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Future Conflict Studies

QuotesBack to Top

    When you train your employees to be risk averse,
    then you're preparing your whole company to be reward challenged.
    --- Morgan Spurlock

    Short term thinking drives out long term strategy, every time.
    --- Herbert Simon, Nobel Prize-winning economist

    In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
    --- Eric Hoffer

    Don't panic!
    --- Arthur C. Clarke, when asked "If you could tell people one thing, just one thing, what would that be?" [from interview published in The Futurist, July-Aug 2008]

    I believe one should be optimistic [about the future] because there is a chance of a good self-fulfilling prophecy. It is dangerous to be pessimistic because that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but a bad one.
    --- Arthur C. Clarke, [from interview published in The Futurist, July-Aug 2008]

    I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
    --- Thomas Jefferson

    A man who wants to make a good instrument must first have a precise understanding of what the instrument is to be used for; and he who intends to build a good instrument of war must first ask himself what the next war will be like.
    --- General Giulio Douhet, 1928

    Victory will smile upon those who anticipate changes in the character of war, not upon those who wait to adapt themselves after changes occur.
    --- General Giulio Douhet, in The Command of the Air, 1921

    The knowledge society requires people who can reach good decisions, cope with new environments and spot new rules—human and physical—as the world changes.
    --- Sir Douglas Hague, Beyond Universities: A New Republic of the Intellect, 1991

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
    --- Theodore Hook

    Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
    --- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Roman Emperor (121 - 180 A.D.)

    The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.
    --- Alvin Toffler

    The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet.
    --- William Gibson

    If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.
    --- Arthur C. Clarke

    As the births of living creatures, at first, are ill-shapen: so are all Innovations, which are the births of time.
    --- Francis Bacon

    We must beware of needless innovation, especially when guided by logic.
    --- Winston Churchill

    An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out.
    --- Max Planck

    We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up until now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future.
    --- Max Planck

    Even for the physicist the description in plain language will be a criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached.
    --- Werner Karl Heisenberg

    Too often we forget that genius, too, depends upon the data within its reach, that even Archimedes could not have devised Edison's inventions.
    --- Ernest Dimnet

    We are prisoners of our own metaphors, metaphorically speaking...
    --- R. Buckminster Fuller

    Keep on the lookout for novel ideas that others have used successfully.
    Your idea has to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you're working on.
    --- Thomas Edison

    I have more respect for the fellow with a single idea who gets there than for the fellow with a thousand ideas who does nothing.
    --- Thomas Edison

    I'm looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done.
    --- Henry Ford

    The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
    --- Winston Churchill

    One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.
    --- Michael Cibenko

    A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
    --- Sidney J. Harris

Strategic VisionsBack to Top Future Views - Reports from US Intelligence AgenciesBack to Top Global and Regional TrendsBack to Top Future, in General & PredictionsBack to Top
    In his book Profiles of the Future Arthur Clarke (1962) addresses the question of why people are not good at forecasting. He suggests two reasons – failures of nerve and failures of imagination. A failure of nerve is a failure to extrapolate a trend to its logical consequences. A failure of imagination is a failure to invent something that is technologically possible, but not yet present in society. Y2K has been a massive, worldwide failure of nerve – a failure to think a design decision through to its logical conclusions.
    --- Stuart Umpleby, George Washington University, in "Why We Missed the Year 2000 Computer Problem," presented at the 11th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics, August 1999

  • see also global and regional trends

  • Predictions of the Future, posted by Google Directory

  • The Futurist magazine

  • Web 3.0 and beyond: the next 20 years of the internet, London Times Online, 24 Oct 2007
    • Silicon Valley has painted a picture of the web in 2030, and it is very powerful – and very smart – indeed

  • Net Assessment: A Practical Guide, by Bracken, in Parameters, Spring 2006

  • Future Studies - from Wikipedia

Human DimensionBack to Top
  • Understanding Human Dynamics (local copy), report of the Defense Science Board Task Force, March 2009, including
    • Chapter 2. The Importance of Human Dynamics in Future U.S. Military Operations

