SWOT 2.0: do it yourself tool

SWOT 2.0 is not only free to use; it can also be used without support. With the help of 2 eBooks, some experience as a coach, change manager or as a manager, it can be used easily and effectively.

This ‘FAQ and Support’ page is for sharing new ideas, your experiences and additional questions. The FAQs are for those new to SWOT 2.0.

Although SWOT 2.0 is fairly easy to work with, you may still need some help. There are various options such as asking questions, (remote) coaching, consulting and training. Ask your questions via the contact form on this page.

Why people like SWOT 2.0?

People who have already worked with SWOT 2.0 and organizations where SWOT 2.0 has been applied give the following feedback. SWOT 2.0 makes sense, it is effective and leads to immediate action. SWOT 2.0 is a solid start to the change process. Often mentioned is the positive and motivating feeling with which a SWOT 2.0 session ends.

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Tell about your SWOT 2.0 experience

If you have any further questions or comments or would like to share your experience, please use the contact form below.

SWOT 2.0 is free, right?

Yes, you do not have to pay in any way for SWOT 2.0. You can ask a colleague to lead the session or do it yourself. SWOT 2.0 is therefore completely free.

The aim for me is to give something back, after a long career in consultancy and (change) management. Just as the SWOT Analysis can be used by anyone, the same applies to SWOT 2.0.

Do I really not need a consultant for SWOT 2.0?

No, you do not need an external consultant to properly conduct a SWOT 2.0 session. However, a supervisor is required to ensure that the SWOT 2.0 process runs smoothly. The facilitator can also very well be a colleague.

In some cases it can be useful to opt for external guidance (for experience and expertise). However, conducting a SWOT 2.0 session without external guidance is no problem at all.

What were the reasons why SWOT 2.0 was developed?

An analysis of the strategy was not enough to start the change process. Linking other tools to the SWOT was insufficiently effective. It remained difficult to deliver objectives and an action plan in addition to an analysis of the strategy.

SWOT 2.0 appears to be very effective in 80% of cases. In addition to a (strategic) analysis, you also receive concrete objectives linked to a targeted action plan. You can start working with a team the next day.

Why is there a SWOT 2.0 license?

A SWOT 2.0 license means that you are not allowed to sell SWOT 2.0 as a product. Anyone can use SWOT 2.0 and that is no different than with the SWOT Analysis. There are no restrictions when applying SWOT 2.0.

All consultancy services related to guiding SWOT 2.0 sessions can of course be made affordable. SWOT 2.0 can be offered as part of a change process, but charging money for it is not allowed.

Why is a FAQ and Support page needed?

On this website you can find a lot of information about SWOT 2.0. In 2 eBooks it is well explained what the differences are with the SWOT Analysis and SWOT 2.0. Clear instructions have also been added, so that you can guide a SWOT 2.0 session yourself.

The FAQ and Support page provides answers to ambiguities that may still exist. Additional questions for help can also be asked via the contact form. I am happy to tell you and your colleagues more about the application of SWOT 2.0. Occasionally I also act as a speaker on topics related to change management.

Old versus new

What are main differences between SWOT 1.0 and 2.0?

The main differences between the SWOT analysis and SWOT 2.0 are that:

  • SWOT 2.0 is the start of a change process.
  • Setting concrete goals makes people enthusiastic and motivated.
  • Obstacles are immediately addressed by drawing up a concrete action plan.
  • With SWOT 2.0, you can start execution the next day.

You can find here more about the differences.

What are the biggest drawbacks of SWOT 1.0?

My experiences after guiding more than 100 SWOT sessions.

  • More than 80% wants as result more than a strategic analysis.
  • To arrive at an action plan via SWOT is time-consuming and complex.
  • More than half of the SWOT participants have a different idea of ​​the objective than the organizer himself.
  • More than 90% of the SWOT sessions mainly yield many generalities.
  • Weaknesses and threats mainly generate a lot of negative energy.
What are the biggest advantages of SWOT 2.0?

SWOT 2.0 is a tool to begin the change process.

