Compounding Growth

Overview: This strategy involves using a computer simulation to increase participants’’ understanding of the long-term potential of compounding growth. The follow-up application of the learning in discussion and decision making should reflect thoughtful consideration of the power of compounding growth and the conditions that will produce that dynamic.

Strategy Objectives

Organizational Context


  • To increase participants’ understanding of the long-term potential  of compounding growth.

  • their classroom /department/school/district, etc.

The use of a computer simulation creates a learning context for participants, which takes them away from the emotional and/or political pressures of a decision-making scenario.  The simulation deepens understanding about a dynamic that we recognize but may not totally understand.  In the spirit of organizational learning, using a computer simulation to stimulate new perspectives and insights prior to discussing an issue or situation creates common language and builds both personal mastery and team learning.

  • generic structure

  • reinforcing feedback

  • exponential growth



Systems Thinking Tools

  • Demo Dozen  simulation
  • One computer and projector for larger group presentation or multiple computers for small group work.

30-45 minutes for actual simulation and brief discussion.  Additional time needed to identify and discuss connections to organizational dynamics.

  • Behavior-over-time-Graph

  • Computer Simulation


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