  • Army Pamphlet 525-3-7, The U.S. Army Concept for the Human Dimension in Full Spectrum Operations 2015-2024, 11 Jun 08
  • Army Pamphlet 525-3-7-01, The U.S. Army Study of the Human Dimension in the Future 2015-2024, 1 Apr 08

Sir Arthur C. Clarke's Laws of PredictionBack to Top
  • In the 1962 and 1973 versions of his book Profiles of the Future, Clarke proposed the first three laws, and in the 1999 revision he added the fourth.
    1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
    2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
    3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    4. For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.
Past FuturesBack to Top Future of WarBack to Top Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) and FifthBack to Top
  • see also asymmetric warfare

  • Hammes

  • Fourth Generation Warfare resources listed by Defense and the National Interest

  • On Boyd, Bin Laden, and Fourth Generation Warfare as String Theory (local copy), paper by Osinga, published in John Olson, On New Wars, Oslo, 2007

  • Fourth-Generation War and Other Myths (local copy), by Echevarria, Strategic Studies Institute, Nov 2005
    (abstract, at SSI site)

  • The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century, Sep 2004 book by Hammes

  • Understanding Fourth Generation War (local copy), by Lind, Military Review, Sep-Oct 2004
      - also by Lind - Fifth Generation Warfare?
      • From what I have seen thus far, honest attempts to discover a Fifth Generation suggest that their authors have not fully grasped the vast change embodied in the Fourth Generation. The loss of the state’s monopoly, not only on war but also on social organization and first loyalties, alters everything. We are only in the earliest stages of trying to understand what the Fourth Generation means in full and how it will alter – or, in too many cases, end – our lives.
      • Attempting to visualize a Fifth Generation from where we are now is like trying to see the outlines of the Middle Ages from the vantage point of the late Roman Empire. There is no telescope that can reach so far. We can see the barbarians on the march. In America and in Europe, we already find them inside the limes and within the legions. But what follows the chaos they bring in their wake, only the gods on Mount Olympus can see. It may be worth remembering that the last time this happened, the gods themselves died.

  • Observing al Qaeda through the Lens of Complexity Theory: Recommendations for the National Strategy to Defeat Terrorism (local copy), by Beech, Army War College, July 2004

  • Iraq: Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) Swamp, by G.I. Wilson, 10 Mar 2004 (alternate source)

  • Fourth-Generation Warfare, by Vest, in The Atlantic Monthly, Dec 2001

  • The Evolution of War: The Fourth Generation, by Hammes, in Marine Corps Gazette, Sep 1994
    • Strategically, it attempts to directly change the minds of enemy policymakers. This change is not to be achieved through the traditional method of superiority on the battlefield. Rather it is to be accomplished through the superior use of all the networks available in the information age. These networks are employed to carry specific messages to enemy policymakers. A sophisticated opponent can even tailor the message to a specific audience and a specific strategic situation.
    • Tactically, fourth generation war will:
      • Be fought in a complex arena of low-intensity conflict.
      • Include tactics/techniques from earlier generations.
      • Be fought across the spectrum of political, social, economic, and military networks.
      • Be fought worldwide through these networks.
      • Involve a mix of national, international, transnational, and subnational actors.

  • Generations, Waves, and Epochs, by Bunker, in Airpower Journal, Spring 1996 - includes a discussion of the 1989 (updated 1994) theory that fourth generation warfare will be more dependent on ideas than on technology

  • Epochal Change: War Over Social and Political Organization, by Bunker, in Parameters, Summer 1997

  • Letters to Joint Force Quarterly, Spring 2000, including
    • The problem with Force XXI doctrine, its supporting force structure, and the personnel system is the focus on a perfect opponent, an enemy with centralized command and conventional forces of armor, artillery, and aircraft. In this regard, the Army is preparing to refight Desert Storm. The emphasis on precision strikes, stealth, and other technological advances only makes sense in that light. However, this may not be the wave of the future. Michael Howard has warned that the Western concept of long-range war puts the Army at a disadvantage against agrarian age forces which are willing to fight ruthlessly for a cause.We have already seen evidence of fourth generation warfare in Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Colombia, and Kosovo. Despite the setback of Somalia and slow deployment of adhoc, heavily laden units to Albania during the war in Kosovo, history is again repeating itself as the Army seeks to apply technological solutions, placed on top of old organizations and personnel systems, to battlefield problems.

