In general, people are change-resistant rather than change-friendly.
In his ground breaking book Diffusion of Innovations, Everett M. Rogers studied the reasons for either adoption to a new innovation (change) or resistance to it.
For instance, in an effort to cut down on diseases brought on by unclean drinking water in Peru and Egypt, he studied public-health efforts to convince villagers that they ought to either boil their water or use well water.
While there were some who embraced the new ideas, the majority did not, even though they continued to become sick at a higher rate than those who did.
Through this study, and the resulting research, Rogers concluded that there are 5 ways people react to change.
5 ways people react to change
1. 2.5 percent of people dream up new ways of doing things. They are the innovators.
2. 13.5 percent of people quickly respond to what they see as a good idea and adopt it. They are the early adopters.
3. 34 percent of people are more deliberate in thinking through the innovation but, after consideration, will adapt it. They are the early majority.
4. 34 percent of people are skeptical of innovation but eventually respond after seeing the benefits. they are the late majority.
5. 16 percent of people will probably never respond to change. They are the laggards.
I find this to be very fascinating because I have seen this in many situations. It helps me better understand why even the best ideas are often met with caution, skepticism or negativity.
How do you react to change? What type of person are you?
***** This post was heavily influenced by T.J. Addinton’s book “High Impact Church Boards“