How can Early Adopters drive change?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about innovation and the role of early adopters.  Survey after survey of exectutives describes “innovation” as a priorty for moving their business forward and providing value to their shareholders.  Yet instilling an innovative culture seems to be a difficult task.   A company is made of humans that will have some proclivity for (or against) accepting and embracing change. defines Early Adopter as:

In the diffusion of innovation theory, the minority group (comprising about 14 %) of population which, after innovators, is first to try new ideas, processes, goods and services. Early adopters generally rely on their own inuition and vision, choose carefully, and have above-average education level. For any new product to be succesful, it must attract innovators and early adopters, so thatits acceptance or ‘diffusion’ moves on to early majority, late majority and then on to laggards.


How can innovators and early adopters inspire change among their late majority and laggard peers?  How can they remove the obstacles to change (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and help others make transitions more smoothly?

Seen it done well?  I’d love to hear from you.

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