Applied Understanding: Swamping Insights [Systems thinking & modelling series]
This is part 26 of a series of articles featuring the book Beyond Connecting the Dots, Modeling for Meaningful Results.
“Swamping Insights” represents a common archetype of systems that include relapse or recidivism. This model allows exploration of the unintended effects of increasing upstream capacity and swamping downstream capacity. The increase in the relapse rate eventually returns to swamp upstream capacity as well.
Enhancing one part of a process may ensure the whole process gets worse.
Need help? See the Model instructions
Russell L. Ackoff often commented that one should never improve a part of the system unless it improves the whole. If you think about this for a while you should get a sense of how profound the implications of this would be were it followed.
Next edition: Applied Understanding: To Degree or Not.
Article sources: Beyond Connecting the Dots, Insight Maker. Reproduced by permission.
Header image source: Beyond Connecting the Dots.