Earlier, I wrote about utilizing Geoffrey Moore's Technology Adoption Life Cycle in the context of applying new ideas. There I made the claim that ideas are like technology, and need to be applied in the same manner.
The more I have thought about this, the more I think this makes sense. Here is how to look at this.
New ideas are created by Innovators. Or they are advances of earlier ideas by applying them in a new context. Like the current trend toward utilizing quantum physics as an explanatory tool in organizational development. A new perspective opens up avenues of understanding and creativity that was locked up, restricted by what was the current conventional thinking.
A new perspective emerges like Gladwell's Tipping Point, and the Early Adopters jump on the bandwagon.
The Early Adopters identify the value of new ideas, and create expansive, immaginative visions of their impact. Some of those Early Adopters will see the value only after figuring out their application.
Here then is the link to the Early Majority that Moore calls Pragmatists. The value of an idea and the application of an idea are separate things.
Early Majority people are not adopting the value of an idea, but rather the application of the idea. This is an important distinction. That is why it is so important to test ideas, understand their fit into reality, and then systematize it.
Once the Early Majority has claimed the application as their own, and the application of an idea transcends the idea itself, then the Late Majority will pick up on it.
So, how is the transition made?
I think it begins by quantifying the impact of the value of idea. What changes or benefits occur? What new opportunities emerge? What problems does it alleviate and/or create? Who does it benefit?
Answer these questions and anyone can begin to understand how to apply the idea in a specific situation.
This is one of the critical questions that thought leaders fail to both address and answer.
It is the answer that crosses the chasm.