  • Asymmetric Warfare - Exposing America's Weaknesses, by Kinneer, ACSC paper, Apr 2003 - see Chapter 2 Generations of War
    • The first three generations of warfare concentrated on enemy military forces whereas “The Fourth has a goal of collapsing the enemy internally rather than physically destroying him. Targets will include such things as the population’s support for the war and the enemy’s culture.” (from Lind, 1989) By taking the war to the people and generating unrest within a society a small group can make a large group do what they want. Fourth generation warfare is perfectly suited for terrorist organizations because they do not have to declare war upon the opponent and can strike where and when they want.

  • Future Warfare and the Decline of Human Decisionmaking, by Adams, in Parameters, Winter 2001

  • Fourth Generation Warfare - Why Canadian Forces Excel , The Guardian, 27 Nov 2001

  • Polk, Robert B. "Fourth Generation Warfare and Its Impact on the Army." Army Command and General Staff College paper, 8 May 2000

  • McKenzie, Kenneth F., Jr. "Elegant Irrelevance: Fourth Generation Warfare." Autumn 1993

InternationalBack to Top Asymmetric Conflict, Asymmetrical WarfareBack to Top Chaos, Warriors, & BarbariansBack to Top Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA)Back to Top News and ViewsBack to Top Studies OnlineBack to Top Related ReportsBack to Top Organizations and ProjectsBack to Top Schools & Courses & EducationBack to Top
  • Degree programs in future studies
    • Hawaii Research Center for Future Studies, U. of Hawaii
        "We do offer MA and PhD degrees in political science with a concentration in Alternative Futures. The MA especially is intended to enable one to work as a consulting futurist. Part of the MA is a year's internship with some futurist firm--usually the Institute for Alternative Futures in Alexandria, Virgina. The point of the internship is to learn how to be a successful consulting futurist, and to make some contacts so you can actually work as one later.

        "There is also another place you should inquire--the Program on the Future of the University of Houston at Clear Lake. They offer a MS in the Study of the Future--the only purely futures degreee offered in the US."

    • Futures Studies Master's Program, U. of Houston

  • Forecasting Principles, created in 1997 by Dr J. Scott Armstrong, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania - "site summarizes all useful knowledge about forecasting so that it can be used by researchers, practitioners, and educators"

  • The Millennium Project: Global Futures Studies & Research, "is a global participatory futures research think tank of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work fo

Think TanksBack to Top Scenarios and Scenario PlanningBack to Top Alternate or Alternative FuturesBack to Top Views of and Ways to Look at the FutureBack to Top

  • Futures Methodologies, Robust Decisionmaking, RAND reports, Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition

  • Concept Development for Future Domains: A New Method of Knowledge Elicitation (local copy), by Lussier and Hinkle, Army Research Institute report, June 2005
    • During the development of operational concepts for the Future Combat System of Systems’ Unit of Employment and Unit of Action it became clear that the Army needed a more effective and efficient method for envisioning the future. ... This report reviews existing methods and describes a new method of knowledge elicitation to more effectively support the development of future concepts, evaluate the impact of new technology, and solve difficult problems where information and expertise is dispersed among many individuals.

  • Introduction to Future Studies
  • Future Studies: An Interdisciplinary Vehicle for Space Science Education (local copy), NASA, including brief overview of surveys, Delphi technique, statistics, scenarios, analogies, etc.
  • Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century, MIT Sloan School of Management

  • Future Leadership, Old Issues, New Methods (local copy), ed. Johnson, SSI compilation of papers addressing leadership needs 30 years out

  • Which World will our children and grandchildren inherit?, by Hammond
  • Chronicle of the Future, from now to 2050
  • The World of 2088, U. of Wash. - "Looking Ahead, UW Experts Envision Internet Implants, a Colony on Mars, Obsolete Books and the End of the United States"
  • The Alternate View columns by John Cramer, in Analog magazine
  • The Emerging RMA at CSBA online

