Unlock your Business Potential

Using the G.R.O.W Model to solve problems in business

One time-tested tool I use frequently when consulting with businesses and teams is the G.R.O.W. model. This follows the simple format of asking questions under each of the categories Goal, Reality, Options and What’s Next. To illustrate how this works, I’ll take you through my thoughts as a consultant, before and during any session using G.R.O.W.

Image credit: Hans-Peter Gauster

Stage: GOAL

Whether speaking with senior management or staff it is very important to start off asking them what their goal is. Generally this is the hardest part as all too often they mindset is on the ‘problem’.


  • What would you / your organisation like to achieve?
  • What would you like from this meeting?
  • What would need to happen for you to walk away feeling that this time was well spent?
  • Can we achieve this within your expected timeframe?


It is important to try as much as possible to stick with the facts especially when working with staff, as they can be speaking from an ‘emotive’ perspective rather than a factual basis. Experience has shown me that while time needs to be spent on acknowledging their current state, buying into their emotional state and lingering there achieves nothing.


  • What is happening at the moment?
  • What effect does this have on you / your organisation?
  • What other factors do you need to consider?
  • What is your / staffs perception of the current situation?
  • What have you tried so far?


While senior management can be really clear about what they want sometimes it is beneficial to challenge their thinking ensuring they have explored as many options as possible. Quite the reverse can happen at times with staff as they may want an answer given to them, so patience is required, and possibly setting scenarios can assist staff to think through different options available to them.


  • What approach / actions have you seen or used in similar circumstances?
  • Would you like suggestions from me?
  • What are the benefits and pitfalls of the options we’ve discussed?
  • Which option/s would you like to start with?


Whether you are working with senior management or staff, you need to get commitment on what they will do and the timelines. G.R.O.W is not a wish list but a tool to assist all levels of staff to understand for change to happen they may have to changeand this can be a very uncomfortable thought for some.


  • What are the next steps for you?
  • When do you plan to take them?
  • What might get in the way?
  • What internal support do you need & how soon can you get that support?

Using G.R.O.W in combination with Everything DiSC allows me, as a consultant, to approach each individual differently. This way I can get the best from the organisation / team / individual.

For further information on DiSC please see article - Effective Teams Using DiSC.

Christine Brown is founder and managing director of Potential Unlocked, a market leader in the design of management systems that meet compliance and business requirements. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (double major in Political Science and Public Sector Management); RABQSA Lead Auditor, DiSC 5 Behaviours of a Cohesive Team accreditation; Everything DiSC accreditation, TAE 40110 Cert IV Training & Assessment & TAELLN 411.

Due to her extensive knowledge and experience, Christine is trusted by her clients for her patience, understanding and her ability to interpret compliance requirements in a straightforward, uncomplicated way. She regularly facilitates in-house and public workshops, sharing her knowledge of designing simple processes and systems, communicating effectively as an auditor, building and leading teams, and risk management.

Christine’s clients range from small business and start-ups to large organisations and government departments. Covering a broad range of industries, her clients include Boral, BAE Aerospace, Geobrugg, Tenix, West Australian Police, and the Victorian Ambulance Service.

Christine’s new initiative, The Business Performance Program, assists businesses with all major areas of business that are essential for success

For any further information on contracting in an internal auditor to conduct your audits or auditor training please refer to more Audit Tips.