Jerry Fletcher en Directors and Executives, Communications and journalism, Marketing CEO • Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 7/6/2018 · 1 min de lectura · +900

The Overlooked Dimension

The Overlooked DimensionThe world is 3-D.

Our eyes are specially adapted to focus on a point that exists where our mind directs.

So why are most of our business models two dimensional?

The Z-axis

The Cartesian Coordinate system has three axes: X, Y and Z.

The Z-axis is overlooked most of the time. The most frequently seen business graphs use the X and Y axes in an L shape with time on one dimension and money on the other. The next step up is to set up a graph with the X and Y axes crossing at a center point. Suddenly one can put ranges from bottom to top on one and left to right on the other. This sort of graph is particularly good at comparative outcomes.

The whole story

You can’t tell the whole story in a single graph with just two axes. That is why often there is slew of them in a business presentation. And you’re asked to assemble the data in your mind to get the whole picture.

I was intrigued with this problem in the days before I started my Consulting practice. (That’s why my corporation is Z-axis Marketing, Inc.) I believe we restrict ourselves to essentially two-dimensional thinking because of the tools that were available. Pen and paper do not lend themselves to 3-D visualization. Yes, it can be done but it takes the ability of an artist to really be convincing and plotting data is not easy.

The trust factor

Then, too, how do you decide what three factors really tell the story of a business? In my view you need to show the interaction between:

  • Time (in most cases months and years but days and weeks can prove useful)

  • Money (the primary measure of any business-- can be stated as income, revenue, profit etc.)

  • Trust (the single factor that can make or break any organization in my view)

Trust is best demonstrated by situations such as the Tylenol poisoning recall. Their share of market dropped to 8% when cyanide was found in product on the shelf. They recalled all products, developed tamperproof packaging and returned to the market recapturing their 35% share.

In my experience, Trust is the predicator of success or failure for all independent professionals. I have been comparing the citations of Trust in testimonials and reviews versus the pricing and estimated income for consultants and coaches for the last 15 years and seen the proof of the saying:

People do business with individuals and companies they know, like and trust.

Data Points

So why don’t we have programs on every business desktop to give us 3-D graphing capability?

We don’t have sufficient data points. Scientists gather data on every variable they can find. Often, they are drowning in data. Businesses don’t. If it isn’t part of the accounting package it is given short shrift.

That is because the Z-axis is best used to show how a social factor impacts the bottom line. Acquiring the data in the time required is considered “expensive and not part of the essential data needed.”

And so it goes.


Jerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, 
beBee ambassador, founder and Brand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, 
Positioning and Business Development on and off-line.


Jerry Fletcher 8/6/2018 · #9

#4 Thanks Pascal. It would be incredible to see in 360 but the array of sensors would surely lead to some strange anatomy!

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Jerry Fletcher 8/6/2018 · #8

#3 Dr Anani, the ways humanity continually tries to limit perception are curious but to some degree predictable. In part I believe it is the reptilian part of our brains that wants information that will allow fight or flight responses and is so heavily weighted by emotion in the decision making process.

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Jerry Fletcher 8/6/2018 · #7

#2 Bill, The interesting thing is that once again this year Tylenol is one of the most trusted brands.

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Jerry Fletcher 8/6/2018 · #6

#1 Edward Thank you for a wonderful illustration through the story of your personal experience. The sad note is that most companies just don't want to deal with the complexity.

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@Jerry Fletcher- your buzz inspired me to write my buzz of today titled "When you gain look for what you lose"

Thank you

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Pascal Derrien 8/6/2018 · #4

If only I could see with my ears I would be 360 me thinks but there is no letter in the alphabet for that me thinks :-) A good article packed with common sense :-)


@Jerry Fletcher- agree and a 3-dimensional approach is more fitting. The trouble is that some people don't like 3^ because probably of lack of imagination. #D representation is closer to real life.

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Bill King 8/6/2018 · #2

Jerry, the Tylenol story is a great example of the importance of trust. The speed at which they took action and regained customer trust could only have been accomplished due to a culture of trust throughout the origination. Thank you for the Buzz..

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