Source: Continuous Improvement Associates

Why Exponential Improvement?
By Bob Powell,

We chose the name "Exponential Improvement" for this site because feedback produces exponential behavior.

Exponential Growth from Positive Feedback
The reason for the exponential behavior is that the solution to an integral (or differential) equation for a feedback loop is an exponential function. This is the only function that can maintain its form around a feedback loop.

The results of simulations of positive and negative feedback are shown in the figures. For positive feedback we see exponential growth. For negative feedback we see exponential decay, as for radioactive decay.

Exponential Decay from Negative Feedback
So if an organization is nurturing the positive feedbacks (and neutralizing the limiting effects of balancing feedbacks), it will see exponential growth. And similarly if an organizations is doing true continuous improvement (a negative feedback loop), it will see exponential decay.


© 2003 Continuous Improvement Associates

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