance is able to support 15-month operation use, good payment history from customers with no default, enjoy 60 days of credit terms from suppliers. 2) Physical – office leased in prime commercial area, very high rental cost. Most software and programs are cloud-based and staff can access them anywhere easily, however, except for the senior level staff, most staff do not have a laptop and only rely on desktops, of which many of these have been used for 3 – 4 years. 3) Human – 30 staff in office, including 3 senior management and 8 departments. The average age of the staff are around 30 years old. All staff are very motivated and committed to the Company. Most staff qualified and highly-skilled in their work. 4) Reputation – The Company has established for 3 years but have already got several marketing awards. Most of the customers are small to medium-sized companies focused on retailing industry. It is not yet well-known to other customer segments. 5) Know-how – Company relies heavily on traditional software to make online and TV promotion materials, videos and advertisements. High technology applications such as Artificially Intelligence have not yet been used. As you can see from my example, this technique can highlight where there are strengths that will facilitate the Company to improve; and where there are weaknesses that could hinder the Company’s success. Business is all about resources. Taking what you have available to you, and making it work in a way that gets you closer to your goals, is really the name of the game. The organizations that play this game the best, or precisely, get the highest possible production returns from these resources, are usually the leaders in the market. Resources audit can be used to examine internal resources at many different levels, ranging from the whole organization to a department or a team. With the results, you can try to devise new ways to improve the resource utilization over time. Lastly, of course, it is a great technique to be used for assessing the internal factors in SWOT analysis. 13. BCG Matrix: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 13 BCG matrix – Technique 3 for Assessing Internal Resources - In the last 2 lectures, I introduced the MOST analysis and the Resource Audit. Now here is the third technique for assessing the internal environment of the organization. The Boston Consulting Group Matrix (BCG Matrix), is also referred to as the product portfolio matrix. It is a business planning tool used to evaluate the current position of a firm’s brand portfolio. The BCG Matrix classifies a firm’s product and services into a two-by-two matrix. Each cell is classified as low or high performance, depending on the relative market share and market growth rate. These four cells have been called as stars, cash cows, question marks and dogs. Each of these cells represents a particular type of business. 1. Stars: Products with high market growth and a high market share. 2. Cash cows: Products with low market growth but a high market share. 3. Question marks: Products with high market growth but a low market share. 4. Dogs: Products with low market growth and a low market share. Now let me elaborate more about each type of business. 1. Stars - Stars represent business units having large market share in a fast growing industry. They may generate large amount of cash flows. However, because of fast growing market, stars require huge investments to maintain their leadership position. Net cash flow is usually modest. Over time the market growth will slow down for these products, and if they maintain their relative market share, they will become cash cows. 2. Cash Cows - Cash Cows represent business units having a large market share in a slow growing industry. These are mature, successful products that can be sustained without large amount of investment. They are usually the core businesses of an organization. Cash flows generated by cash cows are high and are generally used to finance stars and question marks. 3. Question Marks - Question marks represent business units having low relative market share and are located in a high growth industry. They require huge amount of cash to maintain or increase their market share. These businesses are generally new goods and services which have a good commercial prospective. Investments are typically funded by cash flows from the cash cows. If question marks succeed, they have the potential to turn into stars, however, if they failed, they end up becoming dogs when the market growth declines. 4. Dogs - Dogs represent businesses having weak market shares in an unattractive, low-growth markets. These businesses have weak market share because of high costs, poor quality, ineffective marketing, etc. These businesses have weak market share because of high costs, poor quality, ineffective marketing, etc. should be minimized in an organization. The BCG matrix is used to assess an organization’s products and services according to their market shares and their market growth prospects. The portfolio of products and services is examined and classified under this BCG matrix. Based on the classification, different strategies can be formed and resources can be allocated accordingly. In general, the strategy is to milk the cows, don't waste money on the dogs, invest in the stars and give the question marks some experimental funds to see if they can become stars. However, there are also limitations for the BCG matrix. In particular, there are 3 major drawbacks: 1. Large market share does not always mean high profits. High costs may also be involved with large market share. 2. Growth rate and relative market share are not the only indicators for management to consider strategies. This model ignores the profitability and profit margin concerns. 3. For small businesses and segments, it is difficult to identify the market share, so the model seems to be more applicable for large businesses. Despite of the limitations, in terms of SWOT analysis, the BCG matrix is also a helpful technique. It helps to identify strengths and weaknesses of the Company. 14. PESTLE Analysis Part 1 : Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 14 PESTLE analysis Part 1 – Technique 1 for Assessing External Resources SWOT analysis includes both internal and external factors. After introducing the formal techniques for scanning the internal environment, now let’s turn our focus to external environment. External environment can be viewed as 2 parts. The first part is on macro environmental factors such as economy, government, society and technology; whereas the second part are related to those factors directly interacted with your organization, such as suppliers, customers, competitors etc. In this lecture, I will focus on assessing the macro environmental factors first. In lecture 16, I will talk about those factors directly interacted with your businesses. To assess the macro factors of an organization, PESTLE analysis is the best tool. PESTLE Analysis helps you to evaluate the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental changes that will have massive impact on your business environment. It provides a framework for investigating and analyzing these macro environmental factors on every business. The 6 key areas analyzed under this model are all a must to consider from time to time. PESTLE analysis is a very great tool to be used together with the SWOT analysis. Now I will discuss the six areas covered under this model one by one. 1. Political – It accounts for all the influences that a government may have upon the business environment, including political stability, new government initiatives, potential change of government, tax reforms, fiscal policies, trade restrictions, foreign trade policy and corruption. These factors all need to be considered when assessing the attractiveness of a potential market. To identify political factors, here are some sample questions you may consider: • When is the country's next local, state, or national election? Will this change any government or regional policies and how? • In what ways are the pending legislation or taxation changes affect your business, either positively or negatively? • How does government approach corporate policy, corporate social responsibility, environmental issues, and customer protection legislation? What impact does this have, and is it likely to change? Second. 2. Economic – This includes all indicators of economic performance. Examples are inflation rates, interest rates, economic growth, taxation, exchange rates, international trade, labour costs, customer disposable income, unemployment rates, credit availability, monetary policies and raw material cost. These factors affects the purchasing power of consumers and the cost of sales. So they may have a direct or indirect long term impact on a company. They may change demand and supply trends in the economy. Thus they also affect your pricing strategies for your products and services. Here are some sample questions you may think carefully: • How does each economic factor impact our pricing, revenues, and costs? • Are key exchange rates stable, or do they tend to vary significantly? • Are customers' levels of disposable income rising or falling? How is this likely to change in the coming few years? • What is the unemployment rate? Will it be easy to build a skilled workforce? Or will it be expensive to hire skilled labor? 3. Social – This part includes the analysis of cultural trends, demographic information, age distribution and attitudes arising from existing customers or potential customers. Population trends such as the population growth rate, age distribution, income distribution, career attitudes, safety emphasis, health awareness, lifestyle attitudes and cultural barriers are all under this category. These factors are especially important when businesses are evaluating their targeting customers and market segments. To identify these factors, you may do some research on the following questions: • What is the population's growth rate and age profile? How is this likely to change? • What are your society's levels of health, education, and social mobility? How are these changing, and what impact does this have? • What employment patterns, job market trends, and attitudes towards work can you observe? Are these different for different age groups? • How do our consumer’s values and beliefs impact on their buying habits? Fourth. 