0 innovation 2x2 575x575

Ways to Grow Framework

This easy-to-make chart will help you understand whom your design solution is for and what implementation will look like.



Suggested Time

30-45 Minutes

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Pens, Post-its, a large sheet of paper


Design team

Process Phase

A Ways to Grow Framework is a quick and visual way to understand just how difficult your design solutions might be to implement. This exercise will help you identify whether your solutions are incremental, evolutionary, or revolutionary and whether your solutions extend, adapt, or create a totally new offering. You’ll also clarify whether your solutions are targeted at your current user group or whether it expands to a new group of users. By seeing your solutions in relation to each other, you’ll quickly ascertain which ones your organization has the means, manpower, and capacity to undertake.


  1. Draw a 2x2 matrix on a large sheet of paper. The vertical axis represents the novelty of your offering and the horizontal axis represents its users. Totally new offerings land above the horizontal axis and existing ones land below. An idea aimed at new users falls to the right of the vertical axis and one that affects existing users falls to the left.
  2. Now, write your solutions on Post-its and plot them on the map. Revolutionary new ideas that will attract new users will fall in the top right quadrant. Incremental ideas that offer small builds on existing services will hit below the horizontal axis.
  3. Look at the distribution of solutions from incremental to revolutionary. Are there gaps in your portfolio of solutions? Are parts of the matrix blank and others full? If so, you may want to go back to Brainstorming in order to develop solutions that will intentionally fill that gap.
  4. Lots of organizations say that they’re interested in revolutionary thinking, but often, incremental change can have the greatest chance for big impact. Think hard about what your organization can realistically achieve and what will benefit your constituents most.