Lexcel: Why a Personal SWOT and PESTLE analysis should be part of your 2023 Toolbox

Many of us have used a SWOT or PESTLE analysis as part of our management requirements and to assist with making better business decisions.

However it often stops there. It is something that is done in a panic the night before or even during the visit from an ISO auditor and that 6 month and annual review.

But both tools have a wider application and should be used more frequently. I would say at least once a quarter. I do know some who do monthly. A Personal SWOT though is an ideal tool that is overlooked and not only for management. Why not extend it to the Team Members?

Why use a Personal SWOT

SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

A Personal SWOT is an ideal tool to allow a way of assessing strengths’ etc without relying on an HR driven employee matrix which may well only ask the questions favoured by a biassed individual in HR.

From the SWOT you can look both inwards at yourself and also outwards to what your own development should look like. It can assist in increasing your own contribution to the Team and to customer outcomes within the product manufacture or service created/provided.

A SWOT offers as said so much more than a matrix you are forced to do online as part of an annual review. Take a few sheets of paper, grab a pencil (very much into my Blackwings [Pencils] this year) grab some highlighters sit down with a coffee and see what flows.

A SWOT is effectively that blank piece of paper. A chance for you to lay out precisely how you actually view yourself with no prompts. 

Add into your SWOT analysis the ability to find and develop a relationship with a mentor, not necessarily within your own firm or even field, and it will give you something that you can use as a building block that will benefit you and your team.

What is a Personal PESTLE?

PESTLE : Politics, Economic(s), Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental. All factors that impact the effectiveness of your Team members and thus organisation.

A Personal PESTLE is a somewhat more complex beast. More complicated is the questions it asks but nonetheless very worthwhile.

Management should know what their Team Members think about the world that surrounds them. After all, too often decisions are made by someone with a First in PPE from Oxford who has no clue what is actually happening 3 streets away from Whitehall let alone in Pwllheli.

It is not just a business that needs to understand these factors. These factors will have a profound effect on your Team, your customers and by understanding how those factors can be considered may well assist you the management in how they make decisions.

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Will Whawell has over 30 years’ experience in legal costs. He is a Legal Project Practitioner (IILPM), a Lead Auditor ISO 9001:2015 (IRCA) as well as an internal ISO 27001 auditor. He is a Lexcel consultant and adviser to several alternative funding providers in the UK on legal costs and funding matters.

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Will Whawell
Will Whawell
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