4. Technological – This area comes from the development in technology and communication, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality technology, Internet of Things, blockchain and automation etc. These intelligence, virtual reality technology, Internet of Things, blockchain and automation etc. These or to outsource production activities abroad. By knowing what is going on technological-wise, you may prevent your company from wasting lot of money on developing a technology that would become obsolete very soon due to disruptive technological advancement elsewhere. To identify technological factors, here are some sample questions for your consideration: • What innovations and technological advancements that you could be using? • Are there any new technologies on the horizon that could affect your work or your industry? • Do any of your competitors have access to new technologies that could redefine their products? 5. Legal – This refers to the laws, policies and regulations that directly impact your operation and business decisions, such as discrimination laws, antitrust laws, employment laws, consumer protection laws, copyright and patent laws, data protection laws, health and safety laws. It is clear that companies should know what is legal and what is not legal in order to trade successfully and ethically. Remember that some laws may have worldwide impact, such as the UK Bribery Law, Foreign Corruption Practices Act and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act in the USA. You may ask the following questions to uncover possible factors: • What regulations and laws apply to our business? • Do they help or hinder our business? • Do we understand the laws across all our markets? 6. Environmental – Environmental factors are becoming more and more important due to the increasing scarcity of raw materials, pollution targets and carbon footprint targets set by governments. These factors include ecological and environmental aspects such as weather, environmental offsets and climate change, which may especially affect industries such as tourism, farming, agriculture and insurance. Furthermore, increasing awareness of the potential impacts on climate change is affecting how companies operate and what kinds of products they offer. This has led to many companies getting more and more involved in practices such as corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Here are some sample questions that you may consider: • How does our physical environment affect us and vice versa? • What are the effects of climate, weather or geographical location? • Are we prepared for future environmental targets? In this lecture, I have explained the 6 key elements of PESTLE and how to identify the relevant factors. In the next lecture, I will talk about the important points you should bear in mind, in order to have an effective PESTLE analysis.   15. PESTLE Analysis Part 2: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 15 PESTLE Analysis Part 2 – Technique 1 for Assessing External Resources PESTLE Analysis is a great technique to facilitate you to prepare a comprehensive analysis on the macro environmental factors affecting the business. PESTLE stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental. In the last lecture, I explained each of these 6 elements and how to assess them. In this lecture, I will talk about three important points that you should remember when you are using this great technique. First, the PESTLE analysis is usually used in a meeting or workshop where several ideas and opinions can be sought. It is better that representatives from a range of functions should attend the meeting, so that each of them can provide specialist information and explain the level of impact on the businesses. For example, legal representatives would be able to provide information about changes to relevant laws and regulations. Finance or research representatives can explain the financial trends and its impact on the organization. It is also a good idea for departmental representatives to research any aspects that may impact the organization prior to the discussion. Second, when we are using the PESTLE technique, it is important to remember that the factors analyzed must meet 2 conditions: (1) They are out of control of the organization; and (2) They have some level of impact on the organization. Meanwhile, sometimes some factors may be overlapped, particularly in political and legal areas, such as the labour law and the minimum require wages. It is not necessary or of little benefit to spend time arguing the correct classification of these factors. During the PESTLE analysis, the focus should be on identifying and assessing external factors but not on deciding what to do about these factors. Third, remember that although PESTLE is focused on external environment, if your subject matter is a department, a team or a project, some factors can be an internal factor to the businesses as a whole, but would be an external factor to these subject matters. Say, assume your subject matter is human resources function. Because of the poor financial results under the Covid-19 pandemic, Finance Department determined to freeze the headcount or even cut the salaries, these are factors outside the control of human resources function, and thus can be regarded as external factors. these are factors outside the control of human resources function, and thus can be regarded as external factors. Thus the subject matter will affect the factors you are considering. Now let me conclude these 2 lectures. The PESTLE analysis is an easy to use technique. Typically, each element will be considered in turn and any potential issues for that area are documented. Once all the elements have been considered, the factors listed are evaluated in order to identify those which are mostly likely to have significant impact on the organization. This results in a list of key external influences, either opportunities or threats, which could cause the organization to take action. Therefore, PESTLE analysis is very helpful in preparing the opportunities and threats under the SWOT analysis. However, these 2 techniques have different areas of focus. PESTLE Analysis looks at "big picture" factors that might influence a decision a market, or a potential new business. SWOT Analysis explores these factors at a business, product-line or product level. As a result, these tools complement one another and are often used together. 16. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 16 Porter’s Five Forces Analysis – Technique 2 for Assessing External Resources In the last lecture, I talked about how to analyze the macro factors in the external environment. In this lecture, we will look at those external forces that interact with the organization directly, such as the suppliers, customers, new entrants, competitors and substitutes. These relationships are well-presented in the Porter’s 5 Forces model. Porter's Five Forces model analyzes the five competitive forces that shape every industry. It is used to identify an industry's structure, strengths and weaknesses for determining the corporate strategy. Same as the PESTLE analysis, it is often used to assess the external business environment. While PESTLE analysis focuses on the macro environmental factors, Porter’s Five Forces Model focuses more on the industry or market of a particular product or service. The five forces are often used to measure competition intensity, attractiveness, and profitability of an industry or market. Before I talk about these 5 forces, you should first determine which industry or business the organization operates within. This is extremely important when using this technique, as the results will vary considerably depending on the industry. For example, if we are analyzing a company selling expensive diamond watches, it is possible to look at the market from at least 2 points of views: 1) We could consider the company to be in the business of designing and selling watches. In this case, the competitors are the other luxury watches companies. The substitutes can be other types of non- high-end watches. The industry is limited to products of a particular nature, a particular nature, 2) We could also consider the company to be in the business of providing luxury products. In this case the competitors include all types of luxury products, not only watches, but also perfumes, jewelry and handbags. The industry is much larger, the potential market is greater and the range of pressures that may impact the Company is more extensive. Now let me define the industry to be only the watch industry. I will explain the 5 forces and use this as an example throughout this lecture. 1) Industry competitors This refers to the number of competitors and the ability to undercut a company. The larger the number of competitors, along with the number of equivalent products and services they offered, the smaller the power of a company. When competition is low, a company has greater power to charge higher prices and set the terms of deals to achieve higher sales and profits. For this aspect, you may consider the following questions: • How many rivals do you have? • Who are they, and how does the quality of their products and services compared with yours? • What is the level of competition for the products or services in this industry? • Is the organization in a good competitive position or is it a minor player? In our luxury watch example, the competition is not intense as there are only a few rivals selling luxury diamond watches. Our brand is very strong with a long established history of over 100 years. It is one of the market leaders. 