A S.C.O.R.E.S. analysis is defined as an innovative strategic planning technique to identify an organization’s Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, Risks, Environment and Systems. From a high-level perspective, this technique can provide innumerable advantages to achieve a wide range of organizational goals. SCORES can improve a company’s competitive advantage, maximize its organizational efficiencies, open the doors for constructive feedback, and enhance its cultural climate. For organizations seeking a future of growth and positive change, a SCORES analysis might just be the link to that future.
A SCORES analysis helps evaluate a wide range of internal and external factors that affect any organization and identify areas of improvement. One key to its success is providing its participants with a safe and inclusive environment to analyze the organization through open, transparent and even courageous conversations. When facilitated properly and evaluated objectively, this tool can significantly improve the overall effectiveness and culture of an entire organization. To further illustrate, shown below are specific benefits that can produce a favorable, cohesive and well executed SCORES analysis.
Each organization has unique strengths, weaknesses, and cultural features. SCORES allows a company to clearly identify its organizational characteristics that work and those that do not. These strengths are internal factors that distinguish a company from its competitors. For example, having a superior product, excellent customer service, tenure and reputation in the industry, exceptional key leadership personnel, score card metrics, loyal customer base, low employee turnover, unique software systems, exceptional company culture. How does your organization “strengthen up” over others? But identifying your strengths is just the first step. Strengths must then be optimized in a cohesive strategy to showcase and reinforce why you are the best in your industry wheelhouse.
Completing a SCORES analysis encourages everyone involved to be transparent and respond to questions objectively. This will enable you to gain a more accurate reality of your organization. When you identify your organization’s challenges, it can also bring more clarity as to what is and what is not actually happening and working within your organization as well as within your industry. The SCORES process helps organizations separate perception from reality, and to implement corrective adjustments that maximize the strengths that produce the most benefits. Figuratively speaking, thinking “outside the box” is a constant challenge for executives. However, within every organization, key employees are often an underutilized resource for valuable insight and feedback. They could help evaluate organizational systems and streamline the adaptation process for the most effective ideas. One habitual philosophy that hampers productive change in organizations, is that if something is not broken, don’t fix it. Just the opposite may be true. When things are done the same way and not evaluated closely, we become complacent and ignore opportunities to make changes that enhance and elevate improvements. What are the challenges faced in such areas as operations, workflow, staffing, processes, and delivery? What are the people you serve saying that may pinpoint challenges and elevate opportunities within your organization? The answers to these questions already exist in the experience of the people closely engaged with your organization. And this is where SCORES comes in.
All organizations have areas where they can improve. Challenges refer to areas of potential improvement that currently hinder an organization from optimal performance and profitability. Examples of challenges might include, lack of capital, aging of key employees, poor marketing efforts, significant debt, limited labor force in terms of skillsets required, increased market competition, weak supply chain, antiquated IT system, ineffective social media presence, little to no internal executive coaching, muddled marketing message and no clear succession plan.
Where there are challenges, opportunities abound! Oftentimes it just takes a concentrated effort to think “outside the box” and evaluate various opportunities that exist in the organization, internally and externally. We have all experienced the unprecedented pandemic that led to challenging economic downturns. However, resourceful companies can still thrive and experience soaring profits in every economy, many times just by rearchitecting their organizational structure and output delivery systems. One example is the post-pandemic hybrid / remote work schedules that lifted employee morale and productivity. You may need to shift or expand your mental parameters and re-evaluate alternative procedures, product mixes, market trends, etc. and determine the best ways to benefit from the existing (or new) reality in terms of best addressing needs and wants.
Envisioning various opportunities through the expanded lens of possibility has enormous positive potential. It can also do wonders to help inspire and equip your team members to elevate themselves and your internal processes to a higher plane. These are possibilities that a SCORES analysis can deliver.
Threats exist for all organizations and enterprises. Only naïve leadership would ignore the possibility that there are, or could be, competitors, technologies, situations or conditions that could have a negative impact on your company’s existence and sustainability. Identifying such threats and then putting together a contingency plan or proactive strategy to deal with them is essential to minimize or eliminate costly impacts. You can then calmly stockpile the necessary resources and allocate appropriate personnel requirements when you are not in a reactive crisis mode.
Effective leaders and their risk managers are proactive and innovative in the face of potential threats. However, exceptional leaders and their correspondingly outstanding risk managers are those who take timely, decisive, and innovative action to implement measures that mitigate or eliminate all unnecessary risks to their organization.
The cultural environment of an organization is typically patterned from its core values as stated in its mission statement. The mission statement should also validate the performance of how the people serve others. The SCORES analysis can help open the floodgates of conversations and ideas that can lift a stagnant organization. The mission statement would reflect the environment of the workplace, the delivery of the service and the attitude of the people serving. When mid-level managers of a team are given a template promoting creativity and outlining visionary long-term strategic planning, they are typically even more confident and more productive. This will enable the team to make more educated decisions that promote a healthy work environment and a reliable mission statement delivery that synchronizes with the services provided.
Systems that are operationally streamlined to generate improved outcomes and more productive employees are the optimal goal. The usage of artificial intelligence (AI) combined with emotional intelligence (EI) has been proven to produce better and improved systems. Efficient data and information systems are the backbone for organizations that value the checks and balances of quality assurance. One of the most efficient ways to streamline a company’s day-to-day business operations is to optimize its basic operational framework from a systematic perspective. By conducting a SCORES analysis, a company can highlight its potential systematic weaknesses to minimize or eliminate them.
In some cases, they can be turned into strengths or help to creatively develop systems to resolve reoccurring problems. Some examples of a system assessment might include a software need or improvement, brand awareness of system unique features, and onboarding features that allow improvements of the systems utilized.
Other types of assessment might include the way departments integrate and engage with each other to enhance teamwork, efficiency and consistent outcomes.
How to get SCORES started?
The rationale for a SCORES analysis must be clearly stated with the team at the onset of the analysis. Strategically engaging the membership of an organization with the results of a SCORES analysis also affords many benefits. The organizational team’s overarching mindset prior to diving into the SCORES analysis should be to stimulate creativity, thinking out of the box while always promoting interactive team engagement and honesty.
The SCORES analysis ideally transitions into a synergistic blueprint designed to help propel individual and organizational change, opportunity and growth. It becomes easier for the team to see the bigger picture and envision themselves playing a more important and integrated role in the enterprise when they fully realize that it is a TEAM effort (Together Everyone Achieves More). When discussed with their manager, the SCORES analysis can also be an important tool for individual employee self-assessment, which in turn can incentivize them in their ongoing pursuit to support and improve the enterprise which they are helping to grow.
Keep in mind that these briefly outlined benefits are merely thought-provoking gateways to a virtually unlimited array of concepts, ideas and enhancements from which your organization could potentially glean measurable generational benefits.
It is highly recommended that the SCORES analysis be a facilitated exercise. The best results of these meetings have been when using someone who can be impartial and yet encourage a creative thinking process. This could be someone from an internal learning and development department or an external consultant. In either case it should be someone who can work with the group in an almost transparent fashion, not speaking for the group.
It’s amazing what can happen when committed stakeholders are given the freedom to interact synergistically within the creative atmosphere of a purpose driven management team. The resulting positive actions of a SCORES analysis could not only help solidify the future success of your organization, but it could also inspire and re-energize your entire work force.