I’ve heard that in the consulting world, every single problem can be solved with a 2×2 matrix. I’ve seen a lot of 2×2 matrices in my time, and I’ve discovered that the secret is to always be in the upper right quadrant.
When it comes to Stephen Covey’s 2×2 time management matrix, make sure you’re spending your time in the upper right quadrant.
When it comes to whether you’ll actually do anything with this blog post, I want you to be in the upper right quadrant.
The upper right quadrant is where the two “high’s” intersect: the high on the vertical axis and the high on the horizontal axis.
Sometimes, however, a facilitator will try to persuade me that “no single group in this 2×2 matrix is better than any other group.” On some subconscious level, I always feel the facilitator is lying when I hear that. I’ve simply been trained to accept the upper right quadrant as the optimal state of existence.
Last week, I attended a session on how stakeholder management is integral to change. It was facilitated by Michelle Miller, a designer-turned-organizational development professional. She offered a unique twist on the old 2×2 matrix. Literally. She decided to twist the matrix about 45 degrees, and put it into a circle instead of a square. She wanted to represent that there was a relationship among adjoining quadrants, but that no specific quadrant was superior to any other.
And I believed her.
The traditional 2×2 matrix has been touting the upper right quadrant as superior since the first consultant took out a stick and wrote four options in the dirt.
The next time you want to use a visual representation to illustrate a concept that includes four options, none of which are better than any of the others, don’t confuse your audience by plugging those options into a traditional 2×2 matrix.
Just give it a little twist.