2) New entrants - A company's power is affected by the force of new entrants into its market. An industry with strong barriers to entry, allows the existing companies to charge higher prices. On the contrary, if it costs little time and money to enter a market, the power of the Company would be small. You may use the following questions to analyze this aspect: • Are there any barriers to entry, such as the need for a large amount of money or expertise? • Is it possible to start up an organization offering these products or services without much financial support? • What is the likelihood of new entrants coming into the industry? Back to our example, to enter the luxury watch industry, it is very difficult as it requires significant amount of investment and many high-quality technicians to design and produce the diamond watch. Also, obtaining the international recognition from the industry is very difficult. 3) Substitutes This refers to the threat of being replaced by other goods or services. Companies that produce goods or services for which there are no close substitutes will have greater power to increase prices and enjoy favorable terms. When close substitutes are available, customers may switch to another product, thus a company's power can be weakened. You may think about the following questions for your analysis: • What is the range of substitutes available? • What is the position of the organization when compared to the suppliers of these substitutes? In our example, there are a lot of substitutes if the customers do not insist to have diamond watches. There are a wide variety of watches to choose from, from low-end to high-end products. 4) Customers - This means the bargaining power of the customers to drive the prices down. It is affected by how many customers a company has, how significant each customer is and how much it would cost to find new customers. If the Company has many small, independent customers, it is much easier to charge higher price. To analyze this aspect, you may consider the following questions: • How many choices do customers have? • Can they switch suppliers easily? • Do they have the power in the relationship or are they locked in to the supplier? In our example of diamond watch, most of the customers are individual, small customers. They do not have much bargaining powers. They are very loyal to our brand and are not easily to switch to other brands. 5) Suppliers This force means the bargaining power of suppliers to increase their prices. It is affected by the number of suppliers providing the key inputs of a good or service, how unique these inputs are, and how much it would cost a company to switch to another supplier. When there are many suppliers or low switching costs, a company can keep its input costs lower and enjoys higher profit margin. On the other hand, if the Company only relies on one supplier, then it is highly risky. So for this part, you may consider the following questions: • How many potential suppliers do you have? • How unique is the product or service that they provide? • How expensive would it be to switch from one supplier to another? Back to our example of diamond watch, as we rely on very high quality of diamonds and the suppliers need to comply with a set of very strict industry requirements, currently there are only 2 suppliers who can fulfill our requirements. Therefore, they have strong bargaining power and they can influence our cost of sales strongly. As you can see from my explanation and the example of the luxury diamond watch, Porter’s 5 forces model helps the organization to identify the external factors that closely interacted with the organization positively or negatively. In other words, this model helps to find out the opportunities and threats in the SWOT model. Together with the PESTLE analysis focusing on the macro environment, these 2 models provide a comprehensive assessment on the external environment facing by the Company. 17. Strategy Formation and Implementation: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 17 Lecture 17 In the previous lectures, I explained the 5 formal techniques to assess the external and internal environmental factors, namely MOST analysis, Resource Audit, BCG Matrix, PESTLE Analysis and Porter’s Five Forces Analysis. The findings and results can be summarized into the SWOT analysis. You can then obtain a comprehensive picture showing the current position of the business, without missing any significant factors. Remember that an analysis is not useful, unless it can help you to form action points and develop your strategies. The primary objective of a SWOT analysis is to help organizations to be fully aware of all the factors involved in making a business decision. With the SWOT analysis, you can leverage the organization’s strengths and opportunities to overcome weaknesses and threats. You can formulate the action plan and strategies to address the short-term or urgent concerns identified during the analysis. SWOT analysis also helps you to allocate the resources, time and energy appropriately. So in the coming lectures, I will further explain how to make use of the SWOT analysis to generate more ideas and to formulate strategies. You will learn the Ansoff’s matrix to help you to develop the growth strategies for your products and services. After the action plan has been formed, it is important to evaluate the strategies and consider the issues during the implementation of these actions. In particular, we should recognize the areas that need to be coordinated to ensure the business changes are executed successfully. So in lecture 21 – 23, I will introduce 2 formal approaches, namely the McKinsey 7-S model as well as the POPIT model, to be used during the action plan implementation. These 2 techniques may be conducted separately or in conjunction with each other. These models do not resolve issues, nor do they give you a guideline for implementing business strategies. However, they help to identify all the areas that should be aware of and the actions to be taken. They facilitate you to cross-check all of the changes and ensure all actions are appropriate, consistent, complete, coherent and align with each other. Finally after understanding these techniques, you can then use the Key Performance Indicators to keep monitoring the performance after the implementation of these actions and strategies. I will explain this in Lecture 24 and 25. Of course, you should carry out regular evaluation and modify any strategies from time to time, especially when there are significant changes in either the internal or external environment. This will be the whole cycle for strategy formation and implementation. 18. New SWOT Analysis: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 18 New SWOT Analysis Traditionally, in the SWOT analysis, Strengths and Weaknesses focus on the internal qualities of an organization, whereas the Opportunities and Threats focus on their external influences. In an article published by Harvard Business Review in year 2020, it pointed out that the strengths and weaknesses of other organizations were also highly relevant, and might have a significant impact on your businesses. Thus, it suggested organizations should examine 2 additional factors: others’ strengths and other’s weaknesses. Critically, it also acknowledged 2 ideas: 1. The strengths of an organization might actually pose a threat to it; 2. The weaknesses might present opportunities This new SWOT actually encourages us to think flexibly and challenges our assumptions. In the current fast evolving economy, with the new technologies, new markets and various changing circumstances, the perceived opportunities may quickly turn into threats; or vice versa. For instance, under the lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, in many countries, dine inside restaurants were not allowed and you could only order take-away. This posed a threat to many restaurants. On the other hand, this also increased the demand for food delivery service. If your restaurant was capable of providing such service to your customers, this would be a great opportunity. Meanwhile, nowadays many small companies can also find ways to turn deficiencies into advantages or to leverage the scale and capabilities of larger competitors against them. For instance, big companies usually provide standardized service and this provides them an advantage of enjoying lower operational costs. In this case, the big companies’ strength presents an opportunity for other companies. Say, small companies can provide more tailor-made service and capture the market share of a special niche market. This new SWOT actually brings out that the idea that things may be what they seem or may be the opposite, depending on the situation. Strengths may turn into weaknesses, whereas threats may turn into opportunities; or the opposite. Therefore, to analyze a factor, it will be better not to classify whether the factor represents strengths or weakness; opportunities or threats at an early stage, but instead be open and think over the two sides. You may challenge yourself and think about the following questions: 1) How can your organizations’ strengths constitute threats in the future? 2) How can your organization’s weaknesses bring future opportunities? 3) How can your competitor’s strengths present opportunities for your organization? 4) How can your competitor’s weaknesses constitute future threats? You may brainstorm these questions with your team. In this way, you may find more possibilities that otherwise might never occur to you. However, for forming strategies, still the classic SWOT analysis is of high importance. You may regard this new SWOT analysis as a technique to generate more ideas and give you more insights on deriving your strategies. This new SWOT is also a good way to facilitate your organization to get prepared for the upcoming fast changing economy. 