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Intersect Benchmark Swot Analysis Paper

Intersect Benchmark SWOT Analysis Paper Karen M Lane MMPBL/520 Transformational Leadership September 26, 2011 Steve Williams Small business owners and organizations fight for survival is becoming a part of everyday conversations, headline news, journey topics, and radio talk.Businesses around the world are trying to avoid the graveyard for businesses.This is a place where unsuccessful businesses rest after consumers closes their wallets and corporate revenue plunge beyond repair.

The fight for survival is real and the challenges faced have the potential to bring a finish to a once good ideal.

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Strategic planning is a necessary tool for an organization or small business to know where the company is headed and what means the plan will get the organization there. This plan may consist of looking at the organization’s strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). This paper will benchmark two well know companies while using a SWOT analysis to compare and contrast leadership and change management. SWOT analysis is the foundation for building a strategic plan. SWOT analysis identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threads an organization is facing. The advantage of completing a SWOT analysis is the gathered information that may be used to empower the organization through building on the strengths, identifying and overcoming weaknesses, using opportunities for advancement, and the ability to properly manage and minimize external threats” (McNamara, 2011). The two companies of choice is Southwest Airlines and

Company History and SWOT Analysis Southwest Airlines “In 1966 a group of Texas investors founded a company called Air Southwest Co. later becoming incorporated as Southwest Airline Co. in 1967. Southwest has become the largest domestic airline in the United States by the amount of passengers carried. Southwest Airlines has been in business for over 43 years as a successful airline, but their success has not been without a cost Southwest devised a plan to eliminate in-flight meals, aggage transfer, and other traditional frill to ensure lower cost. This helped Southwest Airlines create a new form of transportation by competing against the automobile industry for travel (International Directory of Company Histories, 2005). Southwest added a new twist to the airline and transportation industry that caused its competitors to step out of their comfort zone. Over the next several years Southwest Airlines grew larger through the waging of price wars from their competitors. In 2000 Southwest revenues were 6. billion and became known for their “Taking Care of Business” slogan. Southwest relinquish corporate perks to continue to supply their customers with cheaper fares. Southwest’s much success was soon followed by 9/11 terrorist attacks. “In the mist of 9/11 Southwest’s competitors experienced thousands of workers being laid off, lost billions of dollars, and headed for protection from the bankruptcy courts, but Southwest continued to profit” (International Directory of Company Histories, 2005). A couple of known causes were airlines faced extremely high oil prices like never before, drastic security measures had to be taken to prevent something like this from happening again, and customers once more turned to use other forms of transportation. The loss of confidence that customers and the airlines suffered from the 9/11 hijackings cause a fear throughout the world” (Jay, 199-2011). This fear forced Southwest Airlines to make the necessary changes needed to overcome the present storm. Southwest plan of attached stemmed from employee morale.

Whereas other airlines were folding under pressure resulting in employee layoffs, Southwest secured the future of their employees through union negotiations and committing to a no lay-off policy. The airline strong commitment to their employees raised company morale for the stakeholders. This secured the readiness of employees in the area of change. This also was a direct reflection in Southwest’s ability in the area of transitional and transactional leadership. Strengths In the area of strengths Southwest Airlines has exceled at servant leadership by placing the needs of every employee in front of their own.

The Southwest leadership team demonstrated their capability to properly manage and apply their strategic planning knowledge in a never foreseen occurrence. Through consideration Southwest has gained mutual respect and the necessary by-in from stakeholders to apply the new vision and direction of the organization. Leader-member relations are at its peak within the organization and can be contributed to the loyalty and the support shown through situation control. Leaders at this point may use the power of persuasion to gain the by-in from employees for the new organizational direction. Weakness

Over staffing and cost is a major factor for Southwest’s current situation for the sake of commitment inability to control external factors, and a higher level of knowledge needed for advancing. Opportunities Southwest has an opportunity to reevaluate task structure, implement new procedures to apply to the latest learned knowledge, explore new methods, develop and properly train employees, build better work relations, implementation of employee involved decision making programs, learn about the newest technology for growth purposes, regain customer confidence, and develop leadership behaviors while expecting greater outcomes.

