This is an example of emergence, the way that global patterns of behaviour appear from basic underlying rules. One of the most effective ways of working with large scale change is by determining and influencing these underlying rules so that new patterns of behaviour can emerge.
Seperation: steer to avoid crowding local flockmates
Alignment: steer towards the average heading of local flockmates
Cohesion: steer to move toward the average position of local flockmates
In our normal lives these rules may be quite evident or quite deeply hidden, even unconscious. What are the rules that allow us to weave our way along a crowded rush-hour pavement without repeated collisions and accidents? What is our response to people who don’t follow these rules?
The point is that if we can surface these rules we have the opportunity to change our collective behaviour in some quite fundamental ways. Slight changes cause us to remodel the way we do things in order to achieve our purpose.