Using Tools correctly.

Business studies is full of two way grids ,matrices and canvasses of one type or another, These range from well known acronym driven tools like PESTLE SWOT to the now famous business model canvas,

As a lecturer in degree level business I see students getting the wrong end of tools; they think as long as they can talk about PESTLE or SWOT or Porter’s Five forces they know Strategic management inside out.

Unfortunately the tools and acronyms give a false sense of security; many students know the tools but fail to use them well. This is not just for students business professionals also fall foul of generalist lists or a patch work quilt of “post it” notes on a flip chart. What is missing is the motivation behind a listed factor.

The classic at the moment for any PESTLE analysis or SWOT threat is BREXIT.  Apart from every poorly managed and failing business blaming BREXIT rather than themselves, the threat is rarely explained.

This type of thing is especially seen in PESTLE and if you don’t explain the reasoning for something on the list and its consequence clearly stated then doing the PESTLE in the first place is pointless.

Kaplan and Norton also got frustrated when the great Balanced Score Card  resulted in massive lists under the headings and had to write another book to rectify the poor usage – Strategy Mapping,.

Rubbish in rubbish out – no tool or framework is going to solve that for you.

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