- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2 edition (October 16, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1576753328
- ISBN-13: 978-1576753323
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization 2nd Edition
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Dee Hocks insights are brilliant and humane, his prescription is smart and workable. -- Alan M. Webber, Founding Editor, Fast Company magazine
I was quite simply stunned at how this man broke old, staid rules Accessible, personal, and deeply inspiring. -- Robert Redford
One From Many is an organizational revolution that the world ignores at its stagnant peril. -- Ralph Nader
The most original approach to organizing we have been offered. It fits the must-read, must-absorb category for leaders. -- Tom Peters
About the Author
Dee Hock is founder and CEO emeritus of VISA. In 1991, Hock became one of thirty living Laureates of the Business Hall of Fame, and in 1992 was recognized by Money magazine as one of the eight individuals who most changed the way people live in the previous quarter century.
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However, if you are into the way of the mind, combining sociology, psychology, Western, and Eastern practices of going your way in the world while navigating through its madness egoistical creations of the mind, this is a must read. Dee lived his life according to his principles, intentionally or unintentionally. His way educed him to create one of the most adaptive organizations in the business world.
He refers to his mind as the Old Monkey Brain. He doesn't identify with his thoughts, but is intrigued by them. He trained his old monkey brain from swinging tree to tree to become a creator of his world. He doesn't get in the pattern of wrestling with his own mind, like many mindful tend to do. He watches it, follows it when it's being lead by consciousness, and ultimately learns to tame his 4 giants: ego, envy, avarice, and ambition.
My favorite quote from the book: "if you think you can't do it, then why think?"
More Zen than anything I've read as of late.
Interspersed with the story of the formation of VISA are his personal reflections on nature and the experience. This provides the reader an insight into how he came to believe in a chaordic organization and what his thoughts were as he struggled with this monumental task. Flowing back and forth between the two narratives, with italic and plain text to distinguish the personal reflections from the VISA story, is sometimes difficult to follow, but well worth the effort.
Someday this will be hailed as the first example of the organization structure of the future, the post-industrial model of organization emerging on the border of chaos and order.
This is an engrossing, insightful book by a humble, powerful man who has exerted a huge influence on business, society, and on our future. It gives me hope and courage.
New comment: something big is happening, in both politics and business. Moral green open transparent memes are in overdrive. See links.
I read a lot, a solace and a life line out of the madness of today. I finished up my week-end with this most unusual gem, and it is with some emotion that I put it down and take the time to write this review.
In my lifetime, there have been fewer than four individuals able to understand me and manage me, and Dee Hock now joins that number, sight unseen. This is one of the *good guys*! If he and Bill Bradley and Jim Turner (Transpartisanship) can come together, we can remake the world.
The book benefits from a Foreword by Peter Senge, who notes that VISA as it emerged was a disruptive concept that threatened traditional powers. Senge also notes the importance of distinguishing between enabling technologies, such as the Internet, and what is enabled, such as democracy or equitable wealth creation and sharing. Finally, Senge observes that global complexity requires distributed democracy, to which I and the author would both be quick to add: "and moral capitalism."
The book is at root about the failure of all of our instititutions, and the need to find a third way between over-bearing centralization and anarchic decentralization. The author coins the word "chaordic" to deswcribe an even-handed and often-changing balance between the two.
Dee Hock is a philosopher-king, and I am reminded of "Voltaire's Bastards" and "Consilience" as I read his denouncement of the Western concept of separability and his own understanding that complexity is about never-ending and alway-changing relationships. In one example with the US Army, he explores how rules-based organizations waste 45-85% of the time and value of their employees. He specifically notes that human ingenuity is the ultimate resource and is abundant, but too often constrained if not crushed by schools, armies, corporations, and so on.
The author's morality shines forth as he describes non-monetary exchanges of value as the best possible foundation for what others call reciprocal altruism. At one point he observes that "leadership is not necessarily constructive, ethical, or open."
The entire book is about the creation of an organization in which participation is the primal element, agreement is dynamic, and trust and tolerance are the prevailing values. He states that organizational heaven is purpose, principle, and people. Purgotory is paper and procedure. Hell is rule & regulation.
He realizes early on that fraud and theft are major challenges, and that information is, as he quotes Gregory Bateson, "a difference that makes a difference."
I have a big note: this is a smart, ethical, practical, inspiring person--one of the good guys!
The author is deeply and empathetically aware of the discord between our industrial era understandings and perceptions, and the bio-cultural realities of the Earth and all its processes. He sees clearly what the "true cost" or natural capitalism literature seeks to teach.
A line jumps out, in which the author is lamenting that we have such a wealth of information, yet have drifted into "collective madness."
He clearly sees that our current form of predatory immoral "bandit" capitalism specializes at the socialization of cost and the capitalization of gain, which is fancy wording for looting the commons and stealing the profit. He also points out that we are putting the debt on to future generations.
He clearly describes the current form of corporations as inimical to the commons.
The book concludes strongly, lionizing the will to succeed when joined with the grace to compromise, placing VISA on a par with the Internet and LINUX as an organizational model for the future, and noting that growth comes from failure.
On page 284 he lists the following ten attributes from a living organization in Spain that represents the best of the chaordic model:
01 Open membership
02 Democratic organization
03 Worker sovereignty
04 Instrumental subordinate nature of capital
05 Participation in management
06 Wage solidarity
07 Cooperating between cooperatives
08 Social transformation
09 Universal nature
10 Education (he might have added, life-long, unconstrained, free of the prison-rote we now suffer, and teaching sharing as well as learning)
He ends with the story of his recall from his wanderings in the wilderness, to explore examples, models, the intellectual foundation, and organizations by which we might save the Planet and our species, to include the necessary means of mind-crafting for the future.
I actually had goose-bumps as I put this book down. I felt, very strongly, that I had been within the aura of a great leader, a gentle person, a world-class humanitarian, a capitalist Dalai Lama if you will (don't laugh--this author strikes me as quite amazingly special).
I cannot say enough about this book. It joins the very short list of books I have posted on moral leadership through open source intelligence, and it places Dee Hock up there with Buckminster Fuller, Margaret Wheatley, Robert Buckman, and a tiny handful of Senge's and Druckers.
I hope I meet him one day. Right now, he joins Bill Bradley as one of just two people I'd be willing to leave my mink-lined bunker to follow into battle. This book and this author's mind and clarity of communication have simply blown me away.
See the two images I have loaded here to illustrate concepts that I share with this author. You can see other images at Earth Intelligence Network, where you can also use the Amazon Base Page to get access to my 30 lists of books for each of the ten threats, twelve policies, and eight challengers. I am also creating Amazon discussion pages for each of these.
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)
The Politics of Fortune: A New Agenda For Business Leaders
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming