How frequently do you think about what’s happening outside your organization? As leaders, sometimes we can hyper-focus on what’s happening inside the organization. Honestly, depending on your level at the organization, it’s easier to think within the internal ecosystem. We may have an inflated sense of control or knowledge regarding our specific team or department.
Let me ask you again, how often do you think about those external factors that do, directly and indirectly, impact the internal workings of your organization? Several tools are available to help you think outside of your organization; one of my favorites is the STEEPLED Analysis.
External Forces Impacting Your Business
Have you heard of it before? Maybe you’ve heard of the PEST Analysis – but what about the STEEPLED Analysis? In From Strategic Analysis to Organizational Foresight (2017), we learn that the STEEPLED Analysis is a comprehensive analysis that looks at eight external factors that influence your business. And as leaders, we must understand that external forces impact our organizations and may also impact the services, products, delivery, or purpose. These eight areas include
The natural next question is, well, how do I conduct a STEEPLED analysis? The STEEPLED Analysis is a scalable tool that can fuel the format of multi-day organizational workshops down to an individual weekly reflective activity.
- The idea is that you invest time scanning, researching or exploring trends, changes, and events happening now. Online tools and resources available can help you in this process, but it’s an action that often requires us to be intentional.
- Next, make a note of any discoveries. 1) describe the discovery 2) identify the appropriate STEEPLED category 2) make a note of its importance 3) ideate the potential impact (positive, neutral, negative) on your work 4) develop recommendations on the next steps in light of your Analysis.
- Finally, the goal is to use your Analysis to inform leadership decisions that you or your organization may be facing.
Leader Reflection Question
Let me ask you, how might you integrate the STEEPLED Analysis into your work?