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How can the BCG Growth-Share Matrix inform Change Management strategies in portfolio management and resource allocation?

This article provides a detailed response to: How can the BCG Growth-Share Matrix inform Change Management strategies in portfolio management and resource allocation? For a comprehensive understanding of Change Management, we also include relevant case studies for further reading and links to Change Management best practice resources.

TLDR The BCG Growth-Share Matrix guides Change Management in portfolio management and resource allocation by categorizing business units to inform strategic decisions on investment, development, or divestiture, optimizing portfolio performance and strategic alignment.

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The BCG Growth-Share Matrix is a strategic planning tool that can significantly inform Change Management strategies, especially in the domains of portfolio management and resource allocation. Developed by the Boston Consulting Group in the 1970s, this matrix helps organizations categorize their business units or products into four quadrants—Stars, Cash Cows, Question Marks, and Dogs—based on market growth and market share. Understanding the strategic implications of each quadrant can guide C-level executives in making informed decisions about where to invest, develop, or divest resources to optimize portfolio performance and align with overall strategic objectives.

Strategic Portfolio Management

Effective portfolio management is crucial for sustaining competitive advantage and achieving strategic goals. The BCG Matrix provides a framework for evaluating the strategic position of a portfolio's components and guiding decision-making processes regarding resource allocation. For instance, 'Stars' represent high-growth, high-share businesses or products that often require substantial investment to maintain their market position. Recognizing these as future potential 'Cash Cows,' executives should prioritize investments in these areas to fuel growth and prepare for eventual transitions.

Conversely, 'Cash Cows' generate consistent, stable cash flows that can be leveraged to fund other segments of the portfolio, particularly 'Stars' and 'Question Marks.' Strategic divestment from 'Dogs,' or units with low growth and share, can free up valuable resources and streamline operations. This strategic pruning enhances organizational focus and efficiency, crucial in dynamic markets. The matrix thus serves as a guide for reallocating resources from less productive areas to those with higher growth potential and return on investment.

Real-world examples include large conglomerates like General Electric, which has historically used portfolio analysis tools similar to the BCG Matrix to make strategic divestitures and acquisitions, thereby optimizing its business portfolio for better financial performance and strategic alignment. Such strategic decisions are grounded in rigorous analysis and a deep understanding of market dynamics, underscoring the importance of the BCG Matrix in informing these processes.

Learn more about Competitive Advantage BCG Matrix Return on Investment Portfolio Management

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Change Management and Resource Allocation

Change Management involves preparing and supporting individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change. The BCG Matrix can play a pivotal role in informing Change Management strategies by highlighting areas within the organization that require transformation. For 'Question Marks,' which have high growth but low market share, strategic decisions must be made about whether to invest in these areas to gain market share or to divest. This decision-making process often necessitates organizational change, whether through restructuring, strategic redirection, or resource reallocation.

Implementing changes based on the BCG Matrix's insights requires a focused approach to managing resistance and fostering buy-in across the organization. For example, reallocating resources from 'Cash Cows' to fund the growth of 'Stars' or 'Question Marks' may be met with resistance from stakeholders comfortable with the status quo. Leaders must therefore communicate the strategic rationale behind these decisions, emphasizing the long-term benefits over short-term discomforts. This involves clear, transparent communication and the involvement of key stakeholders in the planning process to ensure alignment and commitment to the strategic vision.

Moreover, the matrix can identify the need for capability development and operational improvements, particularly in 'Stars' and 'Question Marks.' Investing in these areas may require changes in organizational structure, processes, and culture to support growth and innovation. For instance, digital transformation initiatives often fall into these categories, requiring significant change management efforts to ensure successful implementation and adoption.

Learn more about Digital Transformation Change Management Organizational Change Organizational Structure


In summary, the BCG Growth-Share Matrix is more than just a portfolio analysis tool; it is a strategic framework that can guide Change Management strategies in portfolio management and resource allocation. By categorizing business units into Stars, Cash Cows, Question Marks, and Dogs, executives can make informed decisions about where to invest, develop, or divest resources. This strategic approach not only optimizes portfolio performance but also aligns with overall strategic objectives, ensuring sustained competitive advantage and organizational growth. Through strategic portfolio management, focused Change Management, and informed resource allocation, organizations can navigate the complexities of today's business environment with confidence and strategic clarity.

Learn more about BCG Growth-Share Matrix Growth-Share Matrix

Best Practices in Change Management

Here are best practices relevant to Change Management from the Flevy Marketplace. View all our Change Management materials here.

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Explore all of our best practices in: Change Management

Change Management Case Studies

For a practical understanding of Change Management, take a look at these case studies.

Strategic Organizational Change Initiative for a Global Financial Institution

Scenario: A multinational financial institution is grappling with an outdated, siloed organizational structure that is impeding its ability to adapt to the rapidly changing market dynamics.

Read Full Case Study

Change Management Framework for Specialty Food Retailer in Competitive Landscape

Scenario: A specialty food retailer operating in the fiercely competitive organic market is struggling to implement necessary operational changes across its national branches.

Read Full Case Study

Agritech Change Management Initiative for Sustainable Farming Enterprises

Scenario: The organization, a leader in sustainable agritech solutions, is grappling with the rapid adoption of its technologies by the farming community, causing a strain on its internal change management processes.

Read Full Case Study

Digital Transformation Initiative in Hospitality

Scenario: The organization is a mid-sized hotel chain grappling with outdated legacy systems that hinder efficient operations and customer experience.

Read Full Case Study

Change Management for Semiconductor Manufacturer

Scenario: The company is a semiconductor manufacturer that is grappling with rapid technological changes and a need for organizational agility.

Read Full Case Study

Digital Transformation for Professional Services Firm

Scenario: The organization is a mid-sized professional services provider specializing in legal and compliance advisory.

Read Full Case Study

Explore all Flevy Management Case Studies

Related Questions

Here are our additional questions you may be interested in.

How do generational differences within the workforce impact the approach to Change Management?
Generational differences within the workforce significantly impact Change Management approaches, necessitating tailored strategies and an inclusive culture that leverages these diverse perspectives for successful organizational change. [Read full explanation]
What impact do emerging technologies like blockchain have on Change Management strategies?
Blockchain technology necessitates the adaptation of Change Management strategies, focusing on enhancing business processes, fostering a culture of innovation, and improving stakeholder engagement for successful digital transformation. [Read full explanation]
What strategies can leaders employ to ensure sustained engagement from all stakeholders during a change process?
Leaders can ensure Stakeholder Engagement during Change Management by communicating transparently, involving stakeholders, aligning initiatives with their values, and continuously adapting strategies. [Read full explanation]
What strategies can be employed to overcome deep-rooted resistance to change within an organization?
Overcoming organizational resistance to change involves Understanding Root Causes, developing a comprehensive Change Management Strategy, leveraging Influencers and Change Agents, and fostering a Culture of Continuous Improvement. [Read full explanation]
How can businesses incorporate sustainability and ESG goals into their Change Management frameworks effectively?
Businesses can effectively incorporate sustainability and ESG goals into Change Management by aligning them with Corporate Strategy, building ESG Competencies and Culture, integrating them into Performance Management and Incentives, and leveraging Technology and Data Analytics for long-term success and resilience. [Read full explanation]
What role does emotional intelligence play in leading successful Change Management efforts?
Emotional Intelligence is crucial in Change Management for connecting with teams, navigating resistance, and building a supportive culture, with strategies like self-awareness, empathy, and effective communication enhancing success. [Read full explanation]

Source: Executive Q&A: Change Management Questions, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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