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A long time ago, I read a book by Dee Hock, founder and CEO Emeritus for VISA International, Inc.  The book is called “Birth of the Chaordic Age”. What caught my eye was the word “chaordic” because for all intents and purposes, I had never heard of such a word before.


When I picked up the book at the bookstore, I was already glued and I could not put it down … I knew right there and then that I was hooked.  


In 1968 Hock convinced Bank of America to give up ownership and control of their BankAmericard credit card program.


A new company, called National BankAmerica, which was a non-stock membership corporation equally owned by its member banks was born.


The name was changed to VISA in 1976. In other words, the company existed and no one single entity owned it, it was owned by all member banks …


In May 1984, Hock resigned his management role with Visa, retiring to spend almost 10 years in relative isolation working a 200-acre parcel of land to the west of Silicon Valley. He was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Money magazine hall of fame in 1992.


In his 1991 Business Hall of Fame acceptance speech Hock explained: “Through the years, I have greatly feared and sought to keep at bay the four beasts that inevitably devour their keeper — Ego, Envy, Avarice, and Ambition.


In 1984, I severed all connections with business for a life of isolation and anonymity, convinced I was making a great bargain by trading money for time, position for liberty, and ego for contentment — that the beasts were securely caged.”


What brought sweet memories about Hock back was when I was reading one of my financial updates last March. Visa Inc. ignored the bear market on Wall Street and carried out the biggest-ever U.S. initial public offering in style, with its shares surging 28 percent in their first day of trading. VISA took a bold step daringly, as daring as its founder …


In fact, VISA as a corporation loves Hock so much that, he is still the CEO Emeritus after over 20 years in retirement. But what is more fascinating is the fact that in addition to his career in the financial industry, Hock has been active in developing new models of social and business organization.


He has been particularly interested in forms of organization that are neither rigidly controlled nor anarchic, a hybrid form of consensus decision-making he terms chaordic. Out of his term chaordic, a new field of study called Chaordic Commons has been born.


The purpose of the Chaordic Commons is to develop, disseminate, and implement new concepts of organization that result in more equitable sharing of power and wealth, improved health, and greater compatibility with the human spirit and biosphere.


For the sake of it, I prefer calling the whole concept “chaordics”. But what is chaordics and what are its dynamics? For simplicity, chaordics deals with the ability of chaos and order existing in the same sphere.


In other words, there exists some coexistence between chaos and order in everything, in every one, every time at the same time under the sun. To be completely blunt, in as much as there is order, there is also chaos going on in your life right now.


One (either chaos or order) does not exist independent of the other and each one of us is a captive of both; to have order in life, every one of us has to be master of chaos otherwise our lives would be chaotic and out of order.


It is that which is chaotic that gives birth to that which is orderly. Whether it is in your business, country, family or simply other associations the same is true. So, the dynamics are such that if you can master chaos and or how to make order appear out of chaos, equity will emanate.


The human spirit tends to fear chaos to its detriment; you need chaos to derive power and wealth, improved health, and greater compatibility with all spheres. As pain is to the existence of deeper health concern, so is chaos to arriving at order.


With our republican president at bedside right now, all the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise know this time could be chaotic but it is within our powers to bring order out of the situation and move our nation forward while manipulating chaordics to our advantage.


Chaos leads to order, order leads to health and health lead to self-actualization. Without self-actualization, there exist no healthy enterprises, private or public alike.


Is there chaos in your life or enterprise right now or any traces of it? Just smile, because chaos breeds order, order breeds health and health breeds self-actualization.


If you try to short-circuit chaos you do so to your own detriment; yours is to look at it squarely in the eye, fight it head on and find order out of it …


Live Long & Prosper; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion. 


Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO  & President – Zambian Chronicle 


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