Hi, this is Garry from Next Actions

Theres lots of different ways to plan.

All of these have their own strengths and weaknesses

Join me to discuss the SOAR analysis, a strength based strategy for planning that helps you get the results you deserve

One of the most common analysis tools people use os the SWOT analysis.

This stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

This technique is often run from the top down, meaning that the people doing the analysis are generally managers and executives

It focuses on the weaknesses and threats and ways to mitigate against them

This is fine, but by just focusing on the negatives it can lead to a limited set of options.

These are all focused on fixing the perceptions of the managers and executives

The SOAR technique flips this on its head

Using the SOAR technique you make it bottom-up driven

You engage the people doing the work.

You engage your customers

You engage the whole organisation in the planning activity

This technique is also focused on building on your existing strengths

Its about taking what is already good and then making it even better

SOAR is very much focused on producing actions that can be taken to move your business forward

So what does SOAR stand for,

It is

Strengths

Opportunities

Aspirations

And Results

These are presented in a 2 2 grid, very similar to a SWOT analysis

The top left is your strengths

This is where you bring out what the organisation does well

Here you ask questions like

What do we so well?

What have we accomplished?

What makes us stand out?

What are we proud of?

The bottom left is the opportunities that you can see

This is where you would list things that you can leverage to increase your success

You are focusing here on things that can improve, like profitability, market share etc

Here you would be asking questions like

Are there any partnerships that can be set up to increase success?

What trends are in the market that are aligned with our strengths?

From the SWOT analysis, are there any threats that can be re-framed to become opportunities?

Are there any gaps in the market that we can step into?

The top right, this is where you would details your aspirations

This is your vision for the future

It’s how you want to build on your strengths so you can challenge and improve on the current state of your business

Some questions you may ask include

What do we want to achieve?

How can we make a difference to others?

Where are our passions? How can we build on these?

What strategies and actions are needed to become that future vision?

The bottom right, this is where the results you want go

This is a list of measures that you can use to show that you have met your aspirations

Questions you can use here include

How will we know we have succeeded?

What does success look and feel like?

Remember visualisation is a very important tool for getting the results you deserve.

What are the SMART goals that we can apply to show that we have succeeded?

To get the most from the SOAR methods it is recommended that you use the 5-I’s method

These are

Initiate

Here you kick of the process

You define the terms of reference – what are you going to be looking at

You decide who will be involved

You setup any sessions required

Inquire

Here you have sessions to answer the questions

These are likely to be brainstorming sessions, and are likely to be multiple sessions

In these you are exploring the questions, digging deep into each

You are trying to bring out as much of the “good” as you can

In this part you are mostly filling up the Strengths and Opportunities but you will also still be adding to the Aspirations and Results

Imagine

This part is usually quite short

Here you are taking the results from the previous stage and collating them together

You then use this to look at all the possibilities

This is where wild ideas can come up.

Don’t discard these, the wild ideas are usually the ones that can lead to success

In this part you are filling out those aspirations and results sections

You are producing the vision

Innovate

This phase is the planning part

You are looking at the aspirations and results and how you can take your strengths and opportunities and us them to achieve your goals

This is all about coming up with actions

One of the focuses of SOAR is to have defined and measurable actions that can be followed

When coming up with actions, look at how you can build on your existing strengths to take them to the next level

Inspire to Implement

This sections is all about doing the work

You follow the action plan

You track this results

You monitor how each aspiration is being met

You celebrate your successes

You start to get the results you deserve

Do you have a problem that you can use the SOAR technique with?

If you do then put a comment below

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To summarise, the SOAR method is a planning technique that builds on your existing strengths

You can use it to come up with a collaborative plan based on what what you do well

SOAR stands for

Strengths

Opportunities

Aspirations

And Results

You implement this using the 5-I’s method

Initiate

Inquire

Imagine

Innovate

And Inspire to Implement

Remember this is all about building on your existing strengths

It does not focuses on weaknesses and threats, so you may miss out on important threats that can have a serious impact on your business

I recommend that you use both SOAR and SWOT in your planning

These two techniques complement each other and give you a fuller picture that just using one

If you have a problem you are struggling with then why not chat to me about how we can use SOAR and SWOT to help you solve the problem.

By working together you can get the results you deserve

Please reach out to me on 0415 591672

I am based in Australia so please use the international dialling code if calling from another Country

You can also email me on garry@nextactions.com.au

or visit nextactions.com.au where you will find a link to book a free short introductory call

Do you have any topics you’d like me to cover

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I’ll talk to you again soon