Exchanges are how information and resources are shared. Effective exchanges increase fitness and sustainability because they increase the connections both among the agents in the system and between the system and the larger environment. The effectiveness of an exchange is determined by how well it serves its intended purpose. Those who understand and use HSD know the importance of carefully designing exchanges for greatest leverage.
- Length – “distance” an exchange travels from giver to receiver; long exchanges limit direct response or explanation; are not intended for 1-1 interaction (newsletters, flyers, posters, commercials, etc.); short exchanges allow 1-1 engagement (email, phone, conversations, etc.)
- Width – “depth” of a message and its possible ambiguity; broad bands are heavy with information and ambiguity, requiring 1-1 or short exchanges; narrow bands are unambiguous; can be sent in newsletters and other one-way engagements.
- Dynamic – “impact” of an exchange; amplifying exchanges speed up or increase patterns (cheerleaders amplify the “fighting spirit”); damping exchanges decrease or eliminate patterns (negative feedback, punishment).
- Direction – “path” of an exchange; one-way or “feed forward” is broadcasting, as in messages that are shared from one to many others; two-way or “feedback” allows for mutual exchange and sharing, as in dialogue, conversation, and information gathering
You can find a webinar about designing exchanges at Exchange: Design for Coordinated Action.