is a discussion about the evolution of chaordic organizations. The term chaordic was coined by Dee Hock after he turned BankAmericard into Visa International by completely reorganizing the system. I have a very strong suspicion that I landed here based on one of the many useful links John Deneen has submitted to this group. There may be much to learn from the approach Dee Hock takes to structuring organizations. The author says this about Visa:
"While it carried some of the most important human ideas and values from our past, this institution clearly was a creature of the future:
1.. Visa is a for-profit membership corporation, owned fully by its members. But it issues no stock so it is virtually impossible to be taken over from the outside. Still, membership is exquisitely easy to obtain, and virtually everyone that can be a member is a member.
2.. Every member maintains a maximum degree of freedom, no member is allowed to develop or maintain a sustained, intrinsic advantage over other members within the organization, although they are furiously competitive in the marketplace selling the organization's products.
3.. Governance is so organized that no member or group of members can dominate decisions or discussions. No member can be locked out of a decision or discussion in which it has a valid stake, so decisions can only be made at the most appropriate levels.
4.. The only decisions or functions that are done centrally are those that can't reasonable be done by a member acting individually or at a more local part of the organization. Power and function gravitates to the smallest possible scale. This leaves the center to be the guardian of the basic membership rights and to be enabling rather than controlling. But even speaking of a "center" is a bit of a misnomer. It really has many centers, and no single piece can exercise control over all the rest.
5.. Any group of members can construct a new piece of the system, as long as they agree to abide by the same core principles. The system can therefore adapt itself to an infinite number of local circumstances without losing its wholeness, or losing the ability of any member to communicate with any other member. It can grow rapidly, without centralized control, like a biological organism. "
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Jun 21 2000 - 14:10:06 PDT