Academic Knowledge has Real World Applications

Erin's Blog  4-26I majored in history in college. This wasn’t particularly thrilling to my parents, so they encouraged me to minor in business. During one of my first business classes, the professor talked about how to do a SWOT Analysis. This technique, used to help evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a business venture, is easy to use and remember and a generally helpful tool. But as a college student, the idea of a SWOT analysis was just academic.

Fast forward a year or so and I was an intern sitting in a department meeting and the VP started scribbling the letters SWOT on the white board in the conference room. Immediately I thought of that particular lesson in the business class and realized that this technique really was useful in a corporate environment.

In the next few months Brandon Hall Group will focus on publishing frameworks, models, and tools that are relevant to each of our portfolio areas.  See an example here. Frameworks, models, and tools are great ways to communicate an idea or share a vision when there is limited time. But, having spent many more years in the industry now since my first experience with a business model, one thing I’ve learned along the way is that no two companies are completely alike; however, they often share important characteristics.

These frameworks, models, and tools are starting points for you and we will share multiple versions of similar concepts, because unlike a simple SWOT analysis, useful for any company, the idea of one single framework that meets everyone’s needs isn’t realistic. Some variables include:

  • Company size
  • Industry
  • Business maturity
  • Process and technology maturity
  • Work environments
  • Culture
  • Leadership preferences

We know every organization starts at a different place, and we want to help you by providing concepts that you can use and apply to your specific situation in a way that is relevant for your business needs. If you have a particular model or tool that you would like us to research and share, please let us know by contacting us at [email protected].  We’d also love to hear about your own models and frameworks that have helped you successfully communicate your ideas and approaches to your business.

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