THE BLOG
12/09/2014 11:17 am ET Updated Feb 05, 2015

Organized Chaos: The Natural Law of Order

Humanity thrives on the premise that order prevails as a result of deliberate intentions hence our constant urge to be its de facto custodians. However, order predates human existence and is a preserve for a higher power. The defiance of this natural law, though providing a short-term solution has catastrophic consequences in the long term. It is without saying that you do not mess with Mother Nature; advise which is to be ignored as owner's peril.

For even in chaos and turmoil, order will always prevail buttressing the proposition that order exists in disorder. All living organisms are guided by unwritten laws, which provide guidance and natural order even for the animals in the jungle. It is this order that prevents self-harm and obliteration of our entire race thereby protecting us from extinction.

Firstly, it is important to define order in order to provide context, though its definition is marred by subjectivity. For order is a product of one's environment and upbringing; what one might consider order might be considered disorder to another. We will define it as a state of tranquility and the existence of systems or laws by which all abide for the greater good of their own and others' existence.

Can we then reasonably extrapolate this to mean that order is the absence of chaos? This is not the case because order can prevail in chaos. How then can we attest to the existence of order in chaos? Our natural bias is to have a predetermined process and outcome and the deviation from these will be indicative of chaos. However, to the contrary we need to determine whether desirable outcomes were obtained so as to ascertain the presence of order. Therefore, a seemingly chaotic situation that results in desirable outcomes can be said to contain order despite producing unexpected outcomes bringing to the fore the term, organized chaos. This theory is anchored on the premise that there lies a natural order by which all organisms are governed and it is this that governs situations, which might seem disorganized. An example is hoarders who might keep mountains of clutter around which might seem chaotic to us but which the hoarder perceives as orderly because they can easily retrieve items from the clutter. If you are to decide to rearrange these items in order to create a sense of orderliness, you will create chaos, which will make it difficult for the hoarder to retrieve items. This questions the validity of the premise that there is a universal order especially in a world riddled with countless communal values, which are key in defining order. It is therefore imperative to appreciate the disparities in organizational, family and communal norms, values and culture and factor them in drawing conclusions to mitigate our predisposition to misjudge situations.

Organized chaos is a theory, which is applicable in business, politics and life. It allows for the best ideas to flourish by promoting antagonizing between parties to birth superior ideologies, which are often suppressed to satisfy the majority. The critics further state that the benefits of organized chaos are outweighed by its proliferation of anarchy and lawlessness. However, this refers to chaos which is the first thought that organized chaos invokes. Organization chaos is aimed at promoting a freewheeling approach as opposed to the heavy hand with which order is accompanied by. It recognizes the fact that most organisms including human beings thrive when they are allowed to set their own norms, not by written but unspoken law. Most organisations thrive on protocol, which typify their meetings, focusing on order as opposed to outcomes.

This protocol subdues honest opinions, which would assist the organisation to identify problems and their root cause. It allows for mediocrity to thrive by taking all opinions as equal and valid in the spirit of staff appreciation. It is settling for less for the benefit of more. Whereas, organized chaos believes in settling for more by considering less. It recognizes that the ideologies of the majority do not hold always hold true and have resulted in businesses, families and communities plummeting into disaster.

Organized chaos can be summarized as follow:
1. Settle for more by considering less.
2. Focus on outcomes rather than processes.
3. There is no universal order.
4. There is order in disorder.

Organized chaos will always thrive over order because it allows for individuals or groups to define order and the desirable outcomes promoting a sense of ownership. It promotes a principle rather than a rule based framework, which allows for creative freedom.

In conclusion, the modern organisation understands that the modern knowledge worker thrives on organized chaos, resulting in the introduction of this practice in their organisation. This recognizes that an organisation will only succeed when its employees become the best version of themselves. This is possible by creating an enabling environment.

Stay well. PEL