Description of Challenge
Understanding the environment we act within is important for creating projects that matter to the people around us. In more traditional methods, like the SWOT analysis, it's easy to think opportunistically and to focus on weaknesses and threaths. While usesful, it can drive our projects from a sense of scarcity or competition, and pain a picture of others as threaths to our success instead of key players in it
“Weaknesses and threats are not ignored. They are reframed and given the appropriate focus within the opportunities and results conversations. Ultimately it becomes a question of balance. Why not spend as much time or more on what you do well and how you can strengthen a strategic advantage? What gives you more energy to take action? What gives you confidence to set a stretch goal and achieve results?” - Jaqueline Stavros & Gina Hinrichs
SOAR is a strategy formulation and planning framework that allows an organisation to plan its most
preferred future. SOAR takes the Appreciative Inquiry philosophy and applies it to provide a
strategic thinking and dialog process. SOAR analysis is a powerful tool to bring stakeholders together to recognise the potential of the a project and create a shared vision of the future. Building on strengths requires less effort and resources than trying to correct weaknesses. The technique is more action oriented than a SWOT analysis and is focused on outcomes.
SOAR stands for:
Strengths: What are our greatest strengths? What do we do well?
Opportunities: What are our best opportunities? Who could we partner with? How can we activate
Aspirations: What is our preferred future? What do we want to be known for?
Results: What are the measures that tell us if we’ve achieved our aspirations? Is anyone better off?