Futurist John Mahaffie has a short, useful piece on how to use SWOT – one of my least favorite techniques – so that it includes analysis of the future.
Using the four SWOT categories; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is a recipe, if you don’t take care, for a firm focus on the present. It gives you an organizational assessment, at best.
I have seen SWOT analysis as an impediment to insight, not a tool for growth, more often than not. Still, it’s a recognizable framework – and if people are going to insist on it, at least bring them better value.