Growth and Underinvestments (G&U) Archetype (Systemic Structure)

When we are unsure of our initial investments.

The question is ‘Should we or should we not’?

A Growth and Underinvestment structure is simply an elaborated Limits to Growth structure where the growth inhibitor is part of another Balancing Loop with an external standard and some delay. The real nasty thing about this structure is that the two balancing loops form a single reinforcing loop which inhibits growth.

The growing action which initiates this structure influences an increase in the growth. The resultant growth then simply influences more of the same growing action, producing the reinforcing growth characteristic.

As was indicated in the Balancing Loop areas of concern, noting growth forever. Growth sooner or latter produces some affect which tends to limit the growth. As growth moves in the desired direction it also influences an increase in some growth inhibitor. This growth inhibitor subsequently impedes the growth.

This system can be enabled to grow more if the growth inhibitor is reduced. As the growth inhibitor interacts with a defined standard it develops a perceived need for action to develop some sort of inhibitor avoidance. This inhibitor avoidance will, after some delay, reduce the growth inhibitor. The annoying part of this structure is the delay associated with the inhibitor avoidance interaction with the growth inhibitor.

What happens is that the growth inhibitor works in a shorter time frame reducing growth. The reduced growth adds less to the growth inhibitor thus eliminating the perceived need. As such the system is limited in its growth because the perceived need for action is actually undermined by the systems own actions. By the time it is realized that inhibitor avoidance action needs to be taken the need dissolves itself and growth levels off at a level much lower than what could have been achieved.

Managing the Structure

The only effective strategy for dealing with this structure is foresight. One has to study the implications of growth before growth actually places demands on the system and develop the inhibitor avoidance before it is actually needed. Have you even noticed that runner seem to be the people that least need to run. It’s because they run.


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