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7 Examples of Losing The Plot

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Losing the plot is to fail to act in a consistent and rational manner. This is often applied to someone with talent and potential who loses sight of an important principle, strategy, commitment or direction. The following are illustrative examples.


A plot is a series of cause-and-effect events that drive a story forward. Losing the plot is an analogy to a writer who loses any sense of direction such that a story feels pointless, random, confused or uninteresting. For example, a television show that jumps the shark.


Losing the plot in design indicates that you have good ideas but fail to produce something that is consistent, valuable and refined. For example, a mobile device that packs in extremely advanced features but doesn't get them working together in a way that is pleasing to use.


Losing the plot can be applied to irrational behavior. This is most often applied to someone who is normally rational who becomes disorganized, chaotic, emotional and illogical due to a stressful situation. For example, a manager who is normally professional and courteous who has difficulties retaining their composure when insulted by a subordinate.


Losing the plot indicates a strategy that is inconsistent with no clear mission or vision. For example, a technology company that was once innovative that starts copying everything the competition do in a poor quality way.


In politics, a lost plot is an set of laws, policies, spending and communications that are inconsistent with the interests of a political party's base. For example, a political party with a long history of championing the interests of the middle class that adopts messages, policies and spending that do not appeal to this base.


A lost plot is often used to describe an organization or brand that has lost its sense of identity. For example, a brand of high quality cookware that suddenly starts licensing its trademark to random low quality products.

Direction & Control

A worsening lack of control is often described as a lost plot. For example, a company with weak executive managers that issues policy and strategy that are then ignored by middle management such that the firm is effectively not being directed and controlled in any consistent way.


When interpreted literally, losing the plot describes an audience member or reader who is not following the plot of a story.
Overview: Lost The Plot
Definition (1)
To fail to act in a consistent and rational manner.
Definition (2)
A work product that lacks consistency, refinement and value.
Definition (3)
A lack of direction or control.
Related Concepts
Next: Jumping the Shark


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