  • It gets people into action: analysis, goals and action!
  • You can get participants to think much more focused about the subject from the beginning.
  • After Strengths and Opportunities (Potential) you define a series of concrete goals.
  • Obstacles are immediately addressed by drawing up a concrete action plan.
  • By immediately drawing up a concrete action plan, you can get started the next day.
  • It ends in a positive mood: with an action plan, instead of the threats as in the original SWOT.
Why don't you need training for SWOT 2.0?

The eBook ‘SWOT 2.0 from analysis to targeted action plan’ explains which steps to take. This eBook contains everything you need to know to get started. Companies that have deployed SWOT 2.0 independently managed to do this easily without training.

More about why SWOT 2.0 is better than the original SWOT Analysis can be found on the page about SWOT 2.0 and in the eBooks. So no training is required to properly conduct a SWOT 2.0 session.

Can I combine SWOT 2.0 with other tools?

Yes, you can use other tools. Especially if you want to go deeper into, for example, strategic choices or add a risk analysis. However, these tools can significantly increase lead time.

SWOT 2.0 provides an analysis, objectives and a concrete action plan without the need for additional tools. In addition, the SWOT 2.0 session ends with a motivated team that wants to get started as soon as possible. Often that is more than enough.

Is SWOT 2.0 suitable for StartUps?

Yes, SWOT 2.0 is ideally suited to use in a StartUp environment. The post ‘How StartUps can convert ideas into action‘ describes why SWOT 2.0 is so suitable for StartUps.

The advantage of SWOT 2.0 is that you combine innovative ideas and power of a startup with a fast change approach. SWOT 2.0 is a brainstorming way of working that fits well with the creative phase of a StartUp.

Can a SWOT 2.0 be completed in the same time?

Yes, you can do a SWOT 2.0 session in the same time frame as a SWOT Analysis. While after a SWOT 2.0 session you also have objectives and an action plan available.

Why doesn’t a SWOT 2.0 session take more time?

  • In the Focus step you avoid wandering and unnecessary generalities.
  • Motivation remains high during the session.
  • Both the Potential step and the setting of objectives give a team a lot of enthusiasm.
  • The Obstacles are specific in relation to the objectives.
  • The action plan releases a lot of energy in a SWOT 2.0 team.
Why are motivation and energy higher?

The motivation during a SWOT 2.0 session remains high because, in addition to the analysis, objectives and an action plan are also delivered. It immediately prompts change. Thanks to the Focus step, each participant in the SWOT 2.0 session also knows exactly what they are going to focus on.
The context-free search for Opportunities, before the Strengths of the organization have been determined, gives a team the freedom for creativity. In the Obstacles step, the energy does not drop far, because measures can be taken immediately afterwards in the action plan.

Is the analysis still available?

Yes, the analysis is an important part of SWOT 2.0. The analysis is performed in the Potential step and Obstacles step.

In the Potential step, the Opportunities and Strengths are recorded. The combination of these factors provides context-free insight into the possibilities, linked to the strengths of an organization.

Weaknesses and threats are linked to the objectives. This allows the SWOT 2.0 team to be much more specific in determining the Obstacles.

How are the results of SWOT 2.0 in recent years?

SWOT 2.0 has been tested many times. I have been working with SWOT 2.0 since 2016, and have improved it step by step since then. Only after much testing did I arrive at a final version.

SWOT 2.0 has been tested more than 25 times since 2016. By myself, but also by others. By consultants, as a supervisor, and also by companies that, with limited documentation, have taken matters into their own hands.

As indicated: SWOT 2.0 has been tested in all parts of the world. I am grateful for the enthusiasm and confidence of the consultants and organizations involved. Their reactions can also be found on this website.

About SWOT 2.0

Is SWOT 2.0 a good start to a change process?

Yes, because SWOT 2.0 provides concrete goals and an action plan in addition to an analysis. A team also emerges highly motivated from a SWOT 2.0 session.

The action plan makes it possible to start targeted activities immediately. The action plan is based on the analysis of the possibilities, the strength of the organization and the objectives for the coming period.

SWOT 2.0 is also an excellent tool for change and program managers.

Why is the Focus phase so important?

The Focus step gives the team a chance to thoroughly understand what the SWOT 2.0 session is all about. Although for the SWOT 2.0 team itself it is a short step in the time spent, it is a very important step for the client. Thinking carefully about the scope in advance, determining what it is all about and how you can express it clearly, are decisive for the success and progress of the SWOT 2.0 session.

