Fractals: The power of simple core principles


Organic order based on simple repeating units. Organic order based on simple repeating units.


This is a short reflection on an idea I picked up from a recent presentation to Essex Heads by former Headteacher Dave Harris (@bravehead), currently working for Independent Thinking.  One of the many ideas he shared was based on the thinking of Margaret Wheatley, a business writer.  She suggests that some aspects of organisational effectiveness can be explored using the concept of fractals.  Fractals exist in many forms in nature because the cells and structures reproduce themselves by following simple repeatable rules. One of the most striking examples is the Romanesco broccoli. Each spiral forms part of a larger spiral that, in turn forms part of an even larger spiral. The repeating unit contains the same core structural identity as the whole broccoli and any sub-section of it.

In Leadership and the New Science, Wheatley suggests  that “in true fractal fashion…

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