Growth strategy is one of the most difficult types of strategy, given so many degrees of freedom, the potential to put too much on an organization, which can lead to debilitating complexity and inefficiency. The growth matrix is helpful to frame the growth state of a company.
And, the growth options worksheet (below) is a helpful tool to start framing out the various growth options. As you use the worksheet, also address those business model elements that may need to be rationalized and/or focused. As Michael Porter once said, “the essence of strategy is deciding what not to do.”
To use the growth options worksheet, start with describing the current state of all of the business model elements (e.g., what geographies do you compete in?, who is your target customer?, etc.). Then describe all of the growth options across each business model element that have been mentioned, thought of, or are planned.
Next, evaluate the potential of the growth options of each business model element based on value, effort, synergy and risk. Of course, it is difficult to put a monetary number on value, but it is typically simple to compare the relative size of the options. The same applies to “effort”. When it comes to synergy, think through how much each idea would reinforce and strengthen the other current business model elements. And, there is always risk with growth options. Think about risk as the probability of failure, which is a function of the ability to execute, competitive response, potential macro trends, etc.