A 5-Step Process to Pressure Test Your Growth Strategy

By Ted Skinner

Growth Strategies

dateMon, Oct 16, 2023 @ 12:41 PM

You’ve identified a potential winning move. Before fully launching and investing significant resources, how do you methodically assess its viability and refine it?

In Chapter 3 of Rhythm: How to Achieve Breakthrough Execution and Accelerate Growth, author Patrick Thean outlines a 5-step process to pressure test and evolve winning moves from ideas to validated growth engines.

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Step 1 - Name Your Winning Move for Growth

The first step is about crystallizing the essence of your winning move into a clear, concise name. As Thean notes: “A good name is concise and it captures the spirit of the winning move so that anyone in the company can immediately understand it.”

Some examples:

  • Uber: Everyone’s Private Driver
  • Netflix: Watch Movies Online via Subscription

A firm name becomes a unifying rallying cry as you build momentum and focus resources around a move.

Step 2 - Size the Opportunity with Revenue Estimates

Next, quantify the revenue potential if the winning move proves successful. To build conviction, you need an estimated order of magnitude for impact.

  • How much new revenue could this move generate over the next 3-5 years?
  • How have analogous moves performed in adjacent industries?

Approaching this analytically separates well-grounded moves from fuzzy concepts that sound interesting.

Step 3 - Identify Key Assumptions to Market Test

With any new strategic move, you are making assumptions. Many are based on intuition rather than data.

Step 3 involves detailing every assumption underlying the winning move’s success, such as:

  • Will customers want this?
  • Can we deliver this at scale?
  • Will the unit economics work?

Listing all assumptions flushes out potential logic flaws early when redirecting is easier.

Step 4 - Test Key Assumptions of Your Strategic Plan

The next step is gathering real-world data to validate or invalidate the assumptions defined in Step 3. As Thean advises: “Talk to prospects and customers. Show them prototypes and proposals.” Early customer exposure lets you refine concepts based on feedback. Prove everything is clear for adoption before committing significant resources.

Step 5 - Make Adjustments Based on Data

In this step, you incorporate learnings from assumption testing to refine your winning move strategy. As Thean comments: “Don’t fall in love with the first version of the idea.” Adjust aspects like the customer segment, pricing model, or capabilities required based on data. Then, cycle rapidly through additional assumption testing and adjustment iterations.


Bringing Discipline to Winning Moves

This five-step process brings more rigor and wisdom to winning move formulation versus relying on intuition. 


Key benefits of Winning Moves include:

  • Sharper focus from naming and sizing the opportunity.

  • Early risk identification by listing all assumptions.

  • Higher likelihood of success through rapid feedback loops.

  • Better resource allocation as you see what capabilities prove unimportant.

By progressing winning moves from your 3 year strategic plan from rough concepts to validated models, you enhance your odds of funding and focus on the correct future growth drivers.


Recap of Pressure Testing Your Plan and Key Takeaways

The key lessons from this chapter of Rhythm: How to Achieve Breakthrough Execution and Accelerate Growth:

  • Name your winning move concisely to enhance communication and rally focus.

  • Analyze the revenue potential based on market size and analogous actions.

  • Identify all assumptions and question marks underlying the strategy.

  • Proactively test assumptions; don’t wait to be proven wrong.

  • Incorporate learning through iterative adjustments and repetition of the cycle.

This disciplined and repeatable process leads to higher confidence in the winning moves you ultimately pursue. That concludes my detailed look at Chapter 3 of Rhythm and its 5-step approach for developing winning strategic moves. I invite you to look at The Rhythm System - Methodology, Strategy Execution Software, and Coaching to keep your teams aligned and accountable to your strategic plans.

Download Free Strategic Planning Template


Learn More About Growth Strategy Through These Additional Resources: 

Growth Strategies: Are There Gaps in Your Business Strategy?

How to Grow Your Business: Add a Winning Move to Your Business Plan

Create 3 Year Strategic Plans with Revenue Growth

Revenue Growth Goals: Use the Rhythm of Work to Achieve Them

3 Year Strategic Plan Example PDF: A 3 Year Plan for Business Growth in 2024 and Beyond

Ted Skinner


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images