A System is a whole, which consists of interdependent and interacting elements with a single purpose. A system is greater than the sum of its elements. When a system is taken apart it loses its value and so do the parts.
The implication of all this is that performance of the system depends on how well the parts fit together, not how well they perform individually.
A system being a whole cannot be leveraged but rather places within the system need to leveraged in order to create changes. Types of leverage differ in terms of relevance and importance depending on the system that requires change. An economic system requires leverage points whose relevance and priority will differ to say an organization like Kodak or Blackberry.
System or business transformation is about putting into place a process of continuous and effective leverage. Effective implying relevance of the leverage points that maximize system benefit.
Prior to undertaking a leverage exercise, it is critical to understand the system and its behavior.
Leverage is found during analysis of modeling results, by exploring positive or negative behaviors (dominant influences with respect to connectors and flows) , looking for sources of pressure and imbalance that cause things to change, and determining changes to structure, so that behavior is improved and bad events become less frequent. Each model structure represents logic that determines behavior, and events are snapshots of that behavior:
- An event is an occurrence or happening of significance to our understanding of complex system behavior.
- A behavior pattern is something that connects together a long series of events over time.
- Structure is the set of physical and information interconnections that generate behavior.
In the language of system dynamics, important system variables are represented as stocks, flows, and feedback loops. Stocks are the accumulations points in a system. Simple examples of stocks are water that accumulates in a bathtub, accumulations of product inventory, or money that accumulates in a bank account.
With respect to leverage; adaptability conditions are fundamental to indentify the right leverage applicable (the right thing to do)