The sSWOT analysis can produce numerous insights, so the next step will be to filter and present them to key decision makers.

Which insights will influence your CEO, CFO, Directors, or other decision maker, or keep him/her up at night?

Identify the three or four insights most likely to resonate with a senior executive (even if the C-suite is not the immediate audience). These may be the insights that most clearly link environmental challenges with core business drivers or the performance indicators that an executive is tracking on a regular basis. Consider links to:
  • Opportunities: revenue growth, new customers, new markets, operational and financial stability, leadership positioning.
  • Risks: rising costs, reduced margins, new competitors, production or supply chain disruptions, staff retention challenges.

BOX 12

The sustainability team at Danone Brasil used the sSWOT as a means of assessing whether their sustainability plans for the next five years covered important risks and opportunities to innovate. They first worked through the sSWOT in detail with a core group athat included colleagues from R&D and purchasing. Next they expanded the group to involve other departments, including some business leaders who were familiar with sustainability concepts.
You may choose to use other methods or processes to assess the materiality of the insights highlighted in your sSWOT analysis. Companies like Ford use a “materiality matrix” to evaluate the level of impact and concern for various sustainability issues (see example in Ford’s 2010/2011 sustainability report, available online).

When presenting the insights, revisit the original context for the analysis (identified in 1. Where to start). Showcase the connections to your company’s mission statement, core values or business drivers which inform executives’ priority lists.
Identify options for strong messengers and explore opportunities to connect with those individuals. It may be that the best person to deliver the message to your CFO is another CFO. The best person to deliver a message to a CEO may be the CEO of a key customer. Consider reaching out to contacts at other companies to share (pre-competitive) insights from your sSWOT analysis and explore connections between senior leaders. Otherwise, arm yourself with examples of other senior leaders who might inspire others to see risks and opportunities in environmental challenges.
Identify strong messengers and explore opportunities to connect with those individuals. It may be that the best person to deliver the message to your CFO is another CFO.