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Contrasting Yet Complementary Views           CHART 7

Conventional Ideas

Social Network Ideas

Innovation is a analytic process that involves a novel discovery and validation that an idea or technology is an advance

Innovation is a social process that involves creative adaptation of a new or existing idea or technology to fit an ever-changing environment

An innovation is discovered, usually by an individual inventor or expert, through a stepwise process

An innovation is socially constructed, through a series of surprising and serendipitous trials & reversals

The innovation process involves change that is episodic & linear with clear causes & effects: the innovation will become stable or fixed

Innovation process is a continuous, often non-linear, search for fitness: the innovation will continue to co-evolve as it is adopted & used

Within reason, innovators should be able to manage and plan for predictable outcomes

Innovators may be able to deliver something much better than expected when they hold plans lightly

Innovations should “work” in different settings if the change process & technical issues are managed well

Innovations often benefit from “insinuation” into existing work patterns & unique local contexts

Innovators should focus on managing change at one scale (e.g., the pilot project) or one level at a time

Innovators should be alert to concurrent opportunities to insinuate the innovation across many levels

Resistance to innovation must be managed and overcome with forceful incentives

Resistance does not exist because the practical wisdom of community members has been tapped

The change agent spreads awareness of the innovation and drives “buy-in” regarding evidence of relative value over other alternatives

Innovators create opportunities for opinion leaders to try out the innovation and vet the risk of adoption for “later-adopters”

Formal leaders must buy-into the innovation, making decisions on adoption based on evidence and analysis

Adopters act as communities rather than aggregates of unrelated individuals; adoption spreads through interpersonal networks (e.g., CoPs)

Collecting and applying valid data or evidence with problem-solving methods leads to planned change

Stories, narratives, conversation and dialogue lead innovators to ongoing sense-making and adaptations

Progress is measured by closing-the-gap w/pre-determined, rendering a definitive judgment of success/failure

Progress is measured by adaptive responses that advance practice as the “landscape” is shifting

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