TOWS instead of SWOT?

Dear Bob ... Please let me know how TOWS is superior to SWOT. I HAVE MY EXAMS DAY AFTER TOMORROW. - Student of Strategy Dear Student ... I really shouldn't do this - they are, after all, your exams. Even worse, your professor might not agree with me and I sure don't want to be responsible for your getting a bad grade by citing my perspective on this. So with some misgivings, it's nothing more than the logical or

Dear Bob ...

Please let me know how TOWS is superior to SWOT. I HAVE MY EXAMS DAY AFTER TOMORROW.

- Student of Strategy

Dear Student ...

I really shouldn't do this - they are, after all, your exams. Even worse, your professor might not agree with me and I sure don't want to be responsible for your getting a bad grade by citing my perspective on this. So with some misgivings, it's nothing more than the logical order of things.

SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats - is inward-focused. When a company's executives perform a SWOT analysis it's all about them. Here are our strengths, here are our weaknesses. The marketplace? Oh, yeah, that thing - we'd better pay at least cursory attention to opportunities and threats.

TOWS is the logical order for a business that wants to win in the marketplace, for this simple reason: "Strength" and "Weakness" only have meaning in the context of what you're trying to accomplish in the marketplace. So for companies trying to win, looking first at threats and opportunities, then evaluating strengths and weaknesses in that context, provides a way to decide what to focus on that's more intelligent than throwing a bunch of stuff onto a flipchart and choosing the favorites (which in all likelihood will be the ones most easily dealt with).

- Bob