Bootstrap Alliance - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Bootstrap Alliance?
The Bootstrap Alliance is a collaborative forum for actively exploring what it takes to develop high performing organizations, teams, and individuals. The Bootstrap Alliance provides a unique opportunity to interact on an ongoing basis with other pioneers who are pushing the envelope in this new frontier - leveraging advances in collaboration, knowledge management, intranets, virtual teams and communities, and continuous improvement and learning. Participants will:
- explore common interests, challenges, and concerns
- share strategies, paradigms, advice, lessons learned
- investigate what's emerging, who's trying it, what they're learning, where it's all headed, where to start
- develop a dynamic repository of accumulating program knowledge, dialog trails, and intelligence collections
- operate as a test-bed and proving ground for innovation
- leverage results within a rich variety of improvement initiatives and pilot projects
Who should participate?
Every organization seeking quantum leap improvements, heightened awareness of who's doing what out on the frontier, and/or an improved quality of life in the global village should subscribe. This includes corporations, universities, government agencies, institutions, development programs, initiatives, consortia, foundations, associations, professional societies, communities, regions, and whole nations.
We invite pro-active participation from stakeholders representing a variety of related improvement initiatives, disciplines, backgrounds, and functions of the organization spanning Program Management, Total Quality, Information Resources, R&D and Human Resources.
Who is involved so far?
The Bootstrap Alliance is just now opening its doors to new members. Founding members include participants from Bootstrap Institute, Sun Microsystems, Netscape Communications, the Educational Testing Service, Patricia Seybold Group, Electric Minds, US General Services Administration, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, ISX, and others.
How might I participate?
A subscription in the Bootstrap Alliance entitles selected members of your organization to participate in regular meetings, invitational workshops, and ongoing online discussion forums and team activities. To get you started, one of our hosts will introduce you to the Program activities, services, and participants, help you get started in the discussions and teams, and sign you up for upcoming events.
All you need to start participating is a browser with access to the internet. Selected other tools will be made available for your use. Your host can lead you through the download/install process for any you elect to try.
Depending on your schedule, you might sign on to the website occasionally for updates, or you might contribute to the moderated discussions several times each day. You may be active on one or more teams, for example investigating desktop video teleconferencing tools, or best practices for facilitating stakeholder collaboration, or building an intelligence collection on emerging intranet products and services. You may attend any number of events during the year, in person or via teleconference.
How is this initiative different?
The Bootstrap Alliance is a strategic, high leverage, cost effective, participatory, learn-by-doing, results oriented, customer centered, evolutionary program.
The Bootstrap Alliance is a forum for improvement initiatives to collaborate across organizations and across domains, zeroing in on what they share in common, and what can be done to significantly boost their results. Special emphasis is placed on exploring capabilities that will boost the improvement cycle, as well as the product cycle of the member organizations. Thus the focus on collaboration, knowledge management, virtual teams/communities, and continuous improvement and learning. The integration of these capabilities represents a significant point of leverage at all levels of the organization.
The Bootstrap Alliance stresses putting into practice new organizaitonal processes along with technological advances, and continuously
the two through scenario development, experimentation, and real-world pilot usage. The Alliance itself operates as an advanced-pilot "virtual enterprise", combining new tools and processes to support its distributed collaborations. Many members are also conducting pilot projects in their own organizaitons. The result is a rich test-bed for innovation and a proving ground for working solutions.
The Bootstrap Alliance is also strongly customer-centered. The discussion agenda is shaped by participant interest and need from the end-user persepective. Even vendors and consultants are participating as end-customers of Program results. Participants are asked to engage representative stakeholders within their organizations to form an open, ongoing two-way transfer of non-proprietary ideas, feedback, lessons learned, and working solutions between the Alliance and the various improvement initiatives within their respective organizations. A core focus is how best to leverage the 'Collective IQ' of the membership into the Alliance, in order to provide the most leverage to the membership in the form of new insights, experience, and results.
How will my organization benefit?
No one can accurately predict where your organization needs to end up. There are no prescriptions, no products or services in the offing that will miraculously get you there. There are no one-shot answers. Success will depend largely on educated guesswork and unprecedented levels of experimentation. The Bootstrap Alliance offers a unique forum for joining forces with others on the frontier, helping you position for the future with greater assurance, while sharing the cost and risks of exploration. This includes increasing your organization's capacity for improvement and innovation, along with a heightened awareness of emerging trends, products and services. The Bootstrap Alliance helps you carve a cost effective, high leverage evolutionary path into the future.
How will I benefit?
Ongoing association with peers, thought leaders, and innovators from a wide cross-section of domains affords a high return staff development opportunity. Exploratory personal use of advanced collaborative technologies and practices, and first-hand exposure to new roles and requirements, provide a solid foundation for leveraging program results in-house, as well as an invaluable context for career planning aimed at high performing teams and organizations.
How can I learn more?
How do I join?
A one-year Charter Subscription in the Bootstrap Alliance costs $30,000 per organization. Flexible payment terms are available, and discounts apply for non-profits and for those paying in advance. A separate fee structure for medium and small organizations, as well as for membership by individuals, is also being developed.
A Charter Subscription entitles you and selected others in your organization to participate on an ongoing basis throughout the year. To become a Charter Subscriber, please contact the Bootstrap Institute.
When can I start?
You can join any time; however, those who come in on the ground floor will have the added advantage of helping to shape the direction and focus of the discussions and projects, while getting a head start on positioning for the future.
The first Members Event was held March 20-21, 1997. Online discussions have already been launched on Howard Rheingold's new venture Electric Minds, and our website is operational on a Netra internet server provided by Sun Microsystems.