Decisions…The Upside And The Downside

Decisions…The Upside And The Downside

“If your head is in the sand…you are exposed”

Ancient Philosopher

We have met with many executives and management level business people that have said “they look at people that bring up the potential downside risks when making a decision, as negative people.”

During our Thought Leadership Pods, we have had to stop and explain that there is a difference between being negative for the sake of bringing people down, vs. bringing up potential downside risk to make better decisions. We have found that most management can’t identify the difference.

The SWOT analysis

The term SWOT analysis is known to many in the corporate world, however, it is rarely used. The primary objective of the SWOT analysis is to help organizations develop a full awareness of all the factors involved in making a business decision.

The S.M.A.R.T. Platform

The S.M.A.R.T. Platform uses the concept of creative transformation to act as a catalyst that will propel leaders and projects towards success that will be systemic, due to being jointly conceived and committed by all employees involved.  The focus will be on returns that will generate systemic , rather than solely individual benefits. The S.M.A.R.T. platform should be integrated into your SWOT analysis, to ensure that your decisions will be based on a realism and not manipulated to create false results.

The Upside

Strengths and Opportunities

This may seem to be the easy part of the SWOT analysis. We all love to document our strengths and the potential opportunities. Our teaching has been to “think positive and it will happen.” We have had it drilled into our psyche to not let negative thoughts interfere with successful outcomes. While positive thinking is important, it must be based on a good dose of realism. In order to know your strengths you must know your competition, the desired outcome, and your capabilities. In order to know your opportunities, you must utilize the S.M.A.R.T. Platform as a filter to ensure that they are real strengths and opportunities.

Potential Downside

Weaknesses and Threats

Even when used, many managers will stifle or ignore the weaknesses and threats quadrants. Corporate entrepreneurs understand that it is necessary to leverage strengths and opportunities; this leads to honestly identifying threats and weaknesses. When the S.M.A.R.T. Platform is integrated with the SWOT analysis, it will help identify potential weaknesses and threats.

Our research has shown that more than 90% of downside effects could have been identified if the SWOT analysis and S.M.A.R.T. Platform are used together. The combination is viable for business decisions of all sizes and complexity.

“Corporate entrepreneurs know they must identify all weaknesses and threats. They will not be surprised, and will be prepared for any potential downside to their decision.”

Marc Gilenson, author of The Entrepreneurialway

If you are interested in learning how to utilize the SWOT analysis and S.M.A.R.T. platform or if you want to make better business decisions, contact Sue at: Just ask for a video call with one of our partners.

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