NACOS 4.2: The Diffusion of Innovations Adopter Framework.

Adoption of an innovation (acceptance of change) flows from left to right across the five categories of the diffusion of innovations adopter framework. All cultures and cultural groups respond to a reinforcing trend of change by segmenting into five groups based on their openness to change.

How does this happen?


  1. The adoption of an innovation spreads from left to right across the diffusion of innovations adopter framework, from innovators to laggards.
  2. This bell curve relation of openness to change exists in every culture and cultural group. One hundred or one thousand innovators would still exhibit the bell curve within themselves.
  3. What adopter category is the chairman of the Administrative Board? Why?
  4. The Visionary Minority (Innovators and Early Adopters) represent a reinforcing process for change comprising 16% of the whole. Only the Visionary Minority are interested in change.
  5. Middle Adopters, Late Adopters and Laggards represent a Pragmatic Majority that functions as the Balancing process and 84% of the whole. Nothing needs to change.
  6. This is why 90% of change processes fail to “cross the chasm” into the Pragmatic Majority.
  7. If the Visionary Minority brings the proposed change to the whole for a vote, it will immediately be defeated 84% to 16%. When the whole group is made aware of the proposed change, whether by presentation in worship or an attempt to achieve consensus, opposition organizes and failure is guaranteed.
  8. Don’t preach on the change; introduce it into differentiated small group “wineskins” to grow like leaven over time. Successful changes begin quietly in a corner and multiply organically as leaven (Matthew 13:33). All that is needed for transformation to thrive is enough time and permission for diversity to exist.
  9. Critical mass: A “S-shaped diffusion curve ‘takes off’ at about 20-25% adoption, when interpersonal networks become activated so that a critical mass of adopters begins using an innovation.”
  10. Critical mass is the goal of conversation. Once critical mass is achieved, large scale, rapid adoption of the innovation through the Middle Adopters and Late Adopters is inevitable.
  11. Pragmatic majority persuasion reality: adoption proceeds along social networks by word of mouth in conversations with trusted friends. A change in perception changes everything. Conversations change perceptions. Sharing information (media) does not.

Do the “insights” make sense? Why or why not?

ASSIGNMENT QUESTION: (in the comments on Facebook)
Which insight is the most helpful for you? Why?

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