Threats Southwest may experience a loss of morale over a period of time, advancing new and current competitors because of a lack of funding for the latest and greatest technology, turn-over in employee and leadership, permanent loss of employee confidence. Continental Airlines “Continental Airlines was founded in 1967. Continental pride themselves for acquiring simple goals: having high quality product every day f service, getting customers where they want to go on time with their baggage while leaving customers with a service of excellence recognized globally for being consistent” (International Directory of Company Histories, 2003). Continental Airline based on 2001 post 9/11 terrorist attacks was the fifth largest airline. The airline carries passengers, mail, and cargo throughout the world. Continental is connected to 200 airports worldwide. This amazing portfolio did not come without a cost. In the 1980s Continental found themselves being labeled as the poster child for having bad employee relationships and management turnover because of a hostile corporate raider. This bad combination cost the company one decade of declining sales and financial loss.

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In 1995 Continental experienced a turn around. A plan was put into place to renegotiate Continental’s debt, persuaded Boeing to defer delivery of any planes on order, and arranges concessions from aircraft lessors.

High ranking official was also fired and replaced with new high rating staff” (International Directory of Company Histories, 2003). As years passed Continental experienced a long overdue financial break then 9/11 happened and caused a downside in their profits. “Immediately, after 9/11 terrorist attacks Continental laid-off 20% of their workforce, which totals 12,000 employees. Most of those employees returned to work within a year but morale was definitely affected by the airline’s current situation.

Continental’s high ranking official Bethune did not take this situation lying down; he lobbied for the government to provide an industry-wide bailout. A fourth quarter loss of $149 million left the airline $95 million in the red for the year. The airline made a conscience decision to park 61 of its jets and 23 turboprops as business returned to normal for the airlines. In an effort to regain the trust and confidence of the stakeholders, shareholders, and financial capital Continental formed an alliance with Delta, and Northwest.

A ten-year code-shared agreement allowed customers to share frequently flier miles between the three airlines. This alliance shared 36% of shared domestic traffic” (International Directory of Company Histories, 2003). Strengths Continental has demonstrated their ability as leaders to make a tuff decision in times of crisis, regain customer trust after 911, strategize for better solutions, regained employee trust through the rehiring process, and setting an example for employees to follow.

Ultimately, Continental leadership also displayed a servant leadership style that was able to transform the organization from on level to the next. Weakness Continental took what may be perceived as taking the easy way out by laying off employees instead of applying a workable strategic plan that could have benefited both parties. Through employee lay-offs the morale within the organization is at its all-time low and stress level are at a high which, could lead to harmful situations. This has caused leader-member relations to diminish.

The leaders demonstrated their inability to trust the workers to help within the organization’s crisis. Opportunities Continental has an opportunity to redevelop a new strategic plan, build stakeholders relationships, recommit to leader-member relations, reestablish their position of power, build the leaders within the organization, use positive reinforcements to regain trust, educate employees in the area of stress, opportunity to correct troubled areas create alternative strategies for possible resistance to change, and redefine and create a new vision for the organization.

Other opportunities that Continental may have is greater work commitments once the storm has passed, hiring highly qualified employees, decrease or expand the span of control for building a stronger organization, and target elements of change. Threats The recent decision to lay off employees has sparked a fear within the organization that could possible led to heavy turnover, financial ruin due to the fear of flying, market changes and technological advancement for competitors, mergers and acquisition to regain loss, recession, and conflicts.

In comparison Southwest, Continental, and Intersect has demonstrated situation control through their immediate work environment on every level. Although, each has also demonstrated a different leadership style the main focus to save the organization and secure the future was the first priority of the leaders. Each organization has also revealed their position of power through the necessary decisions made by the leaders and their ability to brainstorm to come up with the best possible solution for the organization’s future.

