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,
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
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
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
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
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?
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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
You implement this using the 5-I’s method
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
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