Are you ready to SWOT something?
Sometimes I get a little frustrated and feel stuck. Do you ever feel that way? No? Well, then skip this article. But if you do, and you’re thinking about swatting something (leave that poor puppy dog alone…), let me share something that really helps me work through “stuff” when it starts piling up in my head and feels unmanageable.
Here’s the recipe:
Step 1: Find a quiet place and get a piece of blank paper
Step 2: Draw two lines separating the page into 4 equal quadrants
Step 3: Label the top left “Strengths”, the top right “Opportunities”, the bottom left “Weaknesses”, the bottom right “Threats.” That’s right SWOT it!!
Step 4: Now start writing.
Oh yes, I am recommending good old SWOT Analysis. It really helps to clarify the immediate situation, and will set up your brain to consider all the good, bad, and ugly that’s right in your face.
Are you finished? Now take a step back and start reviewing all the good stuff you wrote down. Start with the positive first.
What this does to your brain:
It moves your psyche into another dimension. It takes you out of all the guck you’re dealing with and moves you into a more strategic mindset. It raises you above the fray and gives you the opportunity to explore options.
As you look through your work of art, you might begin to see a pattern or grouping of ideas emerging. That’s a good thing. Push into that and think through what 1 or 2 tasks, when completed, will create an environment in which the entire pattern or grouping can no longer exist.
WOW, that was a mouthful. You might need to read that last paragraph again!!
I’m talking about leveraged effort here, people!! When 1 solution can cure a number of evils, you are becoming a super efficient problem solver.
What am I really suggesting?
Ha, now that's a great question!! I’m suggesting that the best solution to any problem is the simplest answer. That doesn’t always mean the easiest answer.
Wait, what? Am I contradicting myself? No way, I’d never do that to you. What I’m suggesting is that if a solution is not simple, you raise the risk of not making it happen. It simply MUST be simple. Simple for you to understand, and simple for everyone else to understand.
Ok, so how does the “not easy” part come into play? Well, it’s really quite “simple” (pun intended). Most solutions require discipline. You have to stick to your knitting. What, now I have to take up knitting? No silly. A knitting project takes constant attention to detail, and yes, patience. That’s all I mean by that.
Sometimes we’ve found it helps to use a sounding board as you go through this exercise. And we here at Fuel Accountants are “expert sounding boards.” So give us a jingle if you need some help!!