Reinvent, change, transform… regardless the synonym, the willingness to innovate is in every field of work. Whether we’re talking about the digital field, work organization, production or business development, mobilizing to challenge our routines and search for what is new is a general phenomenon. In this context, it is tempting to present each idea as a revolutionary innovation. Yet it must be remembered that the affinity for change varies a lot from one individual to another and it is essential to adapt your message to avoid generating disappointment, anxiety or rejection.
Everett Rogers’ ‘diffusion of innovations’ bell curve identifies 5 types of audiences determined by their degree of attraction or rejection toward innovation: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards.
The innovators (2,5% of the population)- adore what is totally new, even if everything is more complicated, even if it’s not certain that everything will work properly. The pleasure of being the precursor remains even if the innovation is ultimately disappointing Vis-à-Vis their expectations. The objective is to develop the totally new aspect of the project by proposing, for example, an adventure where the events are more important than the finality.
The early-adopters (13,5% of the population)- are on the lookout for anything that is new but don’t like being wrong. Every innovation is therefore subject to betting on the future. The objective, while emphasizing the unique aspect of the project consists of putting forth the opportunity of change and the degree of maturity of the innovation.
The early majority (34% of the population)- From this stage, pragmatism prevails over the purely original aspect of the project. Adopting an innovation is therefore subject to a validation process clearly oriented toward sustainability. The objective is to present the change as a necessary evolution, where the benefits are clearly identified and without which the risk of falling behind in the field is no longer negligible.
The late majority (34% of the population)- The innovative aspect of a project generates more skepticism than enthusiasm. The need for change must be proven and all doubts removed. The aim is to reassure your audience by showing them that this has already been done elsewhere and that it works.
And finally the laggards (16% of the population)- The past and traditions are their main reference points. Resistance to change is considered a rational and pragmatic attitude to have. The aim is to demonstrate that it is time to evolve by combining change in ones values and cultural frame of reference.