Resource Links for the Diffusion of Innovations

Resource Links for the Diffusion of Innovations

SEMINAR TWO: An Invitation to Dialogue
Focus: Conversations Change Lives

(From the 2008 Fuller DMin project, Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference by David O. Kueker)

The road toward change is hard, as Peter Senge writes:
Most change initiatives fail. Two independent studies in the early 1990s, one published by Arthur D. Little and one by McKinsey & Co., found that out of hundreds of corporate Total Quality Management (TQM) programs studied, about two thirds “grind to a halt because of their failure to produce hoped-for results.” Reengineering has fared no better; a number of articles, including some by reengineering’s founders, place the failure rate at somewhere around 70%. Harvard’s John Kotter, in a study of one hundred top management-driven “corporate transformation” efforts, concluded that more than half did not survive the initial phases. He found a few that were “very successful,” and a few that were “utter failures.” The vast majority lay “. . . somewhere in between, with a distinct tilt toward the lower end of the scale.” Clearly, businesses do not have a very good track record in sustaining significant change. There is little to suggest that schools, healthcare institutions, governmental, and nonprofit institutions fare any better. Even without knowing the statistics, most of us know firsthand that change programs fail. We’ve seen enough “flavor of the month” programs “rolled out” from top management to last a lifetime. We know the cynicism they engender . . .
This failure to sustain significant change recurs again and again despite substantial resources committed to the change effort (many are bankrolled by top management), talented and committed people “driving the change” and high stakes . . . To understand why sustaining significant change is so elusive, we need to think less like managers and more like biologists.1

Jesus was very successful at change:
Let us turn now to the story. A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man the tide of popular feeling turns against him. The band of followers forsakes him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed on a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend.
Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask, What kind of a trail has he left across the centuries? When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life . . . He has changed the moral climate of the world, and he is changing it now, and will continue to do so until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. I ask you to pause a moment and think of this thing which Christians believe. We are talking about great adventures. I remind you that there must be a great adventure in faith before there can be a great adventure in action. No man has ever done a great thing until he has first believed a great thing.2

Jesus was very successful at change. We are less successful. We can learn from Him.

One page diffusion of innovations parables links:

Light Bulb Parable:

Parable: The Stainless Steel Church:

Powerpoint Slide Presentations:

The Light Bulb Parable Powerpoint Slides – right-click, Save as …

A Guided Tour of Discipleship SYSTEMS – Powerpoint Slides – right-click, Save as …
A Guided Tour of Discipleship SYSTEMS.pdf


Resources by Others

Diffusion of Innovation Theory by Marianne S. Hornor

Introducing Professor Everett M. Rogers, by Arvind Singhal
The Diffusion of Innovations book, now in its fourth edition, is today the second most cited book in the social sciences. Perhaps someday soon it will be in first place.

Diffusion of innovations; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Everett Rogers; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Technology adoption life cycle; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Crossing the Chasm; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In his book Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore proposes a variation of the original lifecycle. He suggests that for discontinuous innovations, which may result in a Foster disruption based on s-curve, there is a gap or chasm between the first two adopter groups (innovators/early adopters), and the vertical markets. (Where 90% 0f innovations die due to systemic resistance to change.)

The rest of the Dmin project is available here:

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