19. What to Do After Your SWOT Analysis: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 19 What to Do After Your SWOT Analysis Completing the SWOT analysis is not the end of strategy formation. Pure understanding your current position is not enough. The valuable part is to make use of the analysis and derive your strategies. In this lecture, I will talk about what you should do after the SWOT analysis. First, same as preparing for the SWOT analysis, you should gather the right group of people for brainstorming strategies. It will be better to invite the same group of people to discuss the action plan and strategies based on the SWOT analysis. There are 2 steps involved: (1) To form action plans and strategies; (2) To prioritize your action plans. Step 1 – To form action plans and strategies Start with your objective, you can go through 2 levels to derive your strategies. Level 1 – the Basic Level - You can identify how you can make use of each element listed in the SWOT analysis and what actions you should do. For example, you may consider the following questions: • Which opportunities should you pursue? • How can you use your strengths to help you to succeed? • Which weaknesses can be worked on to maximize your success? • What threats should you learn more about or monitor more closely? What can you do to prepare for the threats? Ideally, for each of the factor listed on your final SWOT analysis, you should try to create a follow-up action or a strategy. To be precise, you should build on your strengths, boost your weaker areas, exploit every opportunity and head off any threats. Level 2 – The Advanced Level - Instead of studying each element separately, you can look for potential connections between the 4 main elements of your matrix. For instance, different factors can work together to balance each other out. Say, you may consider: • How can you use some of your strengths to improve your weaknesses? • How can you take advantage of opportunities to neutralize your threats? Another situation is 2 elements may complement each other. For example, you may think: • Could you leverage your strengths to better take advantage of opportunities or open up more opportunities? • Would even more opportunities become available by eliminating some of your weaknesses? • Can improvement of your weaknesses helps in minimizing any potential impact of threats? In this course, I would like to suggest you a powerful formula to form your strategy. Here it is: Given the condition of [external factor], our ability to [have this internal factor] leads to our recommendation that we [will take this action]. Let me use the current poor economy under the Covid-19 pandemic as an example. • Given the condition of the current economy downturn, our ability to implement cost saving measures over our competitors leads to our recommendation that we can reduce the selling price. • Given the condition of the current poor economy under the pandemic, our ability to maintain strong relationships throughout our distribution channel leads to our recommendation that we can offer discounts to our channel partners to help them overcome the current obstacles. • Given the condition of our current poor economy under Covid-19 pandemic, our low brand recognition leads to our suggestion that we should reduce marketing and promotional efforts on this brand and shift to other stronger brands. Using this formula, similarly, you can form many different strategies. Sometimes you may notice that some external factors may not directly link to an internal factor, thus it may be difficult to find a recommendation. In this case, do take some time to think and invite your team to brainstorm together. Step 2 – To prioritize your action plans. Now assume you already have a long list of action items. What you need to do is to prioritize them, so that you know how to focus your resources, time and energy. But how to prioritize them? My suggestion is to evaluate the impact and the ease of implementation for each action. You may use the below scale and rate each action item, and finally you will get the score for each action item. Impact – from a range of 1 to 5: • 1 – no impact • 2 – minimal impact • 3 – moderate impact • 4 – major impact • 5 – massive impact Ease of implementation – from a scale of 1 to 5 • 1 – Not at all easy • 2 – somewhat easy • 3 – moderately easy • 4 – very easy • 5 – extremely easy Now multiply the impact with the ease of implementation. The higher the score, the higher should be its priority. Re-arrange all the action points based on this method. Finally add the milestone, time schedule and target completion date, you then get your completed list of action plan and you are ready to go! 20. Ansoff’s Matrix: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 20 Ansoff’s Matrix – Technique for Strategy Formation SWOT analysis shows the current position of the Company. After the SWOT analysis, the Company should determine the strategies to stay competitiveness, particularly formulating the growth strategies with its products and services. Ansoff’s Matrix can help businesses in this aspect. Ansoff’s matrix identifies and evaluates opportunities for companies to increase sales and growth revenue. It helps companies to set up its growth objectives for their products and services. The Matrix has 4 different growth strategies as follows: 1) Market Penetration – This means achieving growth by selling current products to current markets. Risk level is low. 2) Market Development – This refers to achieving growth by creating new markets for current products. This carries moderate risk. But product development. 3) Product Development – This represents achieving growth by developing new products for current markets. This involves medium risk. 4) Diversification – This means achieving growth by developing new products for new markets. This incurs high risk. I will now further elaborate each of these strategies. 1) Market penetration strategy This strategy focuses on selling existing products to existing markets to gain market share. It aims at getting more customers in the current market. Companies can adopt tactics like additional promotion, increased sales efforts or revised pricing strategies in order to generate increased market share. For example, it can increase customer’s loyalty for the products and services by promotion. To use this strategy, you may think these questions: • How to sell more of your existing products to your current customers? • How can you defend your market share? • How can you grow your market? 2) Market Development This strategy achieves growth by exploring new markets for its products and services, such as additional market segments or geographical regions. For example, companies may adopt new distribution channels such as online shops to expand the sales to overseas. They can also adopt differential pricing policy for different segments. Take the example of computer software. It can be available in different versions, say home users, premium version and professional versions, at different price rates. For this strategy, you may consider the following questions: • How can you expand into new markets? • Is it through new market segments? • Is it through new geographical areas? 3) Product Development Strategy This strategy involves developing new products or services at existing markets. Another approach is to add new and related features to existing products and services. As research and development cost needs to invest, companies should obtain reliable market information about the demand in the market before launch. To adopt this strategy, you should think the following questions: • How can you grow your product portfolio? • What new products can we build? • Can we modify our existing products? 4) Diversification This strategy means developing new products or services and targeting at new markets. This is a risky strategy to adopt since it does not use existing expertise or leverage the current customer base and it involves new investment. Also, as the market is very dynamic, the market demand changes over time and previous prediction may be outdated. Therefore, Companies should have very clear understanding of the risks involved before adopting diversification. There are 3 approaches under this strategy: • Forward Diversification - This is the situation where companies diversify into the products or services that relate to a later stage that follows the current offering. • Full Diversification - This approach is the riskiest as it involves a totally new product or service to an unknown market. It will also take considerable time to accomplish. • Backward Diversification - This means offering a product or service that relates to the preceding stage of the current product or service. If you need to think of diversification, it would be better to consider these questions: • Do you have enough resources to target a new market? • What sort of market would you target? • Is the new market and new product something you are familiar with or completely new to you? Ansoff’s matrix is very useful at determining the growth strategies of the products and services. However, it ignores the external environment, including its competitors, customers’ demand and technology. However, it ignores the external environment, including its competitors, customers’ demand and technology. Five Forces Analysis conducted beforehand. Before I end this lecture, I would like to add one more reminder. In Lecture 12, I introduced the MOST analysis, which stands for Mission, Objectives, Strategy and Tactics. After the adoption of these growth strategies, the business objectives, strategies and tactics may all have to be revised. The internal factors for the Company would then be changed. 