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Bootstrapping Brilliance™ Highlights 0

"Toward yielding more brilliant outcomes in your initiatives, teams and networks, leading to a more brilliant world."

While the opportunities, problems, and challenges we face grow increasingly complex and urgent, finding exponentially more powerful ways to collectively address important challenges is both desirable, and crucial. Organizations, initiatives, regions, and nations that kick into gear on this sooner will likely surpass those that don’t in leaps and bounds.

Bootstrapping Brilliance™ is a practical strategy for getting ahead of this curve, increasing innovation and transformation capacity, while continuously increasing Collective IQ. Five organizing principles offer unique insight, alignment and accelerative leverage for yielding more brilliant results at scale. This strategy dovetails seamlessly to extend existing innovation/design/agile strategies, and serves as a template for networked improvement communities (NICs).

1. Network your community

Flesh out your group of stakeholders, innovators, alliances – ask who best to inform your pursuit, your network, join your expedition?

  • Beyond your core group, engage key stakeholders, end customers, thought leaders, allies.
  • Emphasize diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, skills, with entrepreneurial, pioneering spirit.
  • Be a networked improvement community (NIC) on a mission, exploring a new frontier.

2. Leverage group smarts

Equip your network – ask how best to engage, interact, capture, exploit your Collective IQ?

  • Establish how your team/network will leverage its collective ingenuity and follow-through – your shared vision, process, enabling tools – this shapes your dynamic knowledge ecosystem (DKE), your group brain.
  • Key driver of Collective IQ is the quality of interactions between people, knowledge, and tools within the DKE; seek best of breed practices and tools, especially evolvable, open 'hyper' tools (OHS), yielding ever more brilliant outcomes.
  • Be the faster, more flexible, insightful and effective initiatives of the future.

3. Target whole capability

Frame your quest – ask which essential capabilities you will cultivate, augment, improve?

  • Beyond products/services, identify your target capability, map its human and tool elements.
  • Design your minimum viable prototype (MVP*) accordingly, keeping human and tool in sync.
  • Cultivate as a whole system, an augmentation system of co-evolving human and tool elements.

4. Push the Frontier

Launch pilot expedition(s) – ask how far out can you push, how fast? - rapid prototyping, 'co-evolution' are key

  • Iterate your MVP* using build-test-learn approach, with special emphasis on co-evolving the human and tool elements to more quickly surface deeper insights, inform next steps
  • Use pilot expeditions to enhance exploration, keep human-tool in sync.
  • Key driver to speed frontier penetration is “co-evolution” – cultivate that, accelerate that.

5. Bootstrap your ABCs

Improve how you improve to get that multiplier-scaling effect

  • Map your network or organization into A-B-C Activities: (A) business as usual, (B) improving how A work gets done, (C) improving how B work gets done, i.e. improving how improving gets done.
  • Put your B hat on to identify core capabilities at the A level; how might those core capabilities normally be improved by B Activity? Starting small at C, ask how might B get better at that? Your target is “improving how we improve,” your MVP will be the human-tool ecosystem for doing that, recruit B stakeholders for pilot expedition(s), also be the pilot expedition to bootstrap results, keep improving the knowledge ecosystem through which you engage and advance. Iterate on #1-5 above to expand and scale results.
  • Join forces in an Alliance or NIC of NICs to share learnings, joint research, pilot experiments

Q: How “bootstrappable” are you? The more your work product helps leverage collective IQ, the more walking your talk will yield a bonus multiplier effect, the more improving how you walk your talk will compound that effect - this is the essence of bootstrapping. Targeting the collective IQ capability to benefit all three ABC Activities is your greatest point of leverage.

You can apply any of these five accelerators to any project to improve innovation in that project. The idea is to start small and scale up. Applying all five in a networked initiative offers the greatest leverage, especially at level C, especially in a NIC of NICs. In any case, you can greatly extend your efforts by networking with other pioneering initiatives as a NIC to bootstrap and share results. See Your Bootstrapping Brilliance Toolkit for details.


*MVP stands for Minimum Viable Prototype or Minimum Viable Product – a prototype with just enough features to be piloted or sold to get early feedback from real end users or customers.

**Customer – here including all those who are served by your efforts, whether or not you have paying customers, for example clientele, constituents, end-users, patients, students, beneficiaries, etc. [read more]