System leverage points are places to intervene for change.

Leverage points are hard to identify in a system and harder to know how to use correctly. The higher it is in the list, the more effective the intervention—and the more the system will resist it.

  1. Transcend paradigms.
  2. Change paradigms.
  3. Change system goals.
  4. Augment self-organization.
  5. Adjust rules.
  6. Improve information flow.
  7. Adjust reinforcing loops.
  8. Add/strengthen balancing loops.
  9. Adjust delays.
  10. Redesign stock/flow structures.
  11. Add/resize buffers.

Components offer poor leverage.


  1. Donella H. Meadows and Diana Wright, Thinking in Systems: A Primer (White River Junction, Vt: Chelsea Green Pub, 2008). (See notes.)