Thursday, January 21, 2010

Three-Dimensional Effectiveness

One of the pleasures of my work with academics is being able to help express a complex concept in a graphic form. I've learned, through my work, that evaluating effectiveness is often not a two-dimensional thing, but it is often a three-dimensional 'matrix', where all factors come together to create a whole. Where missing sectors are able to be charted, identified and addressed. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Here, a personal expression - a work in progress and your comments, suggestions and tweaks are welcome. I'd be glad to add the revised version to this post! Have fun!


  1. Hmmmmm - I wonder if a less geometric and more organic graphic would fit the concept????? Have no idea what that would play out as.......

  2. Yeah, was thinking more of content... may work on a comical version... less rigid in that way. Any suggestions?

  3. Absolutely brilliant. Missing is the "suck it up" factor. And those who have the ability to find hope and strength in the face of diversity. I had a life changing conversation with my good friend Kaspar. He had escaped the Nazis in Poland by walking across the border. He talked about the people he knew who had survived incredible hardship, only even stronger in their resolve that people are essentially good, and that those who are hopeless optimists are those who forge the way forwards in times of trial. Maybe its not so much the "suck it up" factor as the "positive energy in the darkest of times" factor.

    No, just kidding. "suck it up". Really. On what axis is that?

  4. Thanks Selina Gasolina! Good point! Really! Oh man, I think we may be talking about a whole fourth dimension. Let me work on it. Possibly an entry under Passive Section 2 entitled "resilience"...

  5. Hi Rand

    This is very interesting. It reminded me of Edward Tufte ( who's own web site isn't great but he does have some great ways of looking at conveying information.

    In your diagram here, I think 'suck it up' is an important (but very boomer) tool (b axis).

    Your dimension 'c' could be replaced with any job-specific set of tasks/expertise. Some of the junctions (unconditional love, the various communication methods, with knowledge & intelligence) may be double counting because the weight of knowledge and intelligence is so much greater than the difference in media, but this is not a bad thing.

    Can you colour code the cells to indicate the rating? It could be a simple red/yellow/green for a three-point rating, or it could be a sepctrum.

    And, it would be neat to be able to split the cube so that we can see each row. It would be wild if we could pull along each axis to understand the totality in terms of one axis at a time. I imagine a kind of rubber banding where I could drag a mouse in one of three dimensions to pull apart the rows. For example to look at the total experience map to see where we can target new developmental projects, or the one of the tools to assess the value a specific course might give.

  6. Hi John - great! Your suggestions are definitely on the list. The animation idea to split the cube is taking the whole thing to a neat new level, and once someone comes up with a budget... (haha) Thanks for the Tufte link!