Attractor theory looks at dynamic behaviour by plotting movement.
A “point attractor” is where the movement is attracted to a particular point (such as a ball bearing rolled around a basin – sooner or later it will be “attracted” to a single point at the bottom). A “periodic attractor” has a more circular plot, such as, for example, a windmill. And a “strange attractor” is a dynamic which, when plotted, describes an unusual shape (such as a butterfly – see the Butterfly Effect). An example of such a plot of movement is of a pendulum plotted against velocity and angle, with two possible attractors emerging (depending if it is power driven or not).
As velocity and angle are to a pendulum, so can people and goals be to leadership. Leadership can be plotted against the individual effort needed by a leader re the people and the effort needed re the goal. And so four broad strategies for leadership emerge. These are considered more on the Individual Leadership page. Suffice here to say that such effort can be plotted and, once done, attractors emerge. A common one is the point attractor, which shows the point of leadership is to devolve to others.
Imagine you start with a person who does not want to do soemthing, nor has the skills.
- First a leader would sell the idea – get the person to want to do it – and then, when the person says “But I don’t know how”….
- The leader tells the person how, shows or trains, to the extent that the person can
- Get involved in the work and deciding how it is done to get expereince and to the level that
- The person can just get on with it without any leadership
For this strategy to work, certain organisational principles need to be in place – but once they are then enhanced results can occur (more details)…