21. Quick Tip on Developing Existing and New Markets: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Tip for Lecture 20 - Quick Tip on Developing Existing and New Markets In the Ansoff’s matrix, I explained the 4 different growth strategies. The most common strategies adopted by the Companies are expanding in the existing market and developing new markets. That means the market penetrating strategy and market development strategy. I would like to add some more notes on these 2 strategies: For expansion in your existing market, this strategy actually serves 2 purposes: 1) To develop the market and the potential of your existing customer and client base 1) To develop the market and the potential of your existing customer and client base for what you supply and deliver. As you are working to expand your current market, you need to regularly review and monitor your pricing strategies in terms of 3 things: 1) What you include in an all-inclusive price 2) What you charge extra for ; 3) How you present your pricing policies in terms that are acceptable to your customers. It would be better to ensure the customers know all the important pricing details and what to expect. For developing new markets, as you are looking for new opportunities in new locations with new customer base, you should strike a balance between: 1) Knowing and understanding the relative strengths, quality and value of your products and services to those new target customers 2) Recognising that these proposed markets have done perfectly well without you so far When you are going into new markets, always remember that what you regard to be the high values in your products and services may not be seen by such new locations and new customers. Therefore, always always test ad evaluate new locations before you open for new businesses in these new areas. Ensure that you fulfill the following 4 points: 1) Know and understand how the forces of competition operate in these new places 2) Fulfill all the regulatory and government requirements 3) Identify the importance of your products or services in the new locations 4) Ensure that you can deliver the value that is demanded in the new locations before committing your time and resources. If you go into a new market, you must be clear about how and why you are entering the new market. You also need to examine all the issues around the 5 forces of competition in the new market, which I discussed in Lecture 16, “Porter’s Five Forces Model”. Lastly, if you go into new markets, you may also consider having business partners and engage in joint ventures. Joint ventures allow you to take advantage of working with somebody experienced and thus minimize your risk. However, do remember that you will need to share your profits and may not have fully control on the operation. 22. McKinsey 7-S Model Part 1: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 21 McKinsey 7-S Model Part 1 – Technique 1 for Strategy Implementation In the last lecture, I introduced the Ansoff’s matrix which is useful for evaluating the growth strategies of products and services. In reality, adopting a growth plan or any other strategies are not easy. It requires the support of many functions. Alignment is a critical successful factor. In order to facilitate this alignment, I would like to introduce the McKinsey 7-S model in this lecture. This model is used to identify areas that need to be changed when implementing a business strategy, and areas that will be affected by the proposed business changes. Under this model, there are 7 elements. I will briefly explain here and provide you some sample questions for each element, so that it will be easier for you to work out this model. 1. Shared values – This element refers to the values that underpin the organization and express the beliefs held by the people who drive it. These beliefs are inherent within the mission of the organization. You can start by thinking these questions: • What are the core values and are these match reality? • What are the fundamental values that the company/team was built on? • Are our shared values and vision known to all staff? • What is the culture like within the organization? • What is the culture like within the organization? 2. Strategy – This is the strategy that is going to be implemented following the SWOT analysis. This is your organization’s plan for building and maintaining a competitive advantage over its competitors. You can think over these questions: • What is our strategy? • How do we intend to achieve our objectives? • How do we deal with competitive pressure? • How are changes in customer demands dealt with? • How do you handle competition? 3. Skills – This element refers to the skills required to carry out the work of the organization. Key skills of particular staff should be defined. To analyze this element, here are some sample questions: • What is the company or team known for doing well? • What are the strongest skills represented within the company or team? • Are there any skills gaps? • What different training courses have the staff attended? • How are skills monitored and assessed? 4. Staff – This refers to the employees and their general capabilities, such as the total number of staff, their qualification, experience and packages. Here are some questions that you can consider when using this model: • What positions need to be filled in? • What competencies and specializations are available within the team or organization? • Are we missing competencies within the team or organization? • What about employee satisfaction? 5. Style – This represents the culture and management style of the organization. To evaluate this aspect, here are some sample questions: • Is the atmosphere within the company informal, or formal and hierarchical? • Is the leadership style top-down or bottom-up? • How effective is Company’s leadership? How participative is the management and leadership style? • Do employees tend to be competitive or cooperative? 6. Systems – This refers to the tactical and operational processes, procedures, communication, document storage and all IT systems that the staff used to get the job done. This should be in line with the organization’s strategy. To assess the current system, here are some sample questions: • What are the main systems that run the organization? • Where are the controls and how are they monitored and evaluated? • What internal rules and processes does the team use to keep on track? Do the systems and processes here support the way we work? 7. Structure – This means how Departments and teams are structured in your organization, including the communication mode, the chain of command, accountability relationship and the control within the organization, such as centralized or decentralized control, and hierarchical or matrix management structures. You can consider these questions: • Is our talent structured to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness? • How do different departments work together? • How do the team members organize and align themselves? • Is decision making and controlling centralized or decentralized? Is this how it should be? • How are projects organized within the organization? In this lecture, I introduced these 7 elements in the 7S model. In the next lecture, I will explain how to use it for strategy implementation.   23. McKinsey 7-S Model Part 2: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 22 McKinsey 7-S Model Part 2 – Technique 1 for Strategy Implementation - Do you know how well is your organization positioned to achieve its goals? Or what elements influence its ability to implement the strategies successfully? I suppose you may guess it correctly that I refer to the McKinsey 7S model just mentioned in the last lecture. This model is very useful to ensure that the strategies are implemented successfully and the objectives are met. In the last lecture, I introduced this model and now I will tell you how to use it. The 7S model introduces 7 key areas, namely shared values, strategy, skills, staff, style, systems and structure. These 7 elements actually can be classified as “hard” and “soft”. The hard areas are those that are more tangible and consist of strategy, structure and systems; whereas the soft areas are less tangible and include shared values, style, staff and skills. Hard areas are relatively easy to identify, and management can influence them directly. The four "soft" elements, on the other hand, are more influenced and management can influence them directly. The four "soft" elements, on the other hand, are more influenced They must all be recognized and considered. The 7S model helps to identify the areas affected by the new strategy, and highlights where action is needed for better alignment with the strategy and where difficulties can occur. Now let’s look at an example. Say, a Company has been delivering high-quality personal service to customers for a long time. Many staff are highly skilled and have developed good working relationships with their customers. In response to the poor economy, the Company decides to change the strategy and enlarge the market share by selling high volumes at low prices with lower quality. Obviously, this strategy does not align with the shared values of the Company and not aligned with the staff. Therefore, this strategy is unlikely to succeed. From the above example, you can see that even those the soft areas are less tangible, the impact of a misalignment can be significant, and can create difficulties or even prevent the implementation of the business strategy. Let’s see another example. Assume a Company wants to empower its staff. Then this strategy should be reflected in the management structure. We would expect to see a flat and lean one, but not a tall structure consisting of several layers of management. In this 7S model, shared values are usually put in the centre, so as to emphasize that these values are central to the development of all other critical elements. Therefore, when using this model, it is always better to start with the shared values of the company; and then work out how other elements are all linked to it. You can follow my suggested approach here: 1) Start with your shared values. Think about this question: • Are they consistent with your structure, strategy, and systems? If not, what needs to be changed? Second. 2) Look at the hard elements and identify where changes need to be made. You may ask yourself: • How well does each element support the others? 