« Church Autonomy on Tap? | Main | The Leo Strauss Tapes »

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Consultant's Four-Quadrant Matrix for Generating Article Topics

Back in 2006, in my debut performance as a PrawfsBlawgger, I introduced many of you to the standard consultant's four-quadrant matrix.  This morning, while I could have been doing any of the following productive things - preparing for class, getting ready for my talk to the faculty next week, writing an article for the ABA Young Lawyer magazine that's due soon, finishing a recommendation letter for a student - I managed to turn my mind to something just above Bubble Breaker on the procrastination scale.  As a public service, here is the four-quadrant matrix on generating article topics.

The source is the standard product development consultant's four-quadrant matrix for corporate revenue Slide1 growth, shown at right.  I used Oldsmobiles and electric vehicles, but you can get the same place if you imagine Starbucks in Tierra del Fuego for one of the quadrants (that's Old Products/New Markets), or selling medicinal marijuana at the store on Telegraph Avenue (that's New Products/Old Markets).

What occurred to me, after listening to a whole bunch of job talks this past winter, and seeing Ethan Leib's post below (as well as Larry Cunningham's new paper on unconscionability) (sorry, guys) was that an enterprising "research topic" consultant could convert the "new product/old product/new market/old market" Slide1 matrix of product development into a matrix for article development based on the axes of law (old and new) and subject matter (old and new).  The result is what you see at left.  Your diehard, traditional doctrinal Socratic types are going to want stick pretty much to the upper left hand box, while your off-the-wall space cadets are going migrate down to the lower right.

This matrix is also useful in determining who your promotion and tenure reviewers ought to be.  If you plot your pieces in one quadrant, and the reviewer's work is significantly in another one, even if you share the same discipline, you are going to want to reconsider.

I'm available for faculty retreats on this subject at my usual consulting fee plus expenses.

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on February 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Consultant's Four-Quadrant Matrix for Generating Article Topics:


The comments to this entry are closed.