All You Need Is A Good SWOT

My college is going through a SWOT analysis process at the moment and each division and department is supposed to fill out a 29 page form detailing where things stand.

SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. Wikipedia has a good primer article on it, including a few warnings about how not to use it. I also found a web page that performs some SWOT analyses on familiar corporations.

Essentially, the analysis serves as a tool to get organizations talking about the internal factors (Strengths and Weaknesses) and external factors (Opportunities and Threats) in relation to a project or venture. It doesn’t have to be applied to an entire organization, but perhaps to a sub-area like ticket office operations. Small groups within an organization can employ this process in order to make recommendations to management.

I just thought I would toss this information out there as an FYI. While it does have its weaknesses, the process is fairly easy to use and doesn’t require participation by everyone in the organization to be effective.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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