Dee Hock

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Dee Hock is the founder/creator and former CEO of the VISA credit card association.

Ask Yourself

Hock considered the following questions/principles when creating what would become VISA, and these principles are the foundation for a chaordic organization:

  • What if ownership was in the form of irrevocable right of participation, rather than stock: rights that could not be rated, traded, bought, or sold but only acquired through application or acceptance of membership?
  • What if it were self organizing, with participants having the right to self organize at any time, for any reason, at any scale, with irrevocable rights of participation in governance at any greater scale?
  • What if power and function were distributive, with no power vested in or function performed by any part that could reasonably exercised by any more peripheral part?
  • What if governance was distributive, with no individual, institution, or combination of either or both, particularly management, able to dominate deliberations or control decisions at any scale?
  • What if it could seamlessly blend cooperation and competition, with all parts free to compete in unique, independent ways, yet able to yield self interests and cooperate when necessary to the good of the whole?
  • What if it were infinitely malleable, yet extremely durable, with all parts capable of constant, self generated, modification of form or function without sacrificing its essential purpose, nature, or embodied principle, thus releasing human ingenuity and spirit?

Dee Hock is the founder/creator and former CEO of the VISA credit card association.


From One to Many (aka Birth of the Chaordic Age), written by Hock, switches between telling of the creation of VISA, and personal reflections and musings about the structure and potential of "chaordic[1]" organizations. Hock sees great potential in these democratic, consensus-based organizational structures.

More Information

  1. Chaordic Organizations - Characteristics
  2. Open Source Leadership