Each organization was also able to pin point their weakness for future corrections to be made. Although the leadership style may differ each leader has demonstrated leadership skills that have earned the trust of their employee in the area of growth. Each organization also has a good repetition which preceded their current situation. In contrast Southwest has gained the by-in from employees through a more trusting type of leadership style whereas, Continental and Intersect has used their position of power to cause employee layoffs or to spark fear into current employees.

Southwest lessen the chance of harmful threats in the area of employee stress whereas, Continental and Intersect decision has raised the level of stress and possibility threats. In conclusion, each organization has its pro and cons that maybe intertwined to created better future business decisions. The current use of a SWOT analysis has the potential to gather information while empowering each organization for future success. | | Strengths| Weaknesses| Opportunities| Threads| Intersect| Knowledgeable workers, Confident leadersAbility to share the vision of the organization with others. Proper staffing for the advancement of the new direction. Void of a backup plan for this type of disasterResistance to changeAbility to control stress levels within the organization. High turn-over ratesCustomer dissatisfactionRestructuring neededDefining of goals and new alignment. | Regain customer confidenceOpportunity to brainstorm for the best possible solution for their current situationEstablish long-term goalsBuild charismatic leadership style vs. using force or power for persuasion.

Expansion of knowledge base for growth purposesOpportunity for goal setting| Loss of confidence and decrease of ProfitabilityNew Entrants Market changes| Southwest Airlines| Southwest exceled in the area of being servant leaders when the organization put the needs of their employees first by refusing to layoff employee. The union negotiations demonstrated the organization’s ability to dominate internal forces for change through job satisfaction by working with the union and not taking advantage of a stressful situation.

Southwest through Charismatic leadership transformed their work environment through goals, values,needs, beliefs, and aspirations. Leader-member relations are at its peak within the organization and can be contributed to the loyalty and the support shown through situation control. | Void of a backup plan for this type of disasterOver staffing and cost is a major factor for Southwest’s current situation for the sake of commitment inability to control external factors, and a higher level of knowledge needed for advancing. Regain customer confidenceOpportunity to brainstorm for the best possible solution for their current situationEstablish long-term goalsExpansion of knowledge base for growth purposes| Market changesLoss of confidence and decrease of ProfitabilityNew Entrants Over staffing and cost is a major factor for Southwest’s current situation for the sake of commitment inability to control external factors, and a higher level of knowledge needed for advancing. Continental Airlines| Continental has demonstrated their ability as leaders to make a tuff decision in a times of crisis, regain customer trust after 911, strategize for better solutions, regained employee trust through the rehiring process, and setting an example for employees to follow. | Inability to save a loss of job and secure the future of those workers.

Establish employee trust and confidenceVoid of a back-up plan for this type of disaster| Regain customer confidenceOpportunity to brainstorm for the best possible solution for their current situationEstablish long-term goalsExpansion of knowledge base for growth purposesRedevelop a new strategic planbuild stakeholders relationships, recommit to leader-member relations, reestablish their osition of power, build the leaders within the organization, use positive reinforcements to regain trust, educate employees in the area of stress, opportunity to correct troubled areas create alternative strategies for possible resistance to change, and redefine and create a new vision for the organization. hiring highly qualified employees, decrease or expand the span of control for building a stronger organization, and target elements of change. Market changesLoss of confidence and decrease of ProfitabilityNew Entrants heavy turnover, financial ruin due to the fear of flying, market changes and technological advancement for competitors, mergers and acquisition to regain loss, recession, and conflicts. | References McNamara, C. (2011). Free Management Library. Retrieved from http://managementhelp. org/strategicplanning/basics. tm#anchor1434082 International Directory of Company Histories. (2005). FundingUniverse. Retrieved from http://www. fundinguniverse. com/company-histories/AirTran-Holdings-Inc-Company-History. html International Directory of Company Histories. (2003). FundingUniverse. Retrieved from http://www. fundinguniverse. com/company-histories/Continental-Airlines-Inc-Company-History. html

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