The SCOC analysis is an asset-based strategic planning tool focusing on the core strengths of a business, building upon what it claims to be the shortcomings of a traditional SWOT analysis. Indeed, the SCOC analysis claims that the SWOT analysis focuses on threats that might never materialize, thus underweighting potential opportunities.
Understanding the SCOC analysis
In a SWOT analysis, decision-makers tend to spend most of their time repairing weaknesses and speculating about external threats. The end result is that is the positive aspects of a company – strengths and opportunities – are not given the attention they deserve.
Practitioners of the SCOC analysis argue that the SWOT analysis is a deficit-based approach to strategic planning. Businesses end up planning for threats that never materialize and their focus on negative outcomes blinds them to avenues for growth.
The SCOC analysis is a more balanced approach. It does not exaggerate weaknesses and threats, nor does it undervalue strengths and opportunities.
Running a SCOC analysis
A SCOC analysis is an asset-based approach that considers four key areas:
- Internal strengths – what is the business already doing well?
- Internal challenges – how can these strengths be used to solve current or predicted challenges within the business?
- External opportunities – what are the external opportunities most suited to the strengths of the business?
- External challenges – how can the business face external challenges with a positive mindset? This is a key differentiator of the SCOC analysis, encouraging decision-makers to maintain an open, curious, and creative mindset when faced with difficulties.
Why is the SCOC analysis important?
As noted in the introduction, businesses that conduct SWOT analyses tend to become preoccupied with identifying and then planning for negative outcomes.
This phenomenon has been extensively studied. Scientific research has found that negative emotions in have approximately three times the impact of positive emotions.
The SCOC analysis is important in helping decision-makers avoiding devoting company resources to problems that may be overstated or worse still, non-existent.
Mindfulness-based strategic awareness
Here, mindfulness is combined with aspects of positive psychology to encourage leaders to adopt a results-oriented focus on business strategy. This gives them the ability to perceive, create, and capitalize on potential opportunities for growth.
Importantly, an awareness of the positive aspects (or strengths) of strategy achieves better outcomes for the business and improves company culture. It also gives the employees within a business the cognitive flexibility to adapt to new challenges.
- The SCOC analysis is an asset-based and solution-focused strategic planning tool.
- The SCOC analysis was created to address a tendency for decision-makers to become preoccupied with weaknesses and threats in a SWOT analysis. In many cases, this preoccupation blinds the company to strengths and opportunities.
- The SCOC analysis is one of a host of similar analyses advocating a mindful approach to strategy formulation. This allows decision-makers to combine mindfulness with positive psychology to focus on core strengths and the meeting of challenges with an open mind.
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