Tell Me Where It DOESN’T Hurt


You get to be a certain age and at least one of your friends ends up with a pinched nerve. Often, though, they “feel” the pain somewhere far removed from the nerve that’s injured. Pain that seems to be centered in the leg is really due to a nerve in the back. Tingling in the fingers is actually coming from the neck.

Business challenges can be very similar.

Frequently, a client or colleague will be challenged by what seems to be a problem, but is really a symptom of something else. While the pain appears in one area of the company, the source is in another department, or with another group of people. Much time and dollars will be wasted in efforts to treat the symptoms, but not the disease.

A few of the problems that are often merely symptoms:

  • Sales people complain that they are hobbled by a lack of good collateral materials that help them sell their story, but the real issue is a mismatch between the company’s value proposition and the customers being targeted. (Seriously, who ever lost a sale because they didn’t have a slick brochure?)
  • The company loses three competitive sales pitches in a row, and each of the targets says the winning bidder offered the lowest price. Management undertakes a cost-cutting effort, but the “lower price” explanation was just a smokescreen offered up as a way to avoid addressing bigger issues. (Outside of a handful of sealed-bid situations, what buyer wouldn’t give his preferred vendor a chance to match competitors’ offers?)
  • The product development team is focused on continuous improvement, but newer and better products aren’t gaining traction. The company hires new salespeople to accelerate market penetration, but the real issue is that this company’s customers are absolutely not leading-edge buyers. (If customers don’t want to pay for more bells and whistles, and complexity, why would we bake those features into our costs?)
  • Employee turnover increases as one staffer after another jumps ship for higher pay, or so it seems. In fact, higher pay is a norm when people change jobs voluntarily, but the real cause of the turnover is a toxic working environment, not pay scales. (As quality of life issues become increasingly important to employees, especially millennials, are dollars really the right tool to address turnover?)

When the roof is leaking, we can’t stop water from pooling on the floor until we patch the leak. When the print head on the copier is jammed, we can’t get better prints by buying a different brand of toner. In many situations, the source of a problem is obvious and the solution suggests itself quite clearly. With more complex or fundamental issues, though, the apparent problem might actually be a symptom of something else, somewhere else.

Tell me where it DOESN’T hurt, and we just might be able to find the cure.


Quadrant Five taps the full potential of strategic customer relationships to build both today’s profitability and tomorrow’s enterprise value. We make the critical connection between internal financial drivers and the value perceptions of A-List customers, generating returns for clients who must:

  • Identify the shortest path to stronger profitability.
  • Build enterprise value in advance of a liquidity event.
  • Develop a strategic plan that can be implemented successfully.
  • Perform customer/market due diligence on an acquisition target.
  • Accelerate profitable integration of a merged business.
  • Protect against customer turnover or lost sales.
  • Recoup the cash that is wasted on unprofitable marketing/sales initiatives.

To learn more, please contact Michael Rosenbaum ( or visit our website (





About Michael Rosenbaum


Quadrant Five founder Michael Rosenbaum has walked the walk when it comes to building a business, so he can be a confidant and compatriot—not just an advisor—for clients. Rosenbaum worked his way up to president of a $35 million company with 300 people and 600 clients. Along the way, he managed operations, HR, IT, and marketing, and advised CEOS and CFOs at more than 200 companies.

Beginning as a newspaper reporter, he developed a specialization in business journalism and earned an MBA on his way to a 30-year consulting career. Representing both angel-backed startups and Fortune 100 giants, Rosenbaum identified the patterns and processes that drive success across a wide range of industries and business cycles.

He is well regarded for designing each performance-improvement process around specific client needs, capabilities, and culture, rather than pushing a pre-fab set of rules for clients to follow. He brings a unique set of skills to each engagement, including experiences as a company president, financial journalist, marketer, IR advisor, non-profit founder, author, and public speaker. Items of note include:

• Received the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 2015 for non-profit work
• Honored for the Best Business Biography of 2012 for his fifth book, Six Tires, No Plan
• Frequent speaker on customer relationship value
• Sales instructor for Certified Value Growth Advisor certification program.
• Regional Communications Chair, YPO Gold
• Marketing Chair, AMAA’s Mid-Market Alliance
• Former Chicago Chapter Chair, National Association of Corporate Directors

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