Individuals and communities are dynamic so the resources and services available need to be able to meet the existing as well as the changing needs. Community service programs in any specialty can better meet the needs of communities by building on organizational strengths and mediating features that may be falling short.
Just as individual self-awareness can allow more effective decision-making and more intuitive responses to life stressors, “organizational self-awareness” promotes accurate evaluation of how well programs and services are meeting intended needs.
Gaining “organizational self-awareness” can be achieved with a SWOT analysis. The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The purpose of a SWOT analysis is to explore the internal and external factors that influence the work, progress and effectiveness of community service programs. A structured exploration of these domains can reveal positive forces that work together and actual as well as potential problems that need to be recognized or addressed.
Internal factors include personnel, physical and experiential resources within the organization. External factors, often tethered to internal factors, involve funding sources, legislative activity, cultural and economic trends, demographic fluctuations and local or national events.
Lupine Creative Consulting can facilitate a SWOT analysis for any health-related organization seeking to set or reaffirm goals and create a strategic action plan toward goal achievement.