Campaigns are faced with tough decisions every day. Should we say this? Should our candidate show up here? Was that endorsement a good idea? These are just a sampling of the questions your friends in the campaign game ask, and we know it’s tough to call the right shots.
In making those choices, there should be some sort of process. Being “the decider” can bring forth benefits by capitalizing on an early success, but in the same regard it can lead towards decision making without all of the facts and concerns accounted for. Making decisions based on impulse or instinct can certainly create a disaster- especially for campaigns that are constantly in the spotlight.
Inc Magazine brought up the discussion of the “SWOT” analysis, a management tool that considers strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the decision making process. Usually, it can help evaluate the realities of a situation and help decide the best course of action. Here’s one we made for publishing this column:
Using SWOT, you first decide the strengths of your situation. What resources do you have? Who’s on your side? What is your record of success?
Then, you do the opposite. Who’s against you? What are they saying? What vulnerabilities could be exposed by this decision?
You then evaluate what you can gain from the choice and what threats that choice would exaggerate. This is where understanding the cost/benefit relationship of your decision is important. Hopefully, by assessing the outcomes from SWOT, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what could happen.
So, got a big decision coming up? SWOT it away, and make sure you’ve got the possibilities covered.