The Visionary minority must resist the frequently recommended strategy of bringing urgency to the system


            Visionaries must discipline themselves and follow a challenging strategy in order for the innovation to cross the chasm into the early majority and begin the “S-curve” of rapid adoption. Visionaries have high energy and frequently do not understand why others don’t immediately see the benefits that they do; they sometimes become impatient, employ a hard sell and push the trend. This raises the level of anxiety in the system and guarantees a Balancing response that prevents change.

            Visionaries can overwhelm a system with new ideas, each one guaranteed to usher in the promised land without cost other than commitment. When visionaries gain leadership power, they can adopt a “pacesetting” style of leadership which constantly pushes the system prematurely into new innovations with very negative results.[1]

            The Visionary minority must resist the frequently recommended strategy of bringing urgency to the system; increasing urgency increases system anxiety and provokes a thermostat correction which effectively prevents any possible change. Visionaries usually present ideas with anxiety, urgency, and pressure to adopt, or perceive urgent problems which require the innovation as the solution; when anxiety goes up, people stop listening and identify the visionaries as a source of anxiety. Innovators and visionaries project their own emotions on others and are surprised to find that others do not see what is so obvious to them. Visionaries must discipline themselves to communicate appropriately and follow a clear strategy in order for an innovation to cross the chasm into the early majority.





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

[1]Daniel Goleman, Annie McKee, and Richard E. Boyatzis, Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2002), 53-55, 71-75, 80-83.

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