3 Horizons of Growth Template

Concurrently manage current and future opportunities for growth.

The 3 Horizons of Growth model is a way for companies to focus on their current performance while also considering areas where they can grow in the future. This model was featured in The Alchemy of Growth. Horizon One represents the core businesses that provide the greatest profits and cash flow. Horizon Two includes emerging opportunities that may need substantial investment, and Horizon Three captures ideas for profitable growth down the road.

About the 3 Horizons of Growth template

What is the 3 Horizons of Growth model?

As companies grow, it can be difficult to keep innovating at the same pace. Innovation is often discarded in favor of inertia. To keep up their momentum, organizations have to balance their existing business with potential growth opportunities. That’s where the 3 Horizons framework comes in.

First introduced in The Alchemy of Growth, the 3 Horizons of Growth model helps companies assess potential growth opportunities while finding ways to maintain existing business. C-suite leaders use the 3 Horizons model as a blueprint for investing in current products and services while looking to the future. But its use is not confined to the C-suite. Teams across the organization can make use of the 3 Horizons model to ensure their projects map to the organization’s goals.

What are the 3 Horizons?

The 3 Horizons represent current opportunities, future opportunities that require substantial investment, and ideas for future opportunities that can be used as experiments, pilots, or minority stakes in new businesses.

How do you use the 3 Horizons of Growth template?

Use the 3 Horizons of Growth template when you want to strategically think about your business currently and in the future. The x-axis represents time, but keep in mind that it’s not an indication of what you should be thinking about now vs. later. You should be thinking about all three horizons at the same time. You will always want to cycle between where your business is strong now, which opportunities you believe will be successful in the future, and which opportunities you’d like to explore further.   

What are the benefits of the Horizons of Growth model?

Benefit 1 - Take stock of current opportunities. To start, the Horizons of Growth model requires you to make a note of all current opportunities. This exercise helps frame the rest of the model and ensure you’re aligned with your team.

Benefit 2 - Identify future opportunities for investment. The Horizons model empowers you to pinpoint opportunities to maximize cash flow. Use the model to brainstorm with your team and come up with ideas for quick wins.

Benefit 3 - Experiment and iterate. Many C-suite execs use the Horizons of Growth model to find potential areas for experimentation. Those might include research projects, pilot programs, or minority stakes in new business.

When to use the 3 Horizons of Growth model

1. To foster a culture of innovation 

2. To create a framework necessary for achieving long-term initiatives

3. To identify opportunities for new business

4. To enhance business analysis and focus on potential challenges

5. To prepare a developmental plan

Easy to use

Easy to use

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Built-in collaboration

Built-in collaboration

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Seamless sharing

Seamless sharing

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