Chapter 5

Capturing Concepts

The most dubious business plan can look solid—even smart—if it’s cast as a virtuous circle.” —Gardiner Morse

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At HBR we call those process diagrams that show cycles and other neat but meaningless procedures “crap circles,” a term coined by senior editor Gardiner Morse. Consultants often peddle crap circles that look lovely and satisfyingly eternal but tend to lack usefulness. They may be simple, complicated, or even nested!

You’ve seen these before, right? It’s easy to lampoon such efforts, as HBO did so brilliantly ...

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