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The Sage


der”) banking organization. VISA is a loose confederation of banks that agree to certain basic principles and systems. Any bank can pull out at any time, so no one can tell it what to do. Representatives meet annually to make decisions almost as citizens make decisions in political caucuses or community forums. According to Hock, the glue that holds chaordic organizations together is a common philosophy. That is why he advocates taking time to create a constitution that describes the ideas members hold in common. The organization is held together not by hierarchy or security, but by fidelity to common ideas. Other organizations based on chaordic principles include the Society for Organizational Learning and United Religions.7 Ray Anderson, the CEO of Interface, turned his company into a learning organization when he became committed to redesigning the company so that it was 100 percent sustainable. To do this, he turned Interface into a closed loop of resources, so that the company not only turned raw materials into products but also turned products back into raw materials with no negative impact on the environment. This meant that the firm could no longer engage in business as usual. Rather, everyone had to rethink absolutely everything in light of the new consensus that every decision would be sustainable for the natural world, the company, and its customers. To do this, Anderson trimmed the company’s hierarchy and created “permeable boundaries”—see-through walls connecting administrators, lab technicians, and the design studio. Now, customers can see employees working, and workers can see customers buying. Also, the back wall of the plant is made of glass, allowing workers and customers alike to remain aware of the beauty of the landscape around them. At the same time, information was made to flow freely. The result was not only the establishment of the first ecologically sustainable carpetmaker but also savings of millions of dollars through greater efficiency. The Sage Customer When the Sage is active in the lives of customers, they are keenly interested in learning for its own sake. Freedom and independence 7. Michael Toms, interview with Dee Hock, The Inner Edge: A Resource for Enlightened Business Practice (Feb./Mar. 2000), pp. 5–7.

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype