So You Say You Want to Grow?

Does your company have growth as a stated objective? That’s pretty common. For some companies their ambitions seem achievable: their goals are clearly articulated, and the path to achieving those goals is well-defined. But those companies are pretty rare. Far more often there is a vague, but often quite pronounced, desire to grow: to grow at rates unprecedented within that firm, and perhaps even unprecedented within the firm’s industry. For those companies ambitious beyond their formulated plans, there is a structured approach to defining and pursuing the optimal growth avenue.

There are three fundamentally different – but not mutually exclusive – lenses through which to view growing any business:


  • Re-energize the core business. Focus on share and profit improvement within the existing marketplace. Frequently companies accustomed to leadership within their industry find their relative performance is slipping, as new players or strong existing competitors elevate customers’ expectations. Learn about the common practices companies like Dell and Nordstrom use to consistently deliver share and profit growth.
  • Explore adjacent businesses. Enter related markets in an effort to broaden the revenue pool available. Johnson & Johnson has proven their success repeatedly using this growth strategy. This requires two critical skills: screening for inherent market attractiveness, and identifying which business opportunities make sense together.
  • Drive market transformation. As Starbucks, AutoNation, FedEx, and others have done, some companies tap extraordinary growth by identifying underserved segments of the marketplace or by radically rethinking and extending the value which they deliver to their customers. For the firms willing to take a hard-nosed look at where industry profits are migrating, and to think creatively about how to move where the money is headed, this strategy will deliver substantial growth.



Growth plans are built around a portfolio of opportunities, and a company needs to find its optimal mix of the three growth strategies to succeed. The right mix is a function of company performance and market environment, and can be objectively determined using PoGO(Portfolio oGrowth Opportunities).