Image of Bootstrap Paradigm Map
Doug Engelbart created a 'Paradigm Map' to clarify where strategic thinking needs to shift
(click to enlarge)

Key Concepts Highlights 0

The following concepts and special terms emerged from Doug Engelbart’s strategic pursuit of evolving the organization of the future, and the enabling information technology. Brief descriptions are offered below. For more detail, see Further Inquiry and Index to Detailed Descriptions below, or click on the Learn More hotlinks under a specific term.

Index 2

Premise | Objective | ABCs | Augmentation System | Human System | Tool System | Bootstrap Strategy | Capability Infrastructure | Co-Evolution | Co-Evolution Frontier | Collective IQ | DKE | CoDIAK | DKR | NICs | Meta-NIC | OHS | Hyperscope | Augment | NLS | Unfinished Revolution

Brief Descriptions 3

Premise - Exploding Complexity and Urgency Expect an exploding rate and scale of change on an exponential curve, faster than the organizations* on which we depend can make sense – meanwhile the challenges we face across public and private sectors grow increasingly complex and urgent. The growing gap represents both an existential threat, and a golden opportunity. 3a

Objective - High-Performance Organizations Organizations* will have to perform as never before, evolving into the high-performance organizations of the future. The Grand Challenge question is, how do we jump tracks to a new trajectory that gets us out ahead of the curve. How much can we change in the organization, how fast, how far out can we comfortably push? Which capabilities yield the most leverage? Which strategies? The stakes are high. 3b

Collective IQ A measure of a group’s collective intelligence and effectiveness – how quickly and intelligently it makes sense of a situation, gains insight, weighs options, develops and deploys solutions, how quickly it learns and evolves. What makes Collective IQ high or low is the quality of a group’s dynamic knowledge ecosystem (DKE). 3c

  • DKE The Dynamic Knowledge Ecosystem in which people work that powers them toward their goal, including their CoDIAK process and dynamic knowledge repository (DKR)
  • CoDIAK Concurrent Development, Integration, and Application of Knowledge - Doug's distillation of a group's knowledge work processes
  • DKR Dynamic Knowledge Repository - a “living” repository of a group's knowledge, captured and accessible in real time, including dialog records (meeting notes, email, annotations), research intelligence, and evolving knowledge work products (vision, mission, designs, plans, proposals).
  • A key point of leverage for organizations and society to jump the curve – improve THIS
  • About Collective IQ
  • Objective | OHS | Bootstrap Strategy

Open Hyperdocument Systems (OHS) A framework for enabling technology to support dynamic knowledge ecosystems (DKEs) sufficient to boost Collective IQ in fast-evolving organizations. OHS describes a toolset to be made ubiquitously available within and across our information systems world wide, with the structure and properties of ‘hyperdocuments’, and the functions that you can execute on them, such as viewing, navigating, linking, editing, sharing, etc. – well beyond today’s standard. Doug characterized OHS as “the critical missing piece” still needed by organizations to push the envelope of performance and transformation. 3d

  • “Hyperdocument” A multimedia file, document, or other ‘knowledge container’ with OHS properties, provides for flexible fine-grained addressability or linkages to any object, explicit structuring, and more. (using ‘hyper’ here to mean enriched, not just linkable)
  • “Open” Providing vendor-independent access to the hyperdocuments within and across work groups, platforms, and applications
  • “System” The functions work consistently and seamlessly interoperably across the whole knowledge ecosystem based on open standards
  • Hyperscope A part of OHS tool set that you can implement early and get immediate utility; starting with OHS-style viewing, linking, jumping, browsing, as the minimum viable prototype evolves to add more features (e.g. editing), it becomes a bigger part of the OHS. Rigorous pilot usage will power exploration and pilot outposts, and inform the evolution and standards efforts. See also an early demonstration prototype named Hyperscope.
  • NLS The extensive research prototype system developed by Douglas Engelbart and team in the 1960s-70s at SRI as a vehicle for exploring these Key Concepts (or early versions of them).
  • Augment Commercialized version of NLS used in hundreds of organizations in the 1970s-80s
  • Enabling technology as a vehicle for exploration in Pilot Outposts, bootstrapping Collective IQ
  • About OHS | OHS Technology Template
  • Collective IQ | Pilot-Outposts

Capability Infrastructure What makes us capable is an infrastructure of capabilities that augments our innate human abilities, with higher level capabilities depending on the execution of lower level ones. Useful for thinking strategically about which capabilities to emphasize that will add leverage to any improvement efforts. From leadership's perspective, which will add greatest leverage to the organization’s transformation efforts. 3e

Augmentation System What makes us capable is a system of capabilities that augments us humans beyond our innate abilities, including a Tool System and a Human System in which we are trained or enculturated. It’s the balanced whole that augments us. 3f

