The 5 Stages Of Innovation

Suppose that you have just identified a brilliant new product and that you are totally convinced that this will be the very next big thing.

You have already ordered the Rolls Royce, the island in the Bahamas has been purchased and the private jet is on order.

Before you sip the first crisp champagne flute you might want to consider the points below and perhaps check the small print on what you have just purchased.

All innovation follows the same pattern regardless of whether it is a true world-beater of a more humble suggestion for sorting out who deals with sales leads and how they are processed once they land in the office.

The following pattern always appears;

  1. People deny that the innovation is required. What we have got is OK; it does the job, why should we pay this new idea any attention? Think the arrival of the hybrid car.
  2. People deny that the innovation is effective. Hybrid car? Fusion of fossil fuel power and battery? The domain of only committed eco-warriors. Too expensive to buy!
  3. People deny that the innovation is important. Just a fad, it will pass as did Betamax video.
  4. People deny that the innovation will justify the effort required to adopt it. It is too expensive, how do I get it charged and what happens if I cannot find a charging point – great idea but too impractical for me.
  5. People accept and adopt the innovation, enjoy its benefits, attribute it to people other than the innovator, and deny the existence of stages 1 to 4. Hybrid cars – very economical, less maintenance, saves the planet, great fuel efficiency – could not live without it.

In every sector the same pattern will appear – early adopters love the innovation and will sing its praises but the product or service has to work through the each of the stages to become truly accepted and used. Early adoption might not be a natural process for everyone and people will still cling to the old, what-I-know-is-best philosophy. Somebody somewhere is happy with their 12” black and white television – and loving it!

If you really feel that your option has value make sure that you stick with the process and ride it out especially if you have a feeling that the present situation can be improved.

Good luck.

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