corporate creativity & innovation
Fine in theory, but different in reality! © 2006 David M. Weeks.
20. Making sure that an idea takes off

So, of course David thought he had a great idea that would simply sell itself. The reality is that certain perceptions about an idea need to be in place, before it will take off. Or in Everett Rogers speak - "diffuse into an organisation." Rogers' research showed that certain attributes would determines an ideas rate of adoption and as these increase so would the likelihood of implementation.

The attributes and results for MAP and [email protected] are:

  • Relative advantage: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes.
    There was no online creativity training, so MAP/[email protected] had no competitor. It filled a gap in the internal marketplace, where a latent demand for stimulation. When it extended itself to improving staff motivation again there was a vacuum.

  • Compatibility: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters.
    MAP used existing values to fashion itself. The Motivational site used feedback to constantly change itself and mirror what adopters were looking for.

  • Complexity: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use.
    MAP used a simple layout and menu structure. There was no wrestling with technology - hardware or software. Feedback was made very simple.

  • Trialability: the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis.
    The intranet (back in 1999) provided a wonderful mechanism to get to people. Effectively prototyping was given its head and change was easy to make and made easy. User could play at their leisure. A special feedback system wasn set up for those to neither have e-mail nor phone creating an interactive community.

  • Observability: the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others.
    Those that accessed the site immediately saw results. A virtual coach had suddenly appeared with knock on impact in increased motivation and a feeling that someone 'out-there' was doing something for them.
everett rogers
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