  • Tool System the tools we employ – technology, equipment, artifacts, facilities, …
  • Human System the intangibles we employ – methods, conventions, language, paradigms, values, skills, …
  • To increase capability, change THIS; the Human side is 80-90% of the equation, slower to change; co-evolving the two is crucial
  • Capability Augmentation
  • Capability Infrastructure | Co-Evolution

Co-Evolution Refers to how our Human and Tool Systems co-evolve – aka human-tool co-evolution. For example, introducing a new, improved tool has a natural rippling effect on the Human side, and vice versa. The printing press changed business and society over centuries, which over time informed further evolution of the tools. 3g

Co-Evolution Frontier Advancing organizational capability like never before puts you out on a frontier. Doug mapped organizations’ progress on this frontier to illustrate how the Key Concepts converge: (1) the strategic challenge of navigating this frontier, (2) how proactive co-evolution forges the most direct and efficient path, (3) the importance of Pilot Outposts, (4) the role of B and C Activities, (5) the benefits of joining forces with others on the frontier, and (6) how the Bootstrap Strategy pulls it all together to focus strategic investment while accelerating results. The frontier metaphor reminds this is not business as usual, it's more like recruiting and equipping scouting expeditions and advanced outposts into uncharted territory. 3h

ABCs of Organizational Improvement Categorizing the improvement efforts of an organization into ABC activities highlights strategic points of leverage for staging the organization’s transformation at scale: 3i

  • A Activities Performing the day to day functions of an organization (“business as usual”)
  • B Activities Attempts to improve how we do A Activities
  • C Activities Attempts to improve how we do B Activities (“improving how we improve”)
  • On the Co-Evolution Frontier, "you are here" would show where an organization is today doing its A Activities, while its B Activities are busy attempting to move it out on the frontier using today's methodologies. How far, how fast, how effeciently and effectively is determined by the strength of its C Activity, which is scouting ahead for better maps, better methodologies to advance on the frontier more assertively and efficiently, using the best Collective IQ capability it can muster to amplify results, which then become low hanging fruit for the B Activities.
  • 'C' is the point of greatest leverage in the organization; form a C initiative to learn how; this is a cornerstone of the Bootstrap Strategy; join forces with other C initiatives in Networked Improvement Communities (NICs).
  • The ABCs of Organizational Improvement
  • Bootstrap Strategy | Co-Evolution Frontier | NICs

Bootstrap Strategy Doug designed this strategy to improve the way you improve organizationally, to more quickly advance on the frontier to higher and higher levels of performance, with a built-in multiplier effect. Leverages all the Key Concepts. How it works: (1) Activate an initiative to explore and improve your improvement strategy, employing best of breed Collective IQ tools/processes to amplify efforts; (2) Deploy results/learnings within other improvement initiatives to amplify their efforts, and optionally out to end-users/customers; (3) Engage stakeholders, integrate learnings, iterate with special emphasis on co-evolution, and reverberate; (4) 'Practice what you preach' – be the most rigorous, advanced, model practitioners of your results and learnings. Inversely: If you are in the business of deploying tools/processes aimed at boosting Collective IQ, you pro-actively deploy those systems in your own team to bootstrap results (item 4); embrace items 3, 2, 1. In any case, the Collective IQ capability is the highest value target for improvement, a strategic choice, because all knowledge-intense efforts depend on it, including all innovation and improvement efforts. Iterate on 1-4. For added leverage, join forces with others on a similar path as a Networked Improvement Community (NIC). 3j

Networked Improvement Communites (NICs) In Doug Engelbart's terms, an improvement community is any group involved in a collective pursuit to improve a given capability. An improvement community that puts special attention on how it can be dramatically more effective at solving important problems, boosting its collective IQ, is a networked improvement community (NIC) 3k

Unfinished Revolution "The unfinished revolution is about what we can do to change the way we face the future so that we can better cope with all that is now happening." (Engelbart, from 1998 interview). As Doug predicted, the advance of computing technology has caused a revolution in the way we conduct our lives. But an important part of this revolution is not yet fulfilled – the Grand Challenge task of raising our collective IQ at scale, to better tackle important and pressing challenges, small and large, throughout the world. Best pursued using a targeted strategic approach (why Doug designed the Bootstrap Strategy). The Unfinished Revolution poses both a golden opportunity, and survival imperative. We have as yet barely scratched the surface. 3l




*Organization Used in the above to mean any size organizational unit – group, team, initiative, department, organization, corporation, institution, agency, government, nation, society, network of organizations


Further Inquiry 4

Index to Detailed Descriptions 5

Learn more through these detailed descriptions, same as those offered above in the 'Learn More' links under each key concept: