Change… and the theory of diffusion of innovation
What are 2 things you can’t avoid?
Pre-Script: You can avoid taxes; ask notorious persons like Al Capone and Enron (although they could probably have done a better job of it; and I’d have better examples, and I can refer you to some great accountants who can help you on your journey to better financial planning)!
The two things you can’t avoid are death and change; but we’ll ignore the first one!
So. Change: It has happened to you, and you have the scars to prove it. Right?
And change is going to happen to you again… it is inevitable.
That leaves us 3 options. Ignore it (as if we still live in the 3rd Century, CE, right?). Accept it. Or lead it.
Our capacity to lead the change will depend on what Stephen Covey calls our “Circles of Influence”. However, in our smallest circle, we have capacity to make changes, to lead, within ourselves. And even as “laggards”, we can successfully lead our own lives. So, why intend our own change?
The 5 biggest regrets of the world’s older people all relate to this: our inability to change and lead self.
Being true to self, living with grace, balance, and self-expression, leads us to greater happiness.
These ideas seem big, maybe even impossible to you right now (as a person or a business). This is why “having a person or a team, in your corner”, is essential. amplico specializes in being in your corner, and helping you develop your team. We want to leave better, happier people for our world.
We can reframe our messages, and then lead ourselves. When we lead ourselves, we’re better able to lead others. And this ability to adapt the message in leadership is called the “theory of diffusion of innovation” (i.e. how to lead changes). That is, we diffuse the changes in increments to the following groups…
Honestly, only about 2.5% of people are innovators of change. These are the people who either invent the latest thing or jump on it as it comes out… and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. These are the developers and “beta-test” users (or, do you have the following word in your social media descriptions: “influencer”?). Have you ever? Is it in you? Really, its okay if it isn’t.
13,5% of us are trend setters. We see the viability of an innovation, and go for it. There may be bugs, and we’re usually part of the feedback loop to fix these. These are the first group to buy the “finished” product in market. Here is where we actually initiate momentum; trendsetters are key in innovation adoption.
34% are the early adopters, the ones who take the Bell curve up to its peak. You don’t stop creating momentum until you have this team on board… if you do stop too early, you’ll lose this crowd and all to follow, and the innovation may dwindle (eg: what was Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iPod again?).
34% are late adopters. Late adopters want to see and have all the peer validation that this product/service works, and will work for them. But once they’re coming on board, you move your message from creating momentum to sustaining loyalty. It’ll be hard for this team to leave what you create!
16% are the laggards. Don’t dismiss 16% – its higher than the VAT rate in South Africa! Stories, facts, and time will be required here. And again, if you’re innovating to further implement your core values, it is key that these team members are brought on board; happily. If your innovation is not core value related, then these folk may never use your product/service.
Things to communicate in change management:
1 – Different groups will need different strategies. What is common? Clear communication of why change is necessary, and the basic steps required. This may be different for different parts of the organization… and may include different members of each group developing these changes themselves and the communication strategies.
Do you remember Google introducing G-mail? It was a tiered-by-invite-only release. It took a while before anyone thought to send me an invite (poor me!) Early access helps create awareness as you scale change or product release. Its a great way to grow organically.
2 – Listen. Especially when you are messaging for late adopters and laggards, you need a feedback loop that allows people to express their fears. Much of the time, when a fear is brought into the light, it fades and people lead their own change toward your new, too. This feedback loop is a great way to listen, and effective listening is probably your number 1 way to support your people (all of them).
3 – Celebrate every success along the way. Recognize both people and milestones. There’s nothing like a little bit of happiness to help change your world.
Are you needing more information, or someone to assist you or your organization discuss change or “predict the future”? Set up a consultation now by clicking this link and selecting a time that suits you: amplico.world/contact
Post Script (and a pro tip!): intend the inevitable changes at lower stress times in your (or your business’s) life! Change is stressful, and to keep it away from other stressors makes success that much more likely!