The Butterfly Effect Metaphor
How often do you hear nowadays people talk about the butterfly effect and how it can impact a system? The butterfly metaphor is used in chaos theory to describe how a small event like a butterfly flapping its wings, can have huge consequences in a system, for example, a typhoon.
During the last fourteen months our world witnessed a situation like never. None of us would have predicted that a single action that occurred in a small city like Wuhan in China, would have triggered the COVID-19 outbreak. We may never know if it was poor food safety standards that caused all this, but what we do know that the whole world has turned upside down.
Global supply chains could be similarly interlinked to the butterfly effect due to the complexity and interdependency of their structure. Supply chain is the industry that brings the world together as it links countries to international markets facilitating global trade. Yet, it has always been vulnerable to shocking situations that occur in the major exporting countries. So, could it be that the butterfly effect of COVID-19 has exposed the Achilles’ heel of the system?