This month we are focusing on audacious business people. During our coaching session we talked about how we wanted to run our businesses and then our coach Noam asked us for 3 people that we admired and why. He also had us point out things about them that we would do differently because of who we are as individuals. He also recommended that we read books written by people who looked at organizations differently than the status quo. Last week I mentioned Yvon Chionard of Patagonia. Today I started another book by Dee Hock called The Birth of the Chaordic Age. Dee Hock was founder and CEO of VISA and chaordic is a word he created.
“Chaordic [kay’ordic] fr chaos and order
1. The behavior of any self-governing organism, organization or system which harmoniously blends characteristics of order and chaos. 2. Pattered in a way dominated by neither chaos or order. 3. Characteristic of the fundamental organizing principles of evolution and nature.
He also mentions that “The organization of the future will be the embodiment of community based on shared purpose calling to the higher aspirations of people.”
My journey this year through Abundance Cubed has helped me define what type of organization I want to create. I can say that at Stone Coop Farm we often feel we are combining chaos and order, but I would not say it is harmonious. We are also focused on community and a shared purpose and we are striving for higher aspirations of people. This has been intentional, but not organized. Therefore, I am looking forward to reading more from Dee Hock on how he carried out his vision of a chaordic organization.
He has insightful views about management and leadership. He feels you must first manage yourself before you can be a good leader. Second you must manage those who have authority over you. Third you should manage your peers (associates, competitors, suppliers, customers). Forth you should employ good people, teach them the same management skills and stay out of their way!
One of his MiniMaxims in the book is “Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead you peers, employ good people, and free them to do the same. All else is trivia.”
A quick breakdown of where Dee Hock felt we should spend our time was 50% management of self, 25% management of superiors, and 20% management of peers. He only had 5% of our time left to manage employees and that time was to recognize, reward, and stay out of their way.
Managing people is a challenge, and I continue to learn how important it is to focus on my own integrity, ethics, values, words and deeds. New situations arise all the time and I realize I have not clearly defined how I feel or how I will react. That is all part of how I manage myself.
Reading Dee’s book opens a new vision of what managing can mean. I can become an American Ninja Warrior, practicing how to negotiate the obstacles placed before me. Ok I am being silly, but what a fun challenge. Can I only manage my employees 5% of the time? Can I hire good people, recognize, reward and stay out of their way?