Massive flocks of starlings, known as murmurations, exhibit a rare combination of speed and scale. The birds coordinate themselves with remarkable agility to find food and avoid attacks. Schools of fish do the same. What’s noteworthy in these murmurations is the lack of a leader. Instead, each bird follows three simple rules: (1) move to the center, (2) follow your neighbor, and (3) don’t collide. The rules enable each bird to act independently while ensuring the group acts cohesively. Every organization today wants to achieve both alignment and autonomy. Can what works for birds and fish also work for people? The answer comes from a surprising place: the battlefield.
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