Chaordic - what is in a name?

Chaordic as a company has been around since 2017, but we still get asked about the origins of the name. Many have speculated about the meaning of the name, some correctly, some have gotten it wrong.

Chaordic is a term combining of the words "Chaos" and "Order", coined by former Visa CEO Dee Hock. Hock wanted have a word to describe an organisation that harmoniously combines elements of both, without letting either dominate.

This choice of name is no accident - It is rooted in the values our company was founded on. Let us look at what Chaordic means in more detail:

Characteristics of a Chaordic organisation

To quote CIO Wiki, a Chaordic organization is characterised by:

  • Based on clarity of shared purpose and principles
  • Self-organizing and self-governing in whole and in part
  • Exist primarily to enable their constituent parts
  • Powered from the periphery, unified from the core
  • Durable in purpose and principle, malleable in form and function
  • Equitably distribute power, rights, responsibility and rewards
  • Harmoniously combine cooperation and competition
  • Learn, adapt and innovate in ever expanding cycles
  • Compatible with the human spirit and the biosphere
  • Liberate and amplify ingenuity, initiative and judgment
  • Compatible with and foster diversity, complexity and change
  • Constructively utilize and harmonize conflict and paradox
  • Restrain and appropriately embed command and control methods

These are all values that we deeply believe in. We could have tried to come up with our own words, but sometimes, it is not necessary when others have done it better already.

Chaordic thinking & values fit very well with the other dominant lenses we use to make sense of our work, namely Systems Thinking & The Theory of Constraints. We are not bound to any one method or way of thinking, but these are the methods and philosophies that we have found useful.

Discovering Agile in the early 2000's was our starting point, but our path has led us to ways that go far beyond Agile, without compromising on the mindsets.

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