There are a multitude of different tools available to help organisations consider and prepare for potential futures that should form part of business and strategy planning. These are vital for building resilience, as Econsultancy’s Developing Future Strategy: Long-Term Thinking for Marketers report notes: “Long-term future thinking can make the difference between whether an organisation thrives and survives or is swept away.”
Although planning for the long term is vital for resilience, there are additional tools that organisations can use to quickly understand the immediate environment and what measures they can take in response to a crisis.
PEST and SWOT analysis models
- PEST (political, economic, social, technological) analysis: This relatively simple tool can help organisations look at the macro factors that dominate the market in order to better understand the key external drivers that will have the most direct impact on their marketplace.
- SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis: This grid allows organisations to understand their exposure to these factors in order to mitigate risks and spot opportunities.
While companies were not in a position to predict the Covid-19 crisis and put a specific contingency plan in place, many will have updated their analysis as the pandemic developed. The PEST analysis would be a statement of fact about the virus for each aspect. The SWOT analysis allows the company to assess how they may respond.