  • Vernor Vinge's Singularity - a sudden change in our understanding of science leads to a post-human era
  • Singularity resources in Google Directory
  • The Socio-technological Singularity, article at the Principia Cybernetica Web site
    • Vinge himself would situate the date of the singularity between 2010 and 2040. His reasoning is based on the accelerating growth of computer-aided intelligence. Rather than considering the IQ of an isolated individual, he would look at the team formed by a person and computer. According to Vinge, a PhD armed with an advanced workstation should already be able to solve all IQ tests ever devised. Since computing power undergoes a rapid exponential growth, we will soon reach the stage where the team (or perhaps even the computer on its own) would reach superhuman intelligence. Vinge defines this as the ability to create even greater intelligence than oneself. That is the point at which our understanding, which is based on the experience of our own intelligence, must break down.
    • A related reasoning was proposed by Jacques Vallée. Extrapolating from the phenomenal growth of computer networks and their power to transmit information, he noted that at some point all existing information would become available instantaneously everywhere. This is the "information singularity".
    • These models should not be taken too literally. They are metaphors, proposed to stimulate reflection.
    • The point to remember, however, is that abstract, non-material variables, such as intelligence, information, or innovation, aren't subjected to the same "limits to growth" which characterize the exhaustion of finite resources. Such variables could conceivably reach values which for all practical purposes may be called "infinite". Several parallel trends show a hyperbolic type of acceleration which seems to reach its asymptote (the point of infinite speed) somewhere in the first half of the 21st century. This does not mean that actual infinity will be reached, only that a fundamental transition is likely to take place. This will start a wholly new mode of development, governed by laws which we cannot as yet guess.

  • Understanding and Using SIAM (local copy), by Sands and Hayes, Naval War College, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, Decision Support Department - about the influence net modeling tool called Situational Influence Assessment Module (SIAM)

Innovation Adoption - Diffusion Model(s)Back to Top
  • See also Disruptive Technologies & Disruptive Innovation on this page

  • See also Innovation Adoption-Diffusion on Transformation of War page

  • See also Creativity and Innovation on Thinking Skills page

  • Hype Cycle - A Hype Cycle is a graphic representation of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies. - developed by Gartner Consulting in 1995
    • five phases [from Gartner website]
      1. Technology Trigger - The first phase of a Hype Cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest.
      2. Peak of Inflated Expectations - In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.
      3. Trough of Disillusionment - Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology.
      4. Slope of Enlightenment - Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.
      5. Plateau of Productivity - A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market.

  • Breakthrough Air Force Capabilities Spawned by Basic Research (Local copy), by Berry and Loeb, Center for Technology and National Security Policy, NDU, April 2007

  • Smart Operations 21 office formed at Pentagon (Local copy), by Lopez, AF Print News, 12 May 2006
    • The Air Force Smart Operations 21 (AFSO21) office, created in response to an initiative by Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne, will look at process improvement across the service.
    • Senior leaders designed the program specifically for the Air Force, and it is based on similar industry process improvement practices like Lean, Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints.
    • General Gilbert said Air Force leaders have identified 10 main processes divided into three areas:
        core and
      The processes are:
        planning and executing strategic initiatives,
        managing processes and programs,
        developing and sustaining warfighting capability,
        deploying personnel and materials,
        conducting kinetic and related operations,
        conducting non-kinetic and related operations,
        caring for people,
        providing information support systems,
        caring for infrastructure and
        managing financial resources.

  • Delivering Innovation: The Joint Concept Development and Experimentation Campaign Plan FY2004-2011 (local copy), prepared by Commander, US Joint Forces Command for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2003-2004

  • Managing Strategic Change: an Executive Overview (local copy), by Murphy, U.S. Army War College, June 2003

  • Technology Administration: 21st Century Policy Challenges for American Innovation Leadership (local copy), 23 Oct 2003 remarks by Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy, United States Department of Commerce
    • It took 55 years after the commercial introduction of the automobile before 25% of the U.S. population owned cars. Electricity did not reach one-quarter of Americans until 46 years after its introduction. Telephones took 35 years, televisions 26 years, and personal computers 15. Cell phones proved faster, reaching one-quarter adoption in 13 years, while the Internet took just 7 years, and broadband is on track to reach 25% penetration in only 6 years, according to McKinsey.

