Innovators (2.5%) are those who develop the innovation or set the bar for what everyone else must strive to achieve. They place extraordinary time, energy, and creativity into developing new, innovative products and services. They are willing to take risks and are comfortable adopting new ideas. These companies are always interested in pushing forward and believe they have the solution to all of your problems (and solutions to problems you didn’t even know existed). Innovators sometimes seem idealistic and aloof. However, they have the potential to set the tone for an entire industry, as long as their head isn’t stuck in the clouds.

How Innovators View Change

Innovators love change. They are always leaning forward and looking to improve their operation. They are not comfortable settling for business as usual, rather want to find ways to increase efficiency, improve speed, and streamline service. They are true champions of change and are always advocating for ways to improve their business.

Examples: Google, Amazon, Apple

Early Adopters

Innovators are followed closely by Early Adopters (13.5%). This group is forward thinking, maintains high social status, and has the necessary financial resources to be the first to act. Early Adopters pride themselves on adopting a new product or service after an Innovator has created it and seek the limelight for the way they are taking the lead. Similar to Innovators, these companies are often overzealous in choosing to adopt. They are typically “all in” once the benefits of the change are apparent, especially when they can see a direct correlation between the new product or service and the advantage they will gain from it. They enjoy being trendsetters and appreciate the social capital (and market share) it generates.

How Early Adopters View Change

Early Adaptors recognize the opportunities that come with making change to their business and so are willing to implement as soon as they see how it will be valuable. They may not be the one to come up with the idea, but love incorporating it as soon as possible. They appreciate how change can make their business better.

Examples: Walmart, The Walt Disney Company, Patagonia

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