The goal of a SWOT analysis is to evaluate the external and internal environment so that the organizations understand its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The external analysis (Opportunities and Threats) has to be evaluated first has it is the most complex and you may restrict your analysis if you start by the internal environment. It is expected to present a SWOT analysis in a table.




PESTEL can be used to deepen your analysis. Each letter stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal. This allows to take into account all aspect of an organization life.
In order to fulfill you SWOT analysis and PESTEL you should answer the following questions: 

  • What are the opportunities (external) for the organization? 

In the Political frame? 
In the Economic frame? 
In the Social frame?
In the Technological frame? 
In the Environmental frame?
In the Legal frame?

  • What are the threats (external) for the organization? 

In the Political frame? 
In the Economic frame? 
In the Social frame?
In the Technological frame? 
In the Environmental frame?
In the Legal frame?

  • What are the internal Strengths of the organization? 

In the Political frame? 
In the Economic frame? 
In the Social frame?
In the Technological frame? 
In the Environmental frame?
In the Legal frame?

  • What are the Weaknesses of the organization? 

In the Political frame? 
In the Economic frame? 
In the Social frame?
In the Technological frame? 
In the Environmental frame?
In the Legal frame?

In order to answer those questions an organization uses different sources of information. Internal data such as sales, number of hours work and so one can give a good indication of the evolution of the organization. Members of the executive team have access to the necessary information. Expects in politics, economy, sociology, technology, environment and law can help an organization to answer those questions. Small organizations will also have the opportunity to answer them by looking at their internal data.

Strategy & Change management is a specific field in Organizational Management. It is my area of interest which I will have the pleasure to describe in more details in future posts.  Change is constant in organizational life and the main goal of strategy and change management is to implement successful change in organizations.  The term “change management” covers a wide array of implicit subjects and the term strategy relates to “ a detailed plan for achieving success in situations such as war, politics, business, industry, or sport, or the skill of planning for such situations” (Cambridge Dictionaries online, 2013). In order to introduce this strategy and change management I will try to answer three common questions: why change? , how to change? and How to evaluate the success of the change? Those three questions help understand the change process.

The reasons for change are various. It can be necessary when the external conditions are evolving. For example, the downturn of the economy can make an organization review its development strategy. The willingness to change can also come from internal desire to improve efficiency. It is important to analyze the needs of change before starting the change process. The deciders have to determine what positive and negative impacts a change could have. The positive impacts have to overcome the negative risks.
Once the organization has decided to change it is interesting to see how the changes can be implemented. An organization’s members can participate in the change process. Or organizations will employ external consultants, to facilitate the change process, when their employees do not have the expertise in the specific field for the change. The change can impact one department or the whole organization, but the size of population impacted will influence the type of communication implemented.

In order to evaluate the success of a change it is important to return to the initial reason for the change. Was the goal to improve efficiency, revenue, wellbeing…? The organization has to develop a metric system to measure the evolution. It is easy to measure revenue or efficiency, but it may be more difficult to evaluate an employee’s wellbeing. It is important to define those indices and keep them in mind while developing the change process. 
by Greenblat & Duke, 1981; Spencer 1996

The Snow Card technique is a brainstorming tool that allows group to share individual ideas concerning a question. The ideas are then categorized in themes that help to deepen the analysis. The methods “combines brainstorming – which produces a long list of possible answers to specific questions” (Bryson, M.; 2011). The questions can be related to a SWOT analysis or any questions the group wants to answer. The questions have to be determined before the exercise.

Material needed:

  • Draft paper
  • Pieces of paper that you can stick to a wall – CARDS
  • A wall or blackboard where the pieces of paper will be displayed
  • Pencils 
  • Colored tape 
  • Colored stickers
  • A group of “five to nine person” (Bryson, M.; 2011). 
  • A room with table and seats (one table per group)
  • Camera 