  • Sunk Costs Sink Innovation, by Pierce, in Proceedings, May 2002

  • Workshop Introducing Innovation and Risk: Implications of Transforming the Culture of DoD (local copy), by Johnson, Office of Force Transformation
    • includes sections on
      • Defining a Transformational Culture
      • Obstacles to Culture Change
      • Methods for Cultural Change
      • Strategic Communications

  • Innovation: from Getting It to Getting It Done (local copy, PPT, 3.1 Mb), briefing by Kao, Office of Force Transformation
    (PDF file, 360 Kb)
    • "The future is a design problem"

  • “Adapt or Die” - The Imperative for a Culture of Innovation in the United States Army (local copy), by Fastabend and Simpson
    • "Culture changes only after you have successfully altered people’s actions, after the new behavior produces some group benefit for a period of time.”
      - - John Kotter, Harvard Business School

  • Welcome to the Next Industrial Revolution (local copy), NSF presentation by Rejeski, Sep 2003 - quick exposure to variety of laws, theories, learning paradigms, analogies, etc.

  • Vision to Victory - Space, Mahan, and Mitchell: the Role of the Visionary in Cross-Organizational Innovation, by Gaudlip, SAAS thesis

  • New Foundations for Growth: The U.S. Innovation System Today and Tomorrow - RAND report, executive summary

  • Georgia Tech innovation resources
  • Council on Competitiveness, with materials such as National Innovation Initiative (NII) reports

  • Leadership Styles for the Five Stages of Radical Change (local copy), by Reardon, Reardon, and Rowe, in Acquisition Review Quarterly, discusses the leadership styles best suited to each phase of the change process - (phases listed below)
    • planning
    • enabling
    • launching
    • catalyzing
    • maintaining

  • Radical Change by Entrepreneurial Design(local copy), by Roberts, in Acquisition Review Quarterly, "opens with a typology that defines change in terms of its pace and scope, and defines radical change as the swift transformation of an entire system."

  • Leadership: Creativity and Innovation (local copy), Dr William R. Klemm

  • Technology Adoption and Diffusion (local copy), by Carr, for NLM, explains several diffusion/adoption theories
  • Information Technology Diffusion: A Comparative Case Study of Intranet Adoption (local copy), by Zolla, Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) -- side-by-side comparison between NPS and Sandia Labs

  • Assessing Your Organization's Innovation Capabilities, by Christensen
  • Disruptive Technologies - simple innovations which change the market and cause well-run industry giants to fall
  • The Great Disruption, by Christensen et al, in Foreign Affairs, Mar-Apr 2001
  • Transformation Trends—3 July Issue (local copy)
    • Innovation Rules of the Road—Innovation isn’t a random occurrence, but can be seen taking place within the context of a common set of variables, says Clayton Christensen, author of the seminal work The Innovator’s Dilemma. Writing in the June issue of Technology Review, Christensen says the four sets of variables guiding the risk of innovation are:
      • take root in disruptive technologies that industry giants are not concerned about;
      • pick the scope of integration required to succeed;
      • leverage the right capabilities of managers and money;
      • disrupt competitors and not consumers of the new innovation.

  • A Preliminary Model of Internet Diffusion within Developing Countries, by Bazar and Boalch, paper presented to the Third Australian World Wide Web Conference, 5-9 July 1997

  • False-Failed Innovation (local copy), by Wilmoth, in Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn-Winter 1999-2000
    • "... the false-failed innovation—a technology that is examined and discarded but that gets a second chance under other conditions and succeeds."

  • How Hierarchies Fail Innovation, by Valikangas and Hamel, in Internal Markets - Emerging Governance Structures for Innovation, Strategos Institute, 2001
    • "Creativity is a function of enthusiasm and ownership of innovation. Yet in what sense, if any, can a corporation allocate entrepreneurial energy and passion? If creativity is the scarcest resource of all intangible assets that corporations may want to own, top-down allocational processes seem entirely inadequate. Creative passion - a likely necessary ingredient in effective innovation - cannot be allocated or commanded. Hierarchies seem singularly incapable of arousing such passion for the corporate future."

