A Prime Pattern is a pattern that has been simplified down to three parts, what could be called a Trivium.
In software development, the process of simplification is called ‘refactoring’. When you refactor code, you’re having the code do the same tasks, but simplifying how it does them. In this process, the code becomes more ‘elegant’ and easier for others to use.
A similar process is possible when working with complex ideas. If ideas remain in a complex form, it is very difficult to share them with others. As a result, their impact, within a larger community, is limited. But if those concepts can be distilled down to a simple form – a pattern – they can be easily shared.
A great example is the Theory of Relativity, an immensely complex concept. By Einstein’s ‘refactoring’ this concept to \(E=mc^2\), his theory became well known to an audience far beyond his scientific community.
A prime pattern that can be thought of as a “three-legged stool” – dynamically balanced as a powerful container of meaning. Core Values are best expressed as prime patterns.
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