3) Look at the soft elements and consider necessary changes if possible. Think over these questions: • Do they support the desired hard elements? • Do they support one another? If not, what needs to be changed? Fourth 4) Work out an action plan to ensure the alignment of these elements to fix the inconsistencies, if any. Now let’s take a simple example. Suppose ABC Limited is a startup with 10 staff and it focuses on selling on one market. As a new business, the Company is based firmly on the vision and values of its founder, Sam, and its 7 elements all align well. The systems used are relatively simple. At this stage, there is no need to have comprehensive business systems, which are all very expensive to develop. As the business grows, Sam decided to recruit more staff and invest in more new technology. After some time, Sam conducted the 7S analysis, so as to check how effective this strategy was. He noted that some staff did not know how to work with the new technology but stick to their old methods. Also, many new staff did not have much knowledge about the Company, even including its products. As a result, Sam based on the analysis results, he introduced onboarding and more training programs, finally bringing ABC Limited’s key elements back into alignment. To conclude this lecture, the 7S model is a great tool to ensure the strategy implemented successfully. The model emphasizes 7 key areas, namely shared values, strategy, skills, staff, style, systems and structure. The key point is that all these seven areas are interconnected and a change in one area requires change in the rest of a firm for it to function effectively. Therefore, whenever a new strategy is introduced, make sure the 7 elements all work in harmony and are reinforced each other. More importantly, make sure all these 7 aspects align well with the strategy. If something doesn’t work out, there may probably be an inconsistency between some of the seven elements identified in the model. Once you reveal these inconsistencies, you can work to align these elements to make sure they are all contributing to the shared goals and values. You will certainly find the time and effort worthwhile. 24. POPIT Model: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 23 POPIT Model – Technique 2 for Strategy Implementation - Strategy implementation brings changes to several areas, including processes, policies and people. Before putting full effort in the execution, it is important to understand the dependencies and potential risks, as well as the required resources and their availability. There are different techniques to help us during the implementation. In my last 2 lectures, I introduced the McKinsey’s 7S model. This model shows the dependencies of 7 critical elements, namely shared values, strategy, skills, staff, style, systems and structure, which are all interconnected with each other. 7S model focuses on strategy alignment and change implementation. Now in this lecture, I would like to introduce another model, called POPIT model, which is also named as four-view model. Unlike the 7S model, POPIT model focuses on internal factors. It gives us a holistic view of all the areas in the organization that are either directly or indirectly impacted by the proposed implementation of strategy or initiative. POPIT model sets out the 4 key areas to be considered when identifying the changes that need to be made to an organization. These 4 key areas are: 1) Processes – this represents the business processes for delivering the organization’s products and services to customers and to support its work. 2) Organization – this refers to the management structure, roles, responsibilities, management styles, business values and resources 3) People – this represents the staff who are responsible for conducting the business processes and carrying out the work. Any proposals to change must be communicated effectively to the staff affected. The analysis must include the impact on the people who will perform the work and identify any gaps in terms of skills, recruitment, staff development and remuneration. 4) Information Technology – this refers to the applications, equipment, hardware and software systems to support the organization. POPIT model illustrates that when a business strategy is adopted, other 3 areas may change. Here are some sample questions that you may consider for new initiatives. 1. Process: Will this new process result in changes in other processes? Have all these changes be updated in the operational procedures? procedures? Do you need to set up a new team, a function or even a new department? Do we need to allocate more resources to this new initiative? How will this affect other functions in the organization? 3. People: Have the operational staff impacted by the change been consulted, informed and trained? 4. IT: Do the current IT support the new initiative as required? Are there any bottlenecks existence? Let me quote a very simple example. Assume a Company decided to adopt a new ERP system to facilitate the home office arrangement. Obviously, the IT system is undergoing significant change. Because of the update of the system, certain processes and business flows may have to be revamped. All people involved in these processes should be trained on how to use the new system, the new work procedures as well as their new tasks. The management structure may also need to be changed to reflect all these new changes of roles, responsibilities and processes. So whenever a new strategy is implemented, it is vital that the other 3 elements of the model are considered and the corresponding changes are identified. To ensure a successful strategy, all these 4 aspects (Process, Organization, People and IT) should work together and none of them should be ignored. Back to our example of the ERP system. If the staff are poorly trained or the management still insists to follow the old process paper flows, then this system implementation project is likely to be failed. Significant investment will be wasted and what worse is that it may hinder the daily operation and reduce the work efficiency. In addition, the POPIT model also helps to identify the gaps between the current “as is” state and the future “to be” state. By comparing the 4 aspects under the “as is” and “to be” state, you can uncover what are missing and what improvements you should make. Say, for the people side, sometimes there may be a need for leadership development and staff training to support the new strategy. In terms of technology, there may be a need for system enhancement or replacement to support the implementation of strategy. By working out the areas to be improved, you can then assess the impacts on the other 3 areas and follow up. To illustrate this, assume a Company is planning to increase its market share by opening an online store but it has never done this before. To implement this strategy, you first work out what is required under process, organization, people and IT in order to have an online store. Based on your SWOT analysis on the Company’s current situation, you can then identify the gaps and take actions accordingly. For example, you may need new standard operating procedures on maintaining the online store, handling online customers’ queries, doing social media promotion, receiving money from online providers etc. Because of this new store, a new team may have to be set up, so organization structure will be updated. If there are no existing staff who are familiar with the online store operation and marketing, the Company may need to arrange staff training or may consider recruiting new staff. IT hardware and software may also have to be enhanced to support this new initiative. As you can see from the above example, the 4 aspects, namely process, organization, people and IT, highly connected with each other whenever there are any changes. In order to implement the strategies successfully, do not ignore any areas but consider all aspects carefully. 25. Key Performance Indicators (Part 1): Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 24 - Key Performance Indicators for Performance Measurement (Part 1) When the strategies are implemented, all organizations need to monitor performance and carry out evaluation. In this lecture, I will talk about the most common method, using key performance indicators. To decide the key performance indicators, we should identify the critical successful factors first. The critical successful factors are the areas of performance that an organization considers vital to its success. They are typically board-brush statements, such as customer service, low costs, high safety standards, advanced technology etc. There are 2 types of critical successful factors: 1) Industry-wide – these refer to the areas of effective performance that are necessary for any organization operating within a particular industry or market segment. These critical successful factors are the same between organizations, and they are a must to fulfill in order to continue operating. Examples are safety operations for airlines and hygienic environment for food production. 2) Organization-specific – these refer to the areas of performance that enable an organization to outperform its competition. They focus upon as key differentiators. For example, budget airlines might claim low cost of operation is one of their critical successful factors. DHL might claim their service coverage over 220 countries as their critical successful factors. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are the critical indicators of progress towards an intended result. KPIs are related to critical successful factors. They define the specific areas to be monitored in order to determine whether the required level of performance has been achieved. They should cover both industry-wide and the organization-specific areas. KPIs provide a focus for strategic and operational improvement. They create an analytical basis for decision making and help us to focus our attention on what matters most. For instance, if a company has defined employee satisfactory level as one of their critical successful factors, then it should measure the employees’ satisfaction level by objective surveys or other methods at regular interval. In order to measure the performance, all KPIs should be measurable with a target and a timeframe, so that they can provide objective evidence of progress towards achieving a desired result. Same as the objective, it will be better to follow the SMART guideline when creating the KPIs. