Your strategy is a hypothesis. Use a mid-year review to test its accuracy.

Your strategy is a hypothesis. It’s your team’s best guess as to what will yield long-term success. So far this year, you’ve been implementing a strategy with a supporting set of coordinated actions in pursuit of specific goals and targets.

If you’re nearing completion of those actions, and your performance measures are on target, then your hypothesis is correct. Nice work. Keep on truckin’.

But what if they’re not? What if your organizational actions aren’t producing the desired result? If this is the situation you’re in, your hypothesis might be incorrect and it’s probably time to tackle a mid-year SWOT calibration.

Not sure what to do next? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are four simple steps for getting the job done:

Step 1: Confirm your SWOT.
Is it still relevant? Have new environmental or internal factors changed any of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats?

Step 2: Articulate a diagnosis.
A good diagnosis is a succinct and objective statement that simplifies the complexity of your organization’s current state taking into consideration both internal and external factors. It serves to ground leadership teams by rallying around certain aspects of your current state that need to be critically addressed to ensure the right strategic objectives are being pursued.

Step 3: Clarify your guiding approach.
Given the diagnosis, or re-diagnosis, build a series of guiding approaches for influencing organizational action. A good guiding approach addresses the challenges identified in the diagnosis head-on and defines the broad-sweeping approach an organization will take in overcoming obstacles and capturing opportunities.

Step 4: Reassess your actions.
Define new, highly coordinated and coherent actions, which are distributed across the organization for execution slated for the back half of the year.

Chances are you probably have good visibility into your organizational performance leading into a mid-year performance review. If your assessment is telling you you’re off-track don’t wait for a mid-year review to confirm what you already know. Start a mid-year SWOT now, so you’re prepared during a mid-year review to take action on assigning new actions for the back half of the year.

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