Hope springs anew as I enter my 89th year on this marvelous planet, in spite of the fact that the incipient epidemic of institutional failure that I began writing and speaking about in 1980 is now raging throughout the world. The diversity and complexity of society is increasing at a rate unimaginable thirty years ago. Social, economic and environmental problems have become equally diverse and complex. The cause is the ten-thousand fold increase in the Capacity to Receive, Utilize, Store, Transform and Transmit Information (see CRUSTTI under Essays) which has been underway for the past fifty years. The 400 year old, mechanistic concepts of political, commercial and social organization and management that served us so well during the Industrial age are archaic and increasingly ineffectual.
I wrote about this in 1990 in a book, Birth Of The Chaordic Age, and its second edition, entitled One From Many. In those books I also pointed out the growing need for new, more equitable and effective concepts of organization and leadership, citing as an example the formation of such an organization to salvage a collapsing, infant, bank card system, which became Visa Inc. The core of that organization now has a market value in the range of $400 billion. Annual financial transactions under its trademarks now approaches $10 trillion. In spite of its success, Visa is not a model to be emulated. It is merely an archetype among many that may suggest a direction for institutional evolution.
So why the hope? It has been my experience that an opportunity is concealed in every problem. The greater the problem the greater the opportunity. Concealed in the global epidemic of institutional failure and the gigantic increase in societal diversity and complexity brought a bout by CRUSTI is an opportunity for our species that may not come again for centuries. It is the opportunity to conceive and implement new, more organic, less hierarchical forms of societal organization that are more in harmony with the human spirit and the environment. It is not an opportunity for any one. It is an opportunity for everyone. It will requires a massive change in individual perspective and perception.
Has the time for such new concepts of organization come? I do not know. I know only that calls and messages from people seeking new, more equitable and effective concepts of organization and management are steadily increasing. In the past four weeks, CEOs of four institutions in fields as diverse as political delivery of human services, global payment systems, geo-engineering, and health care have called to arrange meetings to obtain assistance in re-conceiving structure and management of their enterprises. The words Chaord and Chaordic, which I coined twenty years ago by combining the first syllables of chaos and order, now appear everywhere, though the meaning is often distorted.
I also know that this is work for bodies and minds younger and more agile than mine, I shall continue to do what I can to educe the desire and thinking that such efforts require. To that end, I would enjoy hearing from anyone that has interest or ideas to share. Messages can be sent through the "contact" heading of this site, or email Deehock@comcast.net