Birth of the Chaordic Age

Hock, Dee W. Founder and CEO Emeritus, VISA

Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1999
ISBN 10: 1576750744 / ISBN 13: 9781576750742
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1999, 1999 Fine Book, Fine unclipped jacket, Stated First Edition, First Printing 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 345 clean tight unmarked pages, grey and white marbled end pages, book has full dark blue cloth covered boards with silver embossed lettering on the spine, jacket is white with black lettering. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: In Birth of the Chaordic Age, Dee Hock argues that traditional organizational forms can no longer work because organizations have become too complex. Hock advocates a new organizational form that he calls ""chaordic, "" or simultaneously chaotic and orderly. He credits the worldwide success of VISA with its chaordic structure -- it is owned by its member banks which both compete with each other for customers and must cooperate by honoring one another's transactions across borders and currencies. The book shows how these same chaordic concepts are now being put into practice in a broad range of business, social, community, and government organizations.

Review: Birth of the Chaordic Age is a compelling manifesto for the future, embedded within the intriguing story of a personal odyssey. An engaging narrator, Dee Hock is the man who first conceived of a global system for the electronic exchange of value, becoming the founder and CEO of VISA International. He looks critically at today's environment of command-and-control institutions and sees organizations that are falling apart, failing to achieve their own purposes let alone addressing the diversity and complexity of society as a whole. The solution, Hock claims, lies in transforming our notion of organization; in embracing the belief that the chaos of competition and the order of cooperation can and do coexist, succeed, even thrive; and in welcoming in the chaordic age.

The underlying tenets of Hock's ideas are well illustrated by the incredible story of the birth of VISA International, an organization formed on chaordic principles that now links in excess of 20,000 financial institutions, 14 million merchants, and 600 million consumers in 220 countries. Hock deplores an age where ingenuity and effort are wasted on circumventing the rules and regulations of insular, hierarchical bureaucracies. In a bold-type subtext interspersed throughout the book, he examines how this situation is stunting our potential as individuals and communities and contemplates what can be changed. This rumination is propelled onward by "Old Monkey Mind" (Hock's own thoughts). Though the technique allows the reader to engage in stimulating mental discovery along with the author, its New Age spiritual tone is sometimes a bit saccharine. His insights, however, are clear and provocative. In the Chaordic Age, he contends, "success will depend less on rote and more on reason; less on the authority of the few and more on the judgment of many; less on compulsion and more on motivation; less on external control of people and more on internal discipline." Hear, hear. --S. Ketchum

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Birth of the Chaordic Age
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition

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