As a consulting firm leader, you’re well aware that within every client presentation longer than 30 minutes, every white paper, and every compendium of content beefier than 20 pages, you’re required to present at least one 2×2 matrix. Failure to do so could cost you your consulting license.
This was brought to my attention by readers who were concerned that yours truly had not presented enough 2×2 matrix diagrams recently, and that I could be in danger of losing my membership in the SSCCC.*
Your consulting firm probably relies on a couple of tried-and-true 2x2s; however, are you using the best 2×2 matrix?
The most famous 2×2 among consultants may be BCG’s Growth Share Matrix. While it’s not a particularly useful 2×2 for building a consulting firm, it’s arguably the genesis of the 2×2 matrix requirement in consulting and, therefore, can be blamed for all manner of evil.
The most widely referenced 2×2 matrix these days may be Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, so-named because it magically helped Gartner become a large consulting firm.
What’s the best 2×2 matrix? That’s open for debate, of course.
A handful of my favorite 2x2s related to running a successful consulting firm are shown below.
Great 2x2s for Consulting Firm Leaders
Four Flight Paths
Illustrates the results when you do—or don’t—find the perfect intersection of your consulting firm’s particular abilities and clients’ problems.
Displays the four basic fee structures. Suggests that, assuming you do good work, for the exact same consulting project your consulting firm will earn a higher margin as you move clockwise around the diagram, starting from the lower right.
Paths to BD Success
Clarifies the four different types of Business Development pursuit, each of which can be maximized through different strategies. Particularly useful for consulting firms that are training the “next generation” of rainmakers.
Results vs. Expectations
Explains the inevitable client reaction when you deliver your presentation. Also references what many clients view as the closest analog to hiring a consulting firm: tooth extraction.
Over the Line
Particularly well suited for running your consulting firm and explaining boundaries to your team.
Self-Referential Chart of Self-Referential Charts
Indispensable for those times you’re presenting graphics presenting graphics you’re presenting. Also the illustration adorning this year’s holiday card.*
Please share your favorite 2×2 matrix in the comments section below.
(If you send an email to “support at davidafields.com” with a good image of your 2×2, we’ll add it to your comment, as long as it’s not promotional.)
Text and images are © 2021 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.