Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Bootlegging, a term for delving into the chaotic world of creativity and innovation.

My search on leads on bootstrapping led to the term of bootlegging. Interesting connotations out of the the Wikipedia entry on bootlegging that gives another aspect of the word chaotic, one that does not agree with the commonly held notion of mayhem and destruction

"The main reason for the occurrence of bootlegging is the lack of ‘free space’ for creativity. In particular rigid planning ignores the nature of experimental trial and error research. Bootlegging, as a kind of self-regulating element, bridges the mechanistic world of organisation (hierarchy, project proposals, MBO, decisions can only be made after some initial findings) with the chaotic world of creativity and innovation. The theory of path dependency explains why bootleg innovations are (most often) in line with the strategic objectives of the firm: corporate competencies define the search paths for its future. In this respect are the learning processes, beside the tangible output of bootlegging beneficial for the firm."

So, bootlegging refer to as the way out of the conundrum of the lack of 'free space' for creativity? That was brought about by the rigid planning this form of human activity favours? No wonder. Being scared to loose whatever is thought as being accomplished, among them the cushy jobs, the office in the corner (why did I think of that?).

Is that so, or is it borne out of the competitiveness in that sector which instead of promoting, it stifles innovation? That everything they do is geared towards making up a penny, the economically viable prerogative. Services, products and lives of individuals take up a second place, lost in the chase for the monies as they are strained through a monetising sieve that if it does not restrict, it barely lets them through.

Constantly loosing touch of what is of value for human individuals, as gradually reach or reached the point that services and products become irrelevant, as it can be anything, even human excrement as long as it yields profits.

What difference does it make whether bootleg innovations are 'in line with the strategic objectives of the firm'? They would never be. The corporate world's only objective, strategic or not, is to make lots and lots of money. What kind of 'free space' for creativity can be accommodated there? Creativity extremely warped and distorted. It can hardly be recognised as such.

It is clearly a practice that they are ashamed of, as they called it bootlegging, a word borrowed from a distasteful past. Their origins.

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