Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart was a great believer in looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, SWOT, on a regular basis. So much so that he made it part of their regular Saturday management meetings. In Sam’s own words:

“That Saturday morning meeting is very much about business. Its purpose is to let everyone know what the rest of the company is up to. If we can, we find heroes among our associates and bring them to Bentonville, where we praise them in front of the whole meeting.(Strengths)

“But I don’t like to go to the meeting and hear about just the good things that are happenning. I like to hear what our weaknesses are, where we aren’t doing as well as we should and why. I like to see a problem come up and then hear suggestions as to how it can be corrected. If we decide we’re doing something wrong, and the solution is obvious, we can order changes right then and carry them out over the weekend, while most everybody else in the retail business is off.

“The Saturday morning meeting is where we discuss and debate much of our philosophy and our management strategy (Threats): it is the focal point of all of our communication efforts. It’s where we share ideas (Opportunities) we’ve picked up from various places.”