A clear and good explanation from the client’s side is decisive for a successful SWOT 2.0 session.

Why do we look first at the (external) opportunities?

The opportunity step should be performed as context-free as possible. This phase, which often comes about through brainstorming, requires creativity without mental blocks.

Anything that could hinder participants in their thinking process in this step should be avoided as much as possible. The feasibility and relevance of the opportunities will automatically emerge in the follow-up process.

Immediately starting to think about the opportunities also gives the team a lot of energy. After this phase, the client immediately sees how well his assignment has been understood (Focus).

What does the Potential phase yield?

The Potential step, together with the Focus phase, provides the input to determine the objectives. The Opprtunities bring back the possibilities without limitations. The Strengths indicate which opportunities of an organization are actually within reach. The gaps also become visible in terms of strengths that need to be further developed.

When determining the objectives, there is more than enough input to get started. It is then of course important, looking at the Potential phase, to make these objectives as SMART as possible.

What do SMART objectives deliver?

SMART objectives can only be properly formulated if there is a reasonable consensus within a team. And that is precisely why the first two steps (Focus and Potential) are very important. Once there is consensus, objectives can also be set as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Setting the objectives SMART helps enormously in motivating and enthusing the SWOT 2.0 team.

SMART objectives provide the input to identify weaknesses and threats. Above all, they provide the energy that is needed to really go for success as a team.

Why do the goals precede the obstacles?

Obstacles in SWOT 1.0 often produce an extensive list of everything that is wrong, both inside and outside the organization. Points are almost always mentioned that are not relevant at all in the context of the objectives set.

However, the Weaknesses and Threats do give a blocking and unpleasant feeling, even if they are irrelevant. With SWOT 2.0 you prevent this by only recording the Obstacles that are related to the set goals. That saves a lot of negative energy caused by general and irrelevant obstacles. And that saves even more in the unnecessary loss of energy and motivation in a team.

What if the obstacles make goals unattainable?

In all SWOT 2.0 sessions that took place during the long-term test situation (several years, more than 25 sessions), this did not occur once. In theory, however, this could happen.

Something went wrong somewhere in the Potential phase and/or when making objectives SMART. In such a case, a step back must be taken. The target that is blocked will have to be critically examined. Is it really SMART and consistently drawn up, after checking with the first steps?

Again, this has not happened so far.

What does the action plan deliver?

The action plan gives the opportunity to start the change/improvement process the next day. It also ensures that the team can close the session very positively and enthusiastically. Where SWOT 1.0 ends in a minor (Threats), the end of SWOT 2.0 gives a huge boost to the team. Thanks to the action plan, the team can get started quickly and they share the enthusiasm together.

It is not so bad that it is not exactly clear who is responsible for what action. You can also determine this in the days after the SWOT 2.0 session.

What remains is the high motivation and the will to be successful as an organization.

How do you feedback SWOT 2.0 results?

After a SWOT 2.0 session, you can immediately feedback the results to the organization the next day. What are the goals and what needs to be done to achieve them. And of course how did the SWOT 2.0 team arrive at these results.

Such feedback must of course be done carefully. Show leadership, provide clarity and thank the team that worked on it. The motto ‘make me proud’ is the right attitude to give such feedback.

How important is a quick start of the implementation?

After a SWOT 1.0 analysis, a lot still needs to be done to arrive at concrete SMART goals and a targeted action plan. A new date has to be found, the team has to recharge and the momentum is completely gone. The organization is also in the dark and what is the point of ‘just’ an analysis? At most, proceed to the order of the day and wait for further steps to be taken.

If you want to achieve success as an organization, you will also have to show decisiveness. SWOT 2.0 makes a substantive and careful contribution to this.

What do participants think of SWOT 2.0?

We asked those who had previously worked with a SWOT analysis, what they think of SWOT 2.0. You can try SWOT 2.0 yourself.

Share your experiences and send us feedback!

“SWOT 2.0 really saved us a lot of time. Amazing: getting started the next day, that feels really good.”

“Thank you for your support, the results surprised us.”  

“As you already described: the 2.0 version keeps it positive!” 

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