Leverage Points

By Birger Sevaldson


Donella Meadows suggested the concept of Leverage Points (Norwegian: "Inflytelsespunkter").

Leverage points ar places in a system where one could influence the system in a particular efficient way. The ZIP analyses and the Impact and Threshold analyses does cover some but not all of this. It is recommended to do a leverage point investigation of systems.

Here is a nice visual introduction to leverage points:


And here a link to the original article of Donella Meadows



Donella Meadows Leverage Points:

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



Here is a video also found on the same webpage. It explains the Systems Dynamics approach