The SWOT / TOWS Analysis Framework

Different arrangements for the same words – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – the SWOT/TOWS analysis framework explores internal and external forces that influence your business.
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What the download contains

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  • The UNITE Navigator, offering an overview of all UNITE models
  • The basic SWOT Analysis Matrix
  • The more advanced TOWS Analysis Matrix building on the SWOT matrix
Easily identify the key threats and opportunities.
Recognize and address uncontrollable forces.
Identify internal opportunities to make change.
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Richard Cobie, CEO

Reviewed on 15 July 2022

5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended as a purchase, worth the investment!

I completely re-evaluated the role of innovation in business growth: before reading this book I have to admit I thought it only entailed product new features and technologies enhancements, while now I see it has everything to do with meeting customer needs and uncovering a business USP, which automatically translates in sales! Could not recommend it more!

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Reviewed on 15 July 2022

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Unlike most business innovation books I read over the last years (and even decades) when reading How to create innovation you immediately understand the authors have been there, innovating and transforming some of the world's most amazing brands. Great work!

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Reviewed on 18 July 2022

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Not only this book offers the most comprehensive innovation and business change overview but it really helps you take the next step, driving you step by step from theory to practice (also with super useful background notes and driving questions)

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Reviewed on 2 Aug 2022

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I really enjoyed the whole book, but mostly the culture chapter, mainly because I always failed to acknowledge its major role in favouring or inhibiting business growth. Loved the graphics that helped connect all the dots in a visually appealing (and way easier) way.

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Reviewed on 13 Aug 2022

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We’been willing to innovate our business for some years now, but then we always got stuck before we even started, because basically we had no idea where to start…This book helped us do just that: find the right starting point with guiding questions and an incredibly comprehensive innovation overview.

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Why we use it

It can be challenging to gain a full understanding of all the forces that affect your business’s success and failure. The SWOT and TOWS Matrices and Analyses push us to look inward as well as outward to see all challenges as opportunities for growth. We should also recognize that current success is not guaranteed to continue – there are always threats for which we must prepare and plan. The SWOT analysis framework provides a broad view of the forces working for and against our business, while the TOWS framework makes room for practical strategizing. Taken together, we get a useful, comprehensive description of the environments in which we are working, and we are put in a position to best leverage opportunity and overcome challenges.

How It Works

‘Although they are connected, SWOT and TOWS analyses are distinct.

In the SWOT Matrix, you consider Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats as they relate to your organization. This is an initial analysis that requires you to consider the environment within your business as well as the circumstances without.

The TOWS Matrix takes the analysis one step further, adding another layer to the matrix to create fields that combine the SWOT categories: Strengths/Opportunities, Weaknesses/Opportunities, Strengths/Threats, and Weaknesses/Threats.
In these fields, you enter actionable strategies that take the combinations into account. For example, consider how you can respond to Threats that target your Weaknesses to mitigate potential damage.

In both analyses, you’re asked to investigate your entire business model and all operations, perhaps more thoroughly than you would otherwise. As a result, you can prepare and plan in a manner that best positions your organization for success.

What is the goal of the model?

Through the SWOT/TOWS Matrix, we identify and respond to internal and external forces that influence – for good and for bad – how our business performs.

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