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and with Time-Bound. I believe you are all familiar with this guideline and so I don’t further elaborate here. Now let’s take an example of a company doing delivery service. Assume the management define that the Now let’s take an example of a company doing delivery service. Assume the management define that the monitor the areas of operation that relate to achieving this requirement. For instance, the delivery company may set the followings are their KPIs: • Lead time of the delivery of parcels and documents to be less than 2 days. • Over 80% of customers give them a review of 4.5 out of 5 marks in the half-yearly customer satisfaction survey. • Customer’s complaints about the service received to be less than 1% of total transactions each month. In this lecture, I have talked about the basic of critical successful factors and key performance indicators. I will continue to tell you how to use the KPIs in the next lecture.   26. Key Performance Indicators (Part 2): Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 25 Key Performance Indicators for Performance Measurement (Part 2) In my last lecture, I briefly talked about using key performance indicators to measure the performance for implementation. In this lecture, I will highlight the key areas that you should be aware when you are using the KPIs. KPI sounds simple but the trouble is, there are thousands of KPIs to choose from. If you choose the wrong one, then you run the risk of measuring something that does not align with your strategies and goals. Therefore, when you set your KPIs, please make sure you don’t commit this mistake. In lecture 11, I have talked about the MOST analysis and this technique can be helpful in this area. The MOST analysis stands for mission, objectives, strategies and tactics. It is also useful in formulating the critical successful factors and the KPIs. The MOST specifies the organization’s beliefs and priorities as well as how it is positioned in the market. These are the factors that the management regard as essential to its successful operation. You may form your critical successful factors and KPIs with reference to the MOST analysis. To ensure the KPIs are effective, in addition to the SMART guideline and the alignment to Company’s strategies and objectives, here are five questions that you should consider for each KPI before adoption: • Can it be easily quantified? • Can we drive change using this KPI, or is it out of our control? • Is it simple to define and understand? • Can it be measured in both a timely and accurate manner? • Will it still be relevant in the future? If your answer is no for any of the above questions, you may consider changing or altering your KPIs. When using the KPIs, there are five points you should bear in mind: 1) Focus on all aspects KPIs should not focus solely on financial results but should consider all aspects that will enable the Company to enjoy continued success, say customers, internal processes, employees, products and services etc. Omitting any of the key areas may risk undermining the performance of the organization and to increase the chance of business problems arising in the future. A good approach you may consider is to adopt is the balanced scorecard, which focuses on 4 aspects: financial, customer, internal business process as well as learning and growth. While financial, customer and internal processes are easily to be understood; learning and growth is concerned with the future development of an organization and it is also named as innovation. Examples of performance areas for learning and growth are the development of new products and services, the level of innovation and creativity etc. This balanced scorecard allows organizations to ensure a complete view of performance is measured and monitored. Again, it is based on the mission and objectives set out by the organization, which can be outlined in the MOST analysis. Balanced scorecard can be used in conjunction with the key performance indicators. In this course, I will not cover the balanced scorecard in details but you may do some research if you are interested in this area. 2) Timely report to all concerned Make sure the KPI findings are reported to all relevant parties. As mentioned in the McKinsey 7S model and POPIT model, many aspects are closely interconnected. It is important to ensure the whole team or all relevant people involved are on the same page. For instance, if you have a KPI that relates to sustainability, you may share the progress with investors, suppliers and customers. In this way, not only encouraging everyone to work towards the KPI, it is also a method to show your commitment to its achievement. 3) Link the KPIs to staff’s remuneration - To encourage all staff to take responsibility of the KPIs and to drive their performance, management should consider directly link part of the remuneration to the relevant KPIs, such as bonus. In this way, the staff can also enjoy the benefits of organization’s achievements. 4) Perform regular review and evaluation - Do regularly review your KPIs and their performance on a regular basis, say monthly, quarterly or any other predefined reporting frequency. KPIs should always be more than just a pure set of numbers. They need to tell the readers something about the organization’s goals and objectives. They should allow people to learn something about the business model by assessing these indicators. Regular monitoring makes it easy to identify something may have underperformed or over-performed, as well as what may have happened within this period to cause the change. 5) Update KPI timely - In our current fast changing market, many KPIs can become obsolete over time. So during your regular review, you may fine-tune your KPIs and evaluate whether they are still valid. 27. The Outcome Frame: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 26 - The Outcome Frame In my first lecture, I mentioned the magical formula for every organization to succeed in the long run. This winning formula is: “Understanding current position + Business Strategy = Achieving the Desired Outcome.” In the previous lectures, we have looked at at the left-hand side of this formula. I have explained the techniques on how to assess the organization’s current at the left-hand side of this formula. I have explained the techniques on how to assess the organization’s current and performance measurement. Now it’s time to look at the right-hand side of this formula, “achieving the desired outcome”. This approach is called the “outcome frame”. This approach is very straightforward and easy to use. It helps us to evaluate the strategies from another perspective focusing on the future. It guides us to think about our desired outcome. It directs us to think about what we want to achieve and how we might achieve it. Apart from evaluation, it is also very useful during the discussion or negotiation of strategies with the stakeholders. The outcome frame consists of a set of questions that are considered in light of a future situation. The questions vary depending on situations. The questions vary depending on situations. • What outcome do we want? • Why do we want this outcome? • Why does it matter to our business? • When do we want the outcome? • How can we measure progress towards the goals? • How often do we want to review progress? • How will we know that we have achieved the outcome? • Where are we now in relation to that outcome? • What resources do we need to achieve the outcome and how will they be utilized? • What steps need to be taken to achieve the outcome? • Are there any other ways to achieve the outcome? • What could go wrong? • Who will own this outcome? • What else will be affected by the outcome? By working through these critical questions, you will cover the essential considerations for each action and strategy. These questions facilitate us to think through and analyze the situation as well as to determine how to move forward. They help us to develop a good understanding of the outcome and ensure that we are working towards its achievement. They also facilitate us to think about situations differently, They also facilitate us to think about situations differently, and move the focus onto the future and the outcome to be achieved. In short, do use this approach to check your strategies before adoption. 28. Wrapping Up on SWOT Analysis: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 27 Wrapping Up on SWOT Analysis Thank you for watching this course. Now you come to the last session. In this lecture and the next lecture, I will summarize the whole course and recap the major points for your easy reference. Let me start with the winning formula for long term success that I mentioned in the early beginning: “Understanding current position + Business Strategy = Achieving the Desired Outcome.” This course is built on this formula. To formulate any strategies, it begins with understanding your current status and the surrounding environment. So this course starts with the SWOT analysis. In lecture 2 – 7, I explained each component of the SWOT analysis, namely strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in details. • Strength describe what an organization excels at and what separate it from the competition. • Weaknesses are the internal negative aspects of the organization that may hinder the success and growth. • Opportunities refer to favorable external factors in your business environment that could give an organization a competitive advantage. • Threats are external unfavorable factors that can negatively affect an organization and you have no control over. Next, in lecture 8, I pinpointed that in the traditional SWOT analysis, there is no mechanism to rank the significance of any factors. Therefore, I introduced the SWOT 2.0 model with prioritization of factors, where strengths and weaknesses can be rated based on impact and significance while opportunities and threats can be prioritized based on impact and probability. Those factors with highest score require the most attention. Then in lecture 9, I explained the 4 steps in conducting an effective SWOT analysis in the organization. These 4 steps are gathering the right people; conducting briefing and invitation for preparation; Brainstorming session; and finalization. In