URI – A Pioneering Organization
URI’s organizational concept emerged from a passionate curiosity about how to build an organization that learned from nature’s way of organizing. Dee Hock, a banker and founder of the VISA card, challenged the way organizations worked. He left VISA in 1984 and went into retreat. He searched for organizational models compatible with the human spirit and biosphere, and he pioneered a visionary concept called chaordic (from “chaos” and “order”) organizing. This new approach depended on shared purpose, core principles, self-organizing interdependent parts, and freedom that allowed for unlimited diversity of expression. He believed that organizations existed to serve the creative energy and resourcefulness of the human spirit. He believed that “given certain circumstances and the liberty to try, ordinary people would consistently do extraordinary things.” This vision honors the essence of each person to live into his or her fullest capacity and highest service as a human being.
Dee consulted with a URI team for two years to develop key organizational concepts for URI. As these ideas developed they were shared widely with the greater URI global community. Many voices were invited into the process to craft the organizational design for URI, and the result was the URI Charter.
URI honors the indispensable gift of practical experience and theoretical brilliance that Dee brought. His pioneering ideas were true to URI’s visions and values. He helped URI become an organization that could conform to legal requirements, act with authority on the world stage, and live into the future.
Read more in the book Birth of a Global Community, by Gibbs and Mahé.