This graphic is from the Chaordic Commons website. It's derived from the thinking of Dee Hock who wrote the book called Birth of the Chaordic Age. Mr. Hock is the founder of VISA International. He invented the word Chaordic by combining Chaos with Order as shown above.
I read up on the history of the Chaordic Alliance - the people behind Chaordic Commons and, of course, it came out of Mr. Hock's work. I was impressed that Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline hired Mr. Hock to help apply chaordic principles to what became his Society for Organizational Learning. Fast Company wrote about Hock in their 5th issue in an article entitled: The Trillion-Dollar Vision of Dee Hock.
Peter Senge, author of "The Fifth Discipline" and a leader in organizational redesign, brought in Hock last year to help reconceive his MIT Center for Organizational Learning, a consortium of 20 companies dedicated to cutting-edge work in corporate adaptability. "Dee is one of the most original thinkers on the subject of organization that I've come across," Senge says.Here are the definitions:
chaord (kay'ord) 1: any autocatalytic, self-regulating, adaptive, nonlinear, complex organism, organization, or system, whether physical, biological or social, the behavior of which harmoniously exhibits characteristics of both order and chaos. 2: an entity whose behavior exhibits patterns and probabilities not governed or explained by the behavior of its parts. 3: the fundamental organizing principle of nature and evolution.
chaordic (kay'ordic) 1: anything simultaneously orderly and chaotic. 2: patterned in a way dominated neither by order nor chaos. 3: existing in the phase between order and chaos.The Chaordic Alliance asserts:
Many leading scientists believe that the principal science of the next century will be the study of complex, autocatalytic, self-organizing, non-linear, adaptive systems, usually referred to as "complexity" or "chaos theory." They believe that such systems, perhaps even life itself, arise and thrive on the edge of chaos with just enough order to give them pattern, but not so much to slow their adaptation and learning.This is not new news. The book came out in November 1999, but I liked the illustration and feel that the concept is in keeping with my passionate interest in emergence, self-organizing systems, collaboration, social networks, bottom-up, and chaos theory. It is interesting to think that VISA International may owe its success to some of these principles - perhaps understood after the fact.
Two great nuggets from Hock from another article in that same Fast Company issue above:
Creativity: The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a room packed with archaic furniture. You must get the old furniture of what you know, think, and believe out before anything new can get in. Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.
Leadership: Here is the very heart and soul of the matter. If you look to lead, invest at least 40% of your time managing yourself -- your ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 30% managing those with authority over you, and 15% managing your peers. Use the remainder to induce those you "work for" to understand and practice the theory. I use the terms "work for" advisedly, for if you don't understand that you should be working for your mislabeled "subordinates," you haven't understood anything. Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead your peers, and free your people to do the same. All else is trivia