In large part, this is a personal account of the development of VISA as told by its founder and CEO Emeritus. It is also the author's personal quest for understanding the nature of society today and the reasons for the failure of so many organizations. He presents his ideas about the birth of a new age filled with accelerating change and disorder which requires organizations that can operate at the thin edge between chaos and order.
Hock introduces the concept of chaordic, an adjective referring to the behavior of any self-governing organism, organization or system which blends elements of order and chaos. Chaordic organization is one able to maintain a harmonious order-disorder balance, characterized by principles of evolution; its nature includes being self-organizing, self-governing, adaptive, and nonlinear.
Hock uses his business experience as a springboard to put forward ideas about chaordic organization which include: they have no destination or ultimate being-only becoming; they incorporate inherent paradox and conflict; they are driven by a deep conviction and shared understanding of the Purpose of a community from which all else flows (profit is not, according the Hock, a Purpose); and they apply principles that are an expression of behavior in the pursuit of Purpose.
The full scope of Hock's thinking encompasses the environment, society, and individuals. This book is a mixture of subtle concepts, insights into organization, and a well told tale (in detail) of the evolution of an idea into a major business enterprise. Hock's deeper insights are intriguing.
The book will be immensely rewarding for those interested in delving into reflective thinking about the evolving nature of organization. Highly recommended. Reviewed by Yvette Borcia, founder, Stern & Associates, author of Stern's Sourcefinder The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, the CyberSpace SourceFinder, and the Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder.