Leverage Points: Places to intervene in a system

by ig0r1 min read10th Mar 20172 comments

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EDIT: Elo has a nicer formatting below.

Quick summary:

PLACES TO INTERVENE IN A SYSTEM (in increasing order of effectiveness)

  1. Constants, parameters, numbers (such as subsidies, taxes, standards).
  2. The sizes of buffers and other stabilizing stocks, relative to their flows.
  3. The structure of material stocks and flows (such as transport networks, population age structures).
  4. The lengths of delays, relative to the rate of system change.
  5. The strength of negative feedback loops, relative to the impacts they are trying to correct against.
  6. The gain around driving positive feedback loops.
  7. The structure of information flows (who does and does not have access to information).
  8. The rules of the system (such as incentives, punishments, constraints).
  9. The power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure.
  10. The goals of the system.
  11. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters — arises.
  12. The power to transcend paradigms.

Most of the linked essay is giving examples / body to the above 12 points, which she identifies as places where change can happen in systems.

Formatting.

PLACES TO INTERVENE IN A SYSTEM (in increasing order of effectiveness)

  1. Constants, parameters, numbers (such as subsidies, sacrifices, standards).
  2. The sizes of buffers and other stabilizing stocks, relative to their flows.
  3. The structure of material stocks and flows (such as transport networks, population age structures).
  4. The lengths of delays, relative to the rate of system change.
  5. The strength of negative feedback loops, relative to the impacts they are trying to correct against.
  6. The gain around driving positive feedback loops.
  7. The structure of information flows (who does and does not have access to information).
  8. The rules of the system (such as incentives, punishments, constraints).
  9. The power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure.
  10. The goals of the system.
  11. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters — arises.
  12. The power to transcend paradigms.