Archives for posts with tag: Adopter

Are you a ‘State of the Art’ person or ‘State of the Ark’?

State of the Art people love trying and owning the latest hot tools and playthings. They’re always on the lookout for the fresh and the new. They don’t mind paying a premium for being at the front of the queue and in some cases they’ll tolerate the kinks and bugs before they get ironed out.

State of the Ark people are quite happy with their outdated device, since redundancy or obsolescence don’t faze them too much. It works well for them, and if it isn’t broken then they don’t want to fix it. For them the gains in pleasure or productivity don’t offset the pain and effort of scaling the learning and adoption curve. Let the guinea pigs deal with the problems; we’ll take it when it’s 100% ready to go.

Much of this depends on where we are on the adoption life cycle for new things, toys and technology. It’s a kind of bell curve with innovators and early adopters at one end, and laggards at the other. In the main part of the bell curve are the early majority and the late majority who make up the vast bulk of us all.

It’s not just gadgets and gizmos though. The adoption lifecycle works for anything new and our place on it says a lot about the kinds of people we are and our attitude to change.

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When we read a business or self-help book, it’s generally because we want to improve the way we do things and profit from this investment of our time and money.

The hope is that as you get towards the end of the book, you have a good feeling about it and you consider it to be one of the business books that was worth your time and contained some ideas you could definitely use. You can soon relax, reflect on what you learned or what you were reminded of, and consign it to the shelf with the others. And forget it.

We’ve all read books that knocked us for 6 (the cricketing equivalent of hitting a home run in baseball), and really changed our view of the world. Maybe that feeling lasted a couple days, or a week, but pretty soon all but a handful of nuggets is forgotten and we’re back to the way we were before, pulled back to the status quo by the constant drag of daily duties.

It’s somewhat like knocking over the first in a line of dominoes, but the second domino lies beyond the length of the first. The process stops, and there’s no chain reaction, no momentum, and all the potential of the remaining dominoes is still just that, potential.

Why is that? Well, you didn’t do anything! You read a book. You accomplished an event. You didn’t effect a change, you didn’t initiate a process, you didn’t sustain any new behaviour.

We need to recognise that success is a function of learning the new best way of working, adopting it, applying it, coaching to it, and sustaining it. This comes from figuring out what is important to success and knowing how to do it.

We also need to understand that for us to really change for good the way we do things, we have to put into actual practice what we read, or get help to do it. Otherwise, dear reader, all of the power of the book will stay within its covers and won’t be turned into improvement and profit.

Is it possible to be both an early adopter and a laggard?  Of course.  Just because you might be more comfortable getting later to some ideas and technologies as an individual, doesn’t mean you can’t play the role of prime-mover in others.

It’s just a question or perspective, mind-set and attitude, which can change when you need it to.

It also makes it harder for us marketers to figure you out, because we have to do it properly.  It clearly raises the stakes for the hardest part of the segment-target-position triumvirate, namely the segmentation.