Process:  To answer one question

  1. List questions you want to be answered 
  2. Chose a Facilitator
  3. If you have a large group (more than 12) divide it in sub groups of 5 people.
  4. Invite each group to go to one table 
  5. Ask individuals to list their individual answers for the question on the draft paper. There should not be exchange of idea between individuals.
  6. Ask individuals to select their best 5 or 7 answers and organize them by themes.
  7. Individuals will then write one idea per Card.
  8. Facilitator collects the anonymous Cards and shuffles them.
  9. The group will discuss the theme they found and create Theme Card in a different paper color to differentiate them from regular Cards. One Theme per Theme Card.
  10. The theme cards will be stick to the wall and the colored tape will allow delimitate the theme section.
  11. The facilitator will then enumerate each Card and ask the group to determine under which theme card it should go. New themes can be created at this stage if the group think it is necessary. 
  12. Once the group is satisfied with the repartition of the Cards under card theme they should “discuss, compare and contrast the results” (Bryson, M.; 2011).  
  13. The group should assess the importance of themes and / or cards by displaying a colored stick on important cards. Each individual will be given seven colored stickers that they will use to show their selection.
  14. At the end of the process, the results should be saved in an excel document. The information will be the card information, the themes and the priority level. You can also take pictures of the blackboard during the exercise in order to remember the process. 

This exercise is powerful as it allows people to express themselves without the fear of judgment. It also gives a better idea of what is actually happening in the organization. If you want to answer several questions you have two choices. Your first choice is to start over again for each question. Your second choice will be to assign one question per group. It is much faster but you may miss possible answers.

Source:
Bryson, M. (2011) Strategic Planning for Public and nonprofit Organization: A guide to strengthening and sustaining Organizational Acheivement, 4th Edition, Jossey-Bass


Organizational Sciences also focuses on understanding how leadership and communication influence organizations. Organizations are made of people who come together to create a product or deliver a service. Those people interact with each other using various methods of communication to convey meanings and foster actions. The leader is the specific person who leads people in order to achieve their common goal. A leader will create a shared vision and use communication to influence the members of the organization.
            It is important to note that a manager is not necessary a leader. In my opinion they are pretty different. To make things simple, a leader leads people toward a vision he (or she) has about a preferred future, while a manager manages people to achieve the goals by focusing on the completion of tasks. The leader has followers that believe in the same goal, while the manager has employees that are willing to implement the manager’s directions.  This blog will attempt to answer the following questions: Are there specific personality traits that only leaders possess? What are the different types of leaders? And many others…
 Communication allows people to share knowledge, ideas, emotions, goals, and many other things. Furthermore, communication can help to build organizational efficiency or destroy it. The role of communication tends to be ignored until organizations are in trouble. Communication seems to be easy and natural but a reflection is needed to understand the impact of communication and its possible forms of expression. We are all aware that they are good and bad communication methods. Most of the time, organizations with poor communication are less successful than those with clear communication.  There are different ways to communicate: we can speak, use body language, react, not react or utilize technology to convey a message. Sometimes the message sent is not the one received by people. We all are subject to interpretation of any message which make the role of the communicator complex.

Some questions that one might have are: How can communication be used to facilitate organizational development? What are the tools that organizations possess to communicate and how do they select those tools? Communication exists both inside and outside organizations. Communication starts with the interaction between two people and carries on with the use of mass media and social media. Technology has and is changing the way people interact locally and globally. We are not anymore thinking only in term of local relations but also international relations. Communication is everywhere.
The purpose of Organizational Sciences is to better understand organizations in order to improve their efficiency. It is the crossroad of all fields that focuses on employees, well-being, organizational improvement, and efficiency. Consultants specialized in organizational sciences have the knowledge and hopefully the skills to allow organizations to analyze their current situation and find ways to improve it. 

Organizational Sciences can be divided in two main areas: psychology and business. On the one hand, Organizational Sciences studies the influence of human behavior in group dynamics and organizations success. On the other hand, Organizational Sciences develops an extensive body of knowledge on how businesses are developed from their birth until their death. There are three main areas of study:
  • Strategy & Change Management
  • Leadership & Communication
  • Performance & Talent Management.

My goal is to explain the benefits an organization has when implementing techniques, methodologies and consultants’ expertise to improve their efficiency while respecting all employees.

I believe that individuals have the duty to improve the world they live in by implementing better practices that take into account the human aspect of any issue.