Design Principle #1 for 84% Innovation Adoption – Aiming for 84%


Design Principle #1 for 84% Innovation Adoption – Aiming for 84%

This series of blog posts describes the principles relevant for designing an innovation for rapid adoption by 84% of a target group. 84% adoption is the threshold for achieving sustainable change.

The underlying theory stems from the "invisible college" around Rogers, E.M. (2003) “Diffusion of Innovations.” which reminds us that adopters are grouped as Innovators 2%, Early Adopters 14%, Early Majority 34%, Late Majority 34% and Laggards 16%. Designing innovations (and the change intended by them) to reach the Late Majority is a very different game than that typically "played" (which actually only focuses on the Innovators and Early Adopters). Such "designs" depend on understanding our own body of work which skilfully integrates systems thinking, living systems principles, complexity thinking etc. None of the design principles we will discuss are “innovative” – it their blending and orchestration to achieve 84% adoption that is the art of “deep diffusion” we master.

Design Principle #1: Aiming for 84%

You must want to reach 84% of the target population (and of course understand who that target population is including what “adoption” means in a measurable manner). Your aim may be the complete market or just a segment of it, i.e., the Innovators. In any case, you need to define the NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS you want to reach – 84% of these is your success measure. Whatever the case, you must deeply understand who you are reaching out to and how you will measure adoption. You do not have to aim for 84%, however if you want to truly create sustainable change and/or reach those adopters where the greatest commercial profit is achieved. “Build it and they will come” does not work from this perspective.

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