109 Leverage Point

A place within a system where small changes produce big effects.

Leverage points are variables within systems where small changes can produce significant system-level effects. The concept is commonly known by metaphors such as silver bullets, unicorns, miracle cures, etc.; and the idea is essentially the same: a single variable that can change everything. While leverage points are specific to the systems of which they are part, there are generic categories that can speed identification and intervention. In order of their effectiveness and difficulty to change, these categories are listed below:1

  1. Mindsets—Changing mindsets is the highest leverage action, as it affects all other leverage points below (e.g., shifting a country’s ...

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