Dee Ward Hock (born March 21, 1929) is the founder and former CEO of the Visa credit card association.
In 1968, Hock was an official of a local bank in Washington State that was franchised by the Bank of America to issue its credit card brand, BankAmericard. Through a series of unlikely accidents, Hock helped invent and became chief executive of the credit system that became VISA International. Early on, he convinced Bank of America to give up ownership and control of their BankAmericard credit card licensing program, forming a new company, National BankAmerica, that was owned by its member banks. The name was changed to Visa in 1976.
In May 1984, Hock resigned his management role with Visa, retiring to spend almost ten years in relative isolation working a 200-acre (0.81 km2) parcel of land on the Pacific coast to the west of Silicon Valley. He was inducted into Junior Achievement's U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Money magazine hall of fame in 1992.
In his 1991 Business Hall of Fame acceptance speech Hock explained:
From the outset Hock had built Visa as a deliberately uncentralized organization. On March 13, 1993, Hock gave a dinner speech at the Santa Fe Institute where based on his experiences founding and operating Visa International he described systems that are both chaotic and ordered, and used for the first time the term "chaord" and chaordic, a portmanteau combining the words chaos and order.
In February 1994, Hock accepted a grant from the Joyce Foundation for his travel expenses to study the possibilities of implementing chaordic organizations for a year and to report back.
As a result, the non-profit Alliance for Community Liberty was formed in 1994 by Hock to develop, disseminate and implement these new concepts of organization, and was renamed The Chaordic Alliance in 1996.
In spring 2001 The Chaordic Commons - a 501c3 nonprofit organization - was formed to supersede the Chaordic Alliance.
The Chaordic Commons provided a way to turn over the work to a broader community of effort and to let Dee step out of the limelight, back into his retirement. Its purpose was to develop, disseminate, and implement new concepts of organization that would result in more equitable sharing of power and wealth, improved health, and greater compatibility with the human spirit and biosphere. The organization ceased operations in 2005, with the website going dark in 2011.
Impact on organization development
In addition to his career in the financial industry, Hock has been active in developing new models of social and business organization. He has been particularly interested in forms of organization that are neither rigidly controlled nor anarchic, a hybrid form he terms chaordic.
Hock has authored a book on the subject, Birth of the Chaordic Age (1999) with an edition named One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization (2005) which includes two new chapters.
- "...a clear, meaningful purpose and compelling ethical principles evoked from all participants should be the essence of every relationship, and every institution."
- “We are at that very point in time when a 400-year-old age is dying and another is struggling to be born—-a shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater than the world has ever experienced.”
- "Only fools worship their tools."
- Hock, Dee W. Birth of the Chaordic Age Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1st Edition/ 1st Priniting edition (January 1, 2000) p. 67.
- Hock, Dee W. Birth of the Chaordic Age Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1st Edition/ 1st Priniting edition (January 1, 2000) p. 44.