Friday, December 19, 2014

Strategy for Yourself

One of my duties at my current workplace is to teach class of Strategic management. As instructor, I prepare the teaching materials from some sources including books, cases, websites and journals. Something interesting about this course is we can know the strategies applied by both local & foreign firms and we can apply them in any organization, companies and even ourselves.
There are some strategy tool-kits which companies use. These are SWOT analysis, five forces analysis of Porter, competitor analysis, competitive life cycle analysis, capability analysis. Among all, to me SWOT (stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis is quite fascinating to be applied within ourselves, meaning that each of us may use it formulate personal strategy. Having personal strategy has of course some benefits. First it can improve us to be better in terms of our capabilities and “marketability”. Second we can can win the competition. Third we can always update ourselves in the always-changing environment.
SWOT analysis does not belong exclusively to business. This is used in military, politic and other fields, too. SWOT analysis begins with describing the object to be analyzed or evaluated. In a firm case, this can be the products it sold, the period of business it has experienced, location and so on.
The first step in the SWOT analysis is to list the Strengths. Strengths are the key points that make the firm superior in terms of resources and capabilities, for example excessive cash flow, long experience, government regulation support etc. If it’s in ourselves it would be the strong character we have, for example persistence in facing the hardship. Knowing the strength, we have to then exploit this strength to catch and create opportunities, minimize the weaknesses and prevent threat.        
Weakness is something the company is left behind or needs to be improved. Some examples are rigid management, dull product, non productive sales team, lengthy service delivery, defect in production etc. These things for sure make the company less competitive. Within ourselves the weakness can be; weak characteristic, less experience, limited knowledge and so on. Having identified the weaknesses, we know the things to be improved. Some efforts have to be made in order that those weaknesses to lessen.
  It is a consensus that the strength and weakness come from internal side. The external sides are opportunity and threat. The examples of opportunity are favorable tax cut, supportive government policy, increasing income of customers and so on. The opportunity for ourselves can be anything that benefit us. I would say that it depends on our way of thinking and the way we see something. A creative entrepreneur has a strong sense in identifying an opportunity. Being a nice person and helpful will possibly result a good opportunity for us too. I believe that opportunity is made by us, or at least most of this. In short, we need to be geared up and make improvement in ourselves to take benefit of the chance coming in the future.  
Threat for a company can be acquisition of a competitor by another competitor. For sure this can result the weaker position for the firm. In the case of person, threat mostly comes from our bad behavior or act. Being a rude one will not be liked by others. Or, having bad habit such as smoking will threat us in terms our body health and financial health.
Having identified those four things, I am sure we then can opt strategies to make our quality better. In fact, in my religion teaching, knowing ourselves is one of the ways to know God. When we know God better, we will finally live better, God willing. Happy doing SWOT analysis!     


Anonymous said...

Mebel jepara said...

Walaupun aku tidak bisa berbahasa inggris dengan benar.tapi aku yakin artikel ini tentang strategi management.Terima kasih