Orthodoxy . . . the emerging paradigm paradox:
" . . . Success generated real academic hostility. Accepted theories
and established reputations had to be defended . . .".
mindful that the approaches of accelerated human change technologies,
and other closely associated methods, for a wide variety of reasons,
may be unwelcome, even threatening, to many mainstream researchers
and practitioners. There are a number of contemporary commentaries
on these behaviour patterns, and importantly guidelines, models
and suggestions of what to do about it to accelerate acceptance.
I am reminded in this context of the following authors:
Kon Tiki paradox - Consider the achievements of Thor Heyerdahl
of Kon Tiki expedition fame. Who crossed the Pacific Ocean in a
papyrus raft he built, to prove that migration was possible in ancient
times. When interviewed recently in the Weekend FT (30/1 Dec 2000)
and describing his experiences, said, " . . . the expeditions
success generated real academic hostility. Accepted theories and
established reputations had to be defended . . .".
diffusion paradigm - As the highly acclaimed sociologist and
Stanford Professor, Everett Rogers (The diffusion of innovations.
Free Press. 1983, and later) points out; "Most innovations,
in fact, diffuse at a surprisingly slow rate". As he said on
" . . . the widespread adoption of educational ideas: "the
average American school lags 25 years behind best practice. Examples
of this pattern (adopter-diffusion) are well documented and researched
(1000 + cases). The studies address the characteristics, communication
patterns and social systems involved. Ranging from the more than
250!!! years (1601 to 1865) that it took the Royal Navy to adopt
(from 'proof' to 'policy') vitamin C, to eradicate scurvy (by far
the biggest killer at sea), to studies of the failure of the vastly
superior Dvorak keyboard, clean Peruvian drinking water, snowmobiles
in Lapland, solar heating in California, Java software, and many
relevant contributions can be found in:
The structure of scientific revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. Chicago.
Breakthroughs: how leadership and drive created commercial innovations
that swept the world (A.D. Little) by Nayak and Ketteringham. Mercury.
Innovation: the attackers advantage (McKinsey) by Foster. MacMillan.