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The circular loop diagram: An obstacle to universal application?

In December 2017, Andrew Hill of the Financial Times wrote an article entitled "the curse of the circular strategy loop diagram". What he was getting at was the ubiquitous framework which has a number of steps which lead back to the beginning. PowerPoint SmartArt hasn't helped. How often have we seen models such as this?

In one respect these models are quite useful. They help focus on an issue and provide steps to sort it out. The fact that the framework is circular is no surprise as most business tasks are races that never end. However, Andrew Hill believes that these models suppress the real questions about an organisation's next steps. In our opinion the main problem is their universality. Because they are everywhere, they lose impact, especially if they are expressed in the standard SmartArt template. It is a good reason to enliven the framework with something that reduces its banality. A few changes can make the framework look completely different.

We shouldn't be too critical of the circular frameworks. They are a problem-solving tool offering structure with a number of steps. Without them there is a good chance that problem-solving would be more chaotic.

The moral of this blog is not to deride or do away with the circular strategy tools but to make sure that they are used to best effect.

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