The term “Butterfly Effect” suggests that wing movements of a butterfly might have significant repercussions on wind strength and conditions throughout the weather systems of the world, and theoretically, could cause tornadoes halfway around the world. The implication? The prediction of any large system’s behavior is virtually impossible without accounting for a multitude of tiny factors — surely too many to account for — any one of which might have a minute but significant effect on the system.
Understanding systems, their interactions and changes allows leaders to establish and maintain a focus on process and to achieve organizational strategy.
From Wikipedia: In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic non-linear system can result in large differences to a later state.
Small example of real world butterfly effect:
Improving crime situation in New York City: From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_tolerance
Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants.
Here it is clear how many small things can cause significant repercussions.