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🤯Unknown Unknowns #98 - Chaordic Creativity
“Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior.” - Dee Hock
“Chaordic” is a term coined by Dee Hock, the founder of Visa. It’s a portmanteau of chaos and order. He believed that simple rules (order), rigorously followed, create complex adaptive structures (chaos). Dee Hock’s principles allowed Visa, which was originally a decentralized network of banks, to flourish for over sixty years in an unpredictable world.
After I discovered the idea of chaordic, I realized that this is how I approach life. I was always worried that I didn’t have goals, but now I realize that this was a strength. My choices were made because of my principles and values, not in order to get what I wanted.
My principles show up in all aspects of life. My job. Leaving my job. Relationships. Physical health, learning new skills. I lost twenty-five pounds due to these principles. I’m not saying my life is perfect, far from it, but I have peace of mind and a surprising upside is that there are never hard decisions, because I always fall back on my principles.
"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are." - Roy Disney
Just as the chaordic approach led to Visa’s success and my life, I believe it is the way to Creativity.
Creativity isn’t a light switch. You can’t wake up one morning and decide “I’m going to be a creative person from now on.” Creativity is chaos - there’s no blueprint, no recipe. We need a chaordic approach. We need a set of principles to guide us. And that’s what Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose are. They (and their opposites, mimesis, rigidity, and boredom) are touchstones that we need to rigorously follow to allow Creativity to emerge. It’s a process, filled with fits and starts, ups and downs.
1️⃣ I heard about the chaordic concept on the Value After Hours podcast. Jake Taylor uses the example of the Roadrunner and the Wily Coyote cartoon. Looney Tunes used 9 simple rules to generate hundreds of hours of entertainment.
🔗 Value After Hours S5 E15 (29:25)
2️⃣ An essay by Dee Hock on how to create a chaordic organization. The concept was originally developed around an organization, but I think that individuals can benefit just as much.
3️⃣ Dee Hock’s management principles that he used at Visa. The principles you use will be specific to your circumstances.
Quote of the Week:
"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system." - John Gall
You can find more of my writing at chr.iswong.com.
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Leaving you in peace,