Growth Horizons

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Growth Horizons

Growth Horizons


Identify new growth markets and tap the full potential of new technologies.

Using the Growth Horizons canvas you can systematically explore new growth markets and new technologies. It helps you to answer the following questions:

  • In which order should we tackle innovation projects?
  • Which time horizon do the respective innovations have?
  • In which technological environment and market do the innovations exist?

For more information, see Data Strategy Design.



Starting point for working with the Growth Horizons canvas is a collection of ideas for innovative products and solutions. To develop such ideas you can either use the Business Model / Case canvas or the Analytics Use Case canvas. Often the ideas are manifold: they can be incremental product improvements or even completely new, innovative products for which there is not yet a market existing and the required technology is still being developed. The growth horizons help you to sort these ideas according to the time horizon as well as their growth potential.


The canvas respectively defines two time axes:

  • Markets: companies can operate in existing and known markets or explore new markets which are either already developed or just now being developed.
  • Technologies: to be able to offer new products and services in these markets, companies can either make use of existing and known technology or use new technology which is either mature or not yet proven.


Furthermore the canvas includes three boxes for locating the ideas according to their respective growth horizons:

  • H1 covers business ideas which help to improve the existing core business of the company in the short-term and to defend it against its competitors. The ideas address existing and known markets and they are based on existing and known technologies. Objective is to adapt the company to the state of the art in terms of technology and economy.

  • H2 stands for transformation. This means business ideas which will be the company's core business in the mid-term. Indeed those ideas target already existing markets but markets in which the company is not yet active. The same is true for the technologies which are necessary for the ideas' realization: these might already exist but the company is not yet using them.

  • H3 finally comprises those long-term ideas which are called disruptive. Those technologies have not yet been proven and the markets have not yet been developed. Accordingly, the risk is high but the same is true regarding the potential for business.


Run through your collected ideas one by one and locate each business idea according to its technological as well its technical maturity on both (diagonal) axes markets and technologies. The assignment to a growth horizon can be derived accordingly.

For example: a business idea which uses a new and not yet proven technology in order create an offer in an already existing market in which the company is not yet active needs to be located in horizon H3 according to this scheme.


After you have placed all ideas on the respective growth horizons, you can prioritize them. Use for example the Priority Matrix canvas to rate the ideas according to their economic value and their technological effort for instance. Doing so you should always only compare ideas located in the same horizon against each other: the potentials and efforts for H1, H2 and H3 ideas are very different from each other. Hence, they are not comparable which is also true regarding their risks and uncertainties. Growth horizon H3 for example is located - speaking of time - in a very far distant future. Therefore the ideas in this horizon are still somehow blurry. Whereas the H1 ideas are directly in front of you only waiting to be realized.


When realizing the ideas you should first focus your efforts on the short-term ideas coming from H1 in order to optimize your core business. However, still keep an eye on the H2 ideas to prepare their realization respectively: by doing conceptual work, market analysis, prototyping etc.. Finally you still have to glimpse from time to time on the H3 ideas and to follow up on them. This is important to start timely with realising those in order to be prepared as soon as the markets and technologies are mature enough.

Creator / Author



Daten treiben Ihr Unternehmen an.

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Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 4.0 International license

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How may I use this canvas?

Personal use Commercial use


The Growth Horizons canvas is based on the Growth Horizons Model by McKinsey.

Copy-paste the HTML code to your website. This will embed the document as an interactive player similar to how YouTube videos are embedded everywhere on the web.

TIP: You can change the width and height attributes to best fit the website in which the document will be embedded.

Related canvases


English - Growth Horizons

German - Wachstumshorizonte

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How to use this canvas?

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Growth Horizons

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