Karen M Lane
MMPBL/520 Transformational Leadership
September 26, 2011
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. 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
“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, baggage 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 6.5 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...