Life in the Loser’s Quadrant

Published: March 19th, 2008

Some years ago — I don’t know when and Lord knows I don’t care enough to do the research — some consultant invented the Leader’s Quadrant. This is based on a graph of a company’s performance on two ephemeral axes (Leadership and Innovation, for example, or Vision and Execution). Top right is the Leader’s Quadrant. Arrange to have a research firm plot you there, and many a press release will follow.

These press releases are one of the banes of a business reporter’s existence. And to be fair to our brethren in public relations, I’m sure they’re not thrilled to be pitching these non-stories either:

Flack: My client’s been positioned in the Leader’s Quadrant.
Ink-Stained Wretch: What does that actually mean?
Flack: Well, a research firm did a graph that shows my client is a leader in both odour and piety.
Ink-Stained Wretch: I hope it doesn’t have sharp edges, because you can sh—

Oddly, one never hears from those companies plotted bottom left, unofficially dubbed the Loser’s Quadrant. Now there’s a story worth pitching.

Flack: Despite the fact that my client has less resources than its competitors, has a badly flawed business infrastructure, and clients are pouring toward the exits like it’s the evacuation of Saigon, my client still sucks 35 per cent more than the competition!
Ink-Stained Wretch: And you have this on a graph?!?

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