  • New Paradigms: Innovative Forms of Organization, interview with Liisa Valikangas, in Leader to Leader, Summer 2002
    • identifies three emerging organizational forms "that have the potential to alter the competitive landscape in significant ways"
      • Peer-to-Peer Organizations
      • Social Network-Supported Organization
      • Open Source Organizations

  • The Diffusion of Innovations Model and Outreach from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine to Native American Communities (local copy), by Rogers and Scott, U. of NM, paper for National Network of Libraries of Medicine - with graphs using internet and other innovations as examples

    • An innovation is an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption. ... Why do certain innovations spread more quickly than others? The characteristics which determine an innovation's rate of adoption are:

      1. Relative advantage is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes. The degree of relative advantage may be measured in economic terms, but social prestige, convenience, and satisfaction are also important factors. It does not matter so much if an innovation has a great deal of objective advantage. What does matter is whether an individual perceives the innovation as advantageous. The greater the perceived relative advantage of an innovation, the more rapid its rate of adoption will be.
      2. Compatibility is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters. An idea that is incompatible with the values and norms of a social system will not be adopted as rapidly as an innovation that is compatible. The adoption of an incompatible innovation often requires the prior adoption of a new value system, which is a relatively slow process.
      3. Complexity is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use. Some innovations are readily understood by most members of a social system; others are more complicated and will be adopted more slowly. New ideas that are simpler to understand are adopted more rapidly than innovations that require the adopter to develop new skills and understandings.
      4. Trialability is the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis. New ideas that can be tried on the installment plan will generally be adopted more quickly than innovations that are not divisible. An innovation that is trialable represents less uncertainty to the individual who is considering it for adoption, who can learn by doing.
      5. Observability is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others. The easier it is for individuals to see the results of an innovation, the more likely they are to adopt it. Such visibility stimulates peer discussion of a new idea, as friends and neighbors of an adopter often request innovation-evaluation information about it.
    • In summary, then, innovations that are perceived by individuals as having greater relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, observability, and less complexity will be adopted more rapidly than other innovations.

    • There are five adopter categories, or classifications of the members of a social system on the basis on their innovativeness:
      1. Innovators are the first 2.5 percent of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation
      2. Early adopters are the next 13.5 percent of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation
      3. Early majority is the next 34 percent of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation
      4. Late majority is the next 34 percent of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation
      5. Laggards are the last 16 percent of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation

  • A Primer in Diffusion of Innovations Theory, by Clarke -- short and to the point, with the stages of innovation, characteristics of innovation, adopter categories, and roles in the innovation process
    • the stages through which a technological innovation passes
      • knowledge (exposure to its existence, and understanding of its functions);
      • persuasion (the forming of a favourable attitude to it);
      • decision (commitment to its adoption);
      • implementation (putting it to use); and
      • confirmation (reinforcement based on positive outcomes from it)

  • Chart of the spread of products into American households (local copy), from Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 1996 annual report - also includes vocabulary changes since spread of personal computers

  • Dates in the History of Cultural Technology - from alphabets to television

Disruptive Technologies & Disruptive InnovationBack to Top Levels & Stages of ChangeBack to Top
  • See also Innovation Adoption-Diffusion section above

  • See also Innovation Adoption-Diffusion on Transformation of War page

  • See also Creativity and Innovation on Thinking Skills page

  • The 7 Levels of Change, by Rolf Smith, Summit Publishing Group, 1997 - nice quick read, with examples, tools, etc.
    • Continuous Improvement
      • Level 1 - Effectiveness - Doing the right thing
      • Level 2 - Efficiency - Doing the right things right
      • Level 3 - Improving - Doing things better
    • Process Reengineering
      • Level 4 - Cutting - Doing away with things
      • Level 5 - Copying - Doing things other people are doing
    • Breakout and Breakthrough
      • Level 6 - Different - Doing things no one else is doing
      • Level 7 - Impossible - Doing things that can't be done

  • Leadership Styles for the Five Stages of Radical Change (local copy), by Reardon, Reardon, and Rowe, in Acquisition Review Quarterly, discusses the leadership styles best suited to each phase of the change process - (phases listed below)
    • planning
    • enabling
    • launching
    • catalyzing
    • maintaining

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