this course, I also introduced the workshop approach of using sticky notes and sticky dots to encourage ideas sharing. I also highlighted that all factors in the SWOT analysis should be based on facts, clearly defined, specific, prioritized and action-oriented. In lecture 10 to 16, I introduced the advanced formal techniques for SWOT analysis. Here it can be divided into 2 parts: 1) Internal capabilities covering strengths and weaknesses, which allow the organizations to understand their core skills; and 2) External business environment covering opportunities and threats, which help the organizations to identify any potential influences that may require action. For evaluating internal capabilities, I recommended you 3 techniques: (1) MOST analysis, (2) Resource Audit; and (3) BCG matrix. MOST analysis stands for Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics. It analyzes what an organization has set out to achieve. that is the mission and objectives; and how it aims to achieve these by the strategies and tactics. By evaluating 4 main areas namely, definition, clarity, communication and organizational commitment, an organization can also identify its strengths and weaknesses. The second technique, Resource Audit, examined 5 areas including financial, physical, human, reputation and know-know. The third technique, BCG matrix, classifies each business into 4 categories: stars, cash cows, question marks and dogs. While both techniques serve its own purposes, they are also great tools to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. For assessing the external environment, I proposed 2 techniques: (1) PESTLE analysis and (2) Porter’s Porter’s Five Forces analysis. PESTLE Analysis helps you to evaluate the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental changes that will have massive impact on your business environment. It directs you to look at the out-of-control macro factors that might influence your decision making. While PESTLE analysis focuses on the macro environmental factors, the second technique called, “Porter’s Five Forces Model” focuses more on the industry or market of a particular product or service. The five forces cover the industry competitors, new entrants, substitutes, customers and suppliers. They are often used to measure competition intensity, attractiveness, and profitability of an industry or market. With these 5 formal techniques, you should be able to prepare a comprehensive SWOT analysis without missing any key factors. Together with the prioritization of factors that I mentioned in this course, you should be able to rank each factor based on impact, significance and probability. By now, you should be able to tell the current position of your organization, both internally and externally, in details, as well as what challenges it is facing. 29. Wrapping Up on Business Strategy: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 28 Wrapping Up on Business Strategy - In the last lecture, I summarized how to prepare for a SWOT analysis, so that you obtain a comprehensive picture of the current position of your organization. Having a clear position of your organization is not really helpful, unless you can derive business strategies and working towards them. So here comes the second important element of the winning formula, business strategies. As defined in Lecture 1, business strategies are actions that help an organization to achieve its mission and goals. They set the direction for the organization to achieve a desired future outcome. They allow you to allocate your resources appropriately, and deliver your products and services to the standards that your customers expect. After understanding the current position, we moved to the strategy formation. Indeed, strategy formation is the most valuable part of the SWOT analysis. In Lecture 18, I introduced the New SWOT analysis suggested by Harvard Business School, which recommends 2 additional elements, namely others’ strengths and others’ weaknesses. Then in Lecture 19, I explained how to use of the SWOT analysis to generate more ideas and to formulate strategies. You may use the formula that I suggested you to form your strategy. For actions generated, I proposed you to prioritize them based on impact and ease of implementation using a scale of 1 to 5. The higher the score, the higher should be its priority. In Lecture 20, I shared the Ansoff’s matrix, which helps the companies to set up the growth strategies for their products and services. Companies can consider one of the 4 growth strategies under this matrix, namely market penetration, market development, product development and diversification. A strategy, without execution, is only thinking. Strategy is about laying the foundations for hard work and therefore, action is the successful key. So next I discussed about the strategy implementation. In Lecture 21- 23, I introduced 2 formal approaches, namely McKinsey 7S model and the POPIT model, for identifying all the areas that should be aware of and the actions to be taken during the strategy implementation. The 7S model introduces 7 key areas, namely shared values, strategy, skills, staff, style, systems and structure. It focuses on strategy alignment and change implementation. For the second model, POPIT model, which analyzes process, organization, people and information technology, focuses more on internal factors. POPIT model provides us a holistic view of all the areas in the organization that are either directly or indirectly impacted by the proposed strategy implementation. In short, these 2 models ensure all actions are appropriate, consistent, complete, coherent and align with each other. After system implementation, it comes to the last step of business strategy, performance measurement. In Lecture 24 and 25, I talked about critical successful factors and the use of key performance indicators, for monitoring performance and conducting evaluation. I highlighted 5 important points, including (1) ensuring KPIs to be focused on all aspects but not only financial; (2) timely report to all relevant parties; (3) link the KPIs to staff’s remuneration; (4) perform regular review and evaluation; and (5) update KPI regularly. Finally, in Lecture 26, I explained the other side of the winning formula, “achieving desired outcome”. I introduced the Outcome Frame which allows you to obtain a complete picture of the strategy from another perspective. I shared with you a typical list of questions to guide you to deep dive into each action before adoption. In short, this course covers the full cycle of business strategy from understanding the current situation of the organization by using SWOT analysis, to strategy formation, implementation and performance measurement. By now, you should be able to use these techniques to form the relevant and impactful action items to strive for success for your team and organization. You should be able to tell how the functions should be coordinated and the progress should be monitored in order to have successful execution of strategies. 30. Conclusion: Master SWOT Analysis & Business Strategy for Ongoing Success Lecture 29 Conclusion Thank you very much for watching my course. Finally we come to the conclusion. Let me begin by quoting the winning formula for long-term success again, “Understanding current position + Business Strategy = Achieving the Desired Outcome.” Achieving the Desired Outcome.” By now, I sincerely believe you understand how to prepare for a comprehensive SWOT analysis, how to make use of it to form business strategies, how to work out action plans and how to measure performance by key indicators. Over these 3 hours, I have reinstated the importance of this winning formula. Doing it well, you will be a leader in the industry. Otherwise, ignoring it, you simply choose to go into things at random. This is highly risky. You will not only fail at capturing the business opportunities but also will encounter many potential problems which can be fatal for your organization. Perhaps someone may argue that following my detailed approach, may restrict you from enjoying the flexibility and responsiveness that you need in order to move fast and take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Let me answer you by sharing what successful organizations do. Successful organizations understand what they are doing, and why, when, where and how they are doing things. They know what resources at their disposal and what weaknesses they have that hinder their development. They are fully aware of the opportunities available and understand how to maximize these advantages. Meanwhile, they can also anticipate the upcoming threats and minimize the potential impacts by taking precautions or working out contingent plans. They develop strategies and tactics in pursuit of mission and goals. They are able to strive for employee’s commitment and their expertise into these strategies and tactics. Under the current fast changing economy, it is true that one can never plan for anything for certainty. However, remember that those companies which hit first and are suffered most under a crisis, are usually those which lack clear understanding of their current position and business strategies. As whenever crisis comes, you only have very limited time for your planning, analysis and action. Despite you may respond fast, you run a very high risk of making wrong decisions. Therefore, do regularly review your organization’s current position and review its strategies. Stay alert of all the forces that can and do affect your organization as well as their impact and probability. Always act timely and monitor the results regularly. This is the method to keep sustainable and competitive in the long run. Lastly, I would like to express my deep gratitude to you for watching my course. No matter you are a student learning business strategies or someone working in the business sector, I sincerely hope this course is informative, useful and practical for you. If you like it, please recommend it to your friends and colleagues. I wish you all the very best and look forward to seeing you again in my future courses. Thank you again.