On page 87 of our August 2003 issue, we presented an outlined box titled, "How to Develop a Strategy: Suggested Points For Analysis," to accompany our cover story. The four key elements of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis were to be included, but two of the elements were inadvertently omitted. We regret the error, and we are reprinting below the entire outline for a SWOT analysis:

Strengths (Internal)

  • List what you do well.
  • List your skills, key competencies, specialized techniques, scientific disciplines and education.
  • List your strengths in planning, organizing, executing, controlling and evaluating.
  • List your problem-solving and decision-making skills (your ability to analyze, define, and solve problems).
  • List your communication skills (verbal, writing, teaching).
  • List how the services you provide can be differentiated from services offered by others.

Weaknesses (Internal)

  • What could be improved?
  • What is done poorly?
  • Are facilities obsolete?
  • Do you have the proper equipment and technology to do your job effectively?
  • Do you have adequate personnel?
  • Do others perceive weaknesses that you do not see?

Opportunities (External)

  • Changes in technology.
  • Changes in regulations and legislation.
  • Changes in social patterns, demographics.
  • Changes in lifestyle.
  • Health care issues.

Threats (External)

  • What obstacles do you face?
  • Are the required specifications for your job, products or services changing?
  • Is changing technology threatening your position?
  • Are you able to document your value to management?
  • Do you possess the skills, key competencies and education to further your career within the company or independently?
  • What is your competition doing, and are they doing it better than you?

For more information, contact:

Annette B. Haag, RN, BA, COHN, President, Annette B. Haag & Associates, P.O. Box 2098, Simi Valley, CA 93062. Telephone: (805) 581-3234. E-mail: