Summary: Six Steps to Innovation









1. Build a relationship with those you are trying to help

a. Relate to the leaders, the influencer, the catalysts, opinion leaders, authorities, the gatekeepers(those people who control the flow of ideas, people, and information) insiders, outsiders, innovators, early adaptors, as well as the key solution givers inside the group.

b. Identify with the people by proving your motivations are to help, love, assist, support and not to destroy. Provide involvement throughout the change.

c. Build trust with the people by asking them their perceptions of the situation before sharing your own. Learn the language, beliefs, and norms of the people.

d. Use mediators to help establish bridges of trust, communication, and truth.

e. Provide adequate rewards (Both of the carrot and stick variety)

f. Practice openness, reciprocity, oneness of purpose, power sharing, proper organization, expectations of results, and minimum threats in the change process

2. Diagnose the pains, problems, and opportunities in change

a. Diagnosis is a systematic attempt to understand a present situation, including the symptoms, the root causes, the history, the proponents, opponents, cultural factors, theological, personality, subjective, and objective factors.

b. Learn how to skillfully ask information, analytical, descriptive, evaluative, applicational, enabling, reflective, confrontational, Biblical, cultural, empathetic, and historical questions.

c. Identify the problems, opportunities, key opponents or proponents, prejudices, fire fighting attempts, advantages, disadvantages, causes, effects, solutions, historical attempts to change, implications of change, routes of change, capacities for change, possible interpretations of the change, manipulation connotations, administration processes of change, assistants for gathering diagnostic information, obstacles for effective diagnosis, present systems for change, contextual factors, goals for change, or potential positive and negative rewards.

3. Acquire Relevant, Appropriate, and Contextual Resources

a. Resources can appear in the form of people, ideas, materials, programmes, time, money, land, media, public relations, positions, or products.

b. Acquire resources for the following purposes:

1). To gain better insights into the change process, the people you are trying to assist, and the problems revolving around the innovation.

2). Build awareness of the range of possibilities available. This may mean that you search the library, consult key leaders, or conduct field research.

3). Evaluate intelligently the validity, urgency, credibility, legitimacy, needfulness, reliability, appropriateness, and potential effectiveness of the change.

4). Help in assessing the potential success of a change based on experimentation, a sample, a model, or a demonstration of the change.

5). Proof of how the innovation will assist people in solving their own problems and meeting some of their own perceived, felt, real, or Biblical needs.

6). Assistance in showing how to install, implement, and perpetuate change.

7). Measuring the long term costs, maintenance, and benefits of change.

c. Use local mediators as informants of all the possible available resources.

d. Consult experts in various facets of the change (Administrators, mechanics, teachers, builders, pastors, public relations men, women, or workers).

e. Conduct group interviews with the people listening for what is said as well as what is not said.

f. Make observations, interpretations, and correlations of the innovation in other contexts by comparing and contrasting the best means of change.

g. Use networks of meetings, visits, solicitations, research, media services, literature searches, phone calls, letter writing, file searching, and advertising to gain as much information about the available resources as possible.

4. Choose the Solutions

a. Pick your solution after you have drawn the implications from your diagnosis, generated a range of possible solutions, weighed the advantages and disadvantages of all the solutions, consulted and involved the key people in the change process, conducted preliminary feasibility or workability tests, diffusability, contextualization, and adjust your solutions to fit the context, culture, timing, capacities, and people involved.

b. Ask key leaders in the innovation to summarize the costs, benefits, and potential difficulties in the potential change.

c. Solicit the support of authorities who will back you if something begins to stymie the process of change, otherwise the change agent may be blamed.

d. Anticipate some of the hindrances, hazards, costs, complaints, difficulties, and negative effects of the change. Prepare contingency plans to overcome each.

5. Gain Acceptance for the Innovation

a. Seek the public and private support of key local, state, federal, and international leaders, organizations, and groups who can serve as advocates, buffers, and implementors of the change. Remember that Christ was the most misunderstood person in history.

b. Try to get your change written down in a policy format for permanence.

c. Build in a degree of flexibility into the change for adaptations.

d. Spotlight model programmes that are successful in the innovations.

e. Promote the benefits, rewards, and positive effects of the change.

6. Stabilize the Innovation and Promote Self-Renewal and Recycling of the Process

a. Assure the people of continual support, assistance, and self-generating benefits from the change.

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