Working with the dandelion effect

Our starting point: Change has the preference to behave as a positive virus when you meet the right circumstances.

If you are capable of following this natural tendency in your approach to change, you will notice that you can quickly set people in motion, and achieve exceptional results. That is our reality.

Everyone has a favourite role when transitioning through a change. By recognising these roles and making them available, you activate an immense potential for change power.



Lesson 1:  Frontrunners want to go first.

Frontrunners like to explore and work on new things. They are not easily influenced by risk or shortcomings. They prefer to be the first one to change. They take pleasure in shaping abstract ideas. In other words, you will be doing them a favour by involving them in change as soon as possible. The first job is to make sure that a small group of front-runners will adopt the change and try to experiment with it.


Lesson 2:  Ambitious change is easier than a realistic change

Frontrunners want to be challenged. They need ambitious change that is positively formulated and authentic. They want to feel that something essential needs to change, that management is involved, and that it is really improving something. In our experience, change formulated by management does not hold up to the above criteria. Change is formulated usually too rational and lacks to aim towards a higher goal.


Lesson 3:  Frontrunners translate change into an understandable language

Frontrunners only begin to emerge when given space, space to translate the change into their own experience. They will deviate from the route that management had in mind. This requires skilled management leadership. Are they capable of letting go of the reigns and trusting the frontrunners in their role? If they really think change should come, management need to be capable of enduring discomfort.


Lesson 4: Early adopters follow Frontrunners, not managers

The frontrunners inspire early adopters to activate and get moving. Early adopters need more security to step in. Frontrunners with their stories and experience offer this security. The early adopters are usually the ones that come with the breakthrough ideas and create the tipping point: the moment in time the change gets embraced by the majority.


Lesson 5: The majority only begin to move when others have gone before

The early- and late majority form the vast majority of an organisation or team. They are by nature afraid of change and like following the status quo. They are capable of change but are adverse to big promises and visions for the future. They want to be able to assess what the change requires from them. The enthusiasm of the front-runners make them curious and the pragmatic solutions offered by the early adopters appeals to them. They do however need an official starting signal from the management to get moving.


Lesson 6: Laggards will never become enthusiastic

The group at the end of the adoption curve are the laggards, often criticised because of their resistance to change. They form the conscience of the change. Only when everything aligns they will step in, and are often the most loyal followers.


Ambition, Energy and Creativity

It is the way nature adapts to changing circumstances.


Crucially, front-runners play the role of creating a viral change in the initial phase of operation. Their spot in the diffusion curve is that they get enthusiastic by big ambitions and like to get involved as soon as possible. They consistently put a lot of energy into challenges, and they are the group that has the most creativity.

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