When leadership fails, innovation goes underground and people learn to hack to get by.
The term has resonance because it points to a truth that we all know but often forget. Bosses want to see results and everybody wants to impress them. However, it is often easier to create the illusion of success. Tractors and railroads provide concrete output, but they often obscure the fact that people need to hack to survive.
And it is the hacking that produces change. There is no plan to guide it nor a metric to evaluate it, because it arises when plans and metrics leave needs unmet. People do what they need to get by, often under the guise of secrecy. Leaders are always the last to know that their private carriages are passing by Potemkin villages.
So, if you want to create an innovation revolution, don’t go in search of a messiah, find your tent city instead. You can be sure it is close by, but it is usually hiding, waiting to be set free.