The smuggler’s manifesto is a document that was leaked online by an anonymous source, claiming to be a member of a global network of smugglers who operate in the shadows of the law. The manifesto reveals the methods, motives, and philosophy of the smugglers, who claim to be providing a valuable service to humanity by circumventing the restrictions and regulations imposed by governments and corporations.
The manifesto challenges the conventional notions of legality, morality, and sovereignty, and argues that smuggling is a form of resistance against the oppressive forces that seek to control and exploit people. The smugglers claim to be guided by a code of ethics that respects the autonomy, dignity, and diversity of their clients, who range from refugees and dissidents to collectors and enthusiasts. The smugglers also claim to be advocates of free speech, free trade, and free movement, and assert that their activities promote innovation, creativity, and cultural exchange.
For entrepreneurs out there who want to know why it takes so damned long to get decisions made, well here it is: you are most likely to start your corporate incursion in the company of a conformist. Conformists are polite and will tell you how exciting your product or service is, and how much promise it has, and they’ll make you feel really good. But they won’t tell you that they are not about to rock the boat internally. They will also fail to mention the fact that if they were to get buy-in from the boss, they would then be expected to implement, which means more work, which means no. So that will spin your wheels for about four months, and you will not be an inch closer to your goal.
However, there are elements of the smuggler’s manifesto that have been used to bypass the bureaucracy experienced at workplaces. Like their code language which is
- Let me see how I can accelerate this
- I will find resources
- We need to change things around here
- I will get this approved
- Why wouldn’t we move fast on this
- And finally, are you freaking kidding me? What do you mean we aren’t doing this already?
Even though it has sparked a heated debate among scholars, journalists, activists, and policymakers, who have different interpretations and opinions on the document. Some view the manifesto as a radical and dangerous expression of anarchism, nihilism, and criminality, and call for a crackdown on the smuggling networks. Others view the manifesto as a provocative and insightful critique of the current global order and call for a reform of the laws and institutions that govern anything in the world. Still, others view the manifesto as a hoax or a publicity stunt and question the authenticity and credibility of the source.
On my side, I think it reads well as one that can influence buy-in for services and products in a corporate organisation and it gives a winning edge to start-ups with little influence if implemented well.
How this Manifesto reads in line with innovation
- Smugglers are a symbiotic, beneficial organism in any bureaucracy.
- The Smuggler’s mission is to stimulate new thinking and to enable new products, new services, and new ways of doing things to infiltrate. They do battle on the side of innovation, against its foe, stagnation.
- The Smuggler’s passion is the safekeeping of innovation in all forms. They do not rest when progress is threatened.
- Smuggling is dangerous because big organizations develop resistance to change, which becomes disdain for innovation, which morphs into fear and hostility.
- Smugglers become very adept at avoiding traps set for them. They conform as appropriate in the light. But in the dark, they strive to circumvent bureaucracy and overthrow complacency.
- A lone Smuggler will have a difficult time, but Smugglers recognize each other in subtle ways and readily join forces.
- Through constant communication, Smugglers find new sources of inspiration and share them. This makes the Smuggler an extraordinarily resilient breed.
- Smugglers may have any rank or title, but they are rarely limited by established norms of authority. Instead, they take what they need.
- Smugglers quickly learn the paths to those who need innovation to survive. These are the havens of the Smuggler, where they need not suppress their joys and frustrations.
- Above all, the Smuggler always acts in the best interests of the organization. Even if those who ‘rule’ the organization do not.