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Change management and blogs

Sebastian Fiedler and Pam Pritchard are discussing why blogs are not implemented yet in every classroom. The discussion goes around the need to change learning and teaching cultures, resistance of teachers to “leave their comfort zone” and luck of funding for the new technology.

At the same time Sebastian Fiedler and me are discussing about selection of blogging tools for Quaerere group (choosing blogging software, blog pilot, and e-mail).

I believe that both are change management problems (known as diffusion of innovations in educational domain): we have a new idea, we believe that it will improve our work and we are trying to get others joining us. We are not the first there :)))

I want to have your attention for two pieces. The first one (source) refers to Rogers’ Diffusion of innovations book that describes the characteristics of innovations that are more likely to be adopted:

  • Relative advantage – potential adopters need to see an advantage for adopting the innovation
  • Compatibility – innovations need to fit in with potential adopters’ current practices and values
  • Complexity – innovations’ ease of use will lead to more rapid adoption
  • Trialability – potential adopters want the availability of “testing” before adopting
  • Observability – potential adopters want to see observable results of an innovation

The second one is by Diane Dormant (1997, p.144). She writes about different stages of acceptance of innovation and suggests that strategies for each of them:

If the person is in the stage of… Then the strategy to use is to…

  • Passive regarding the change
  • Little/no information about change
  • Little/no opinion about change
  • Advertise

  • Be an ad agent
  • Be credible and positive
  • Appeal to his or her needs and wants
  • Curiosity

  • More active regarding change
  • Expresses personal job concerns
  • Asks questions about own work and change
  • Inform

  • Identify specific concerns
  • Provide clear info about concerns
  • Emphasize pluses, acknowledge minuses
  • Envisioning

  • Active regarding change
  • Expresses work-related job concerns
  • Asks questions about how change works
  • Demonstrate

  • Give success images
  • Provide demonstrations
  • Connect with peer users
  • Tryout

  • Active regarding change
  • Has opinions about change
  • Interested in learning how-to
  • Train

  • Provide effective training
  • Provide job aids, check lists
  • Promise technical follow-up
  • Use

  • Active regarding change
  • Uses change on the job
  • Asks detailed questions about use
  • Support

  • Provide necessary technical help
  • Provide reinforcement
  • Provide recognition
  • My experience from previous “practitioner” life is: if people are at awareness stage it’s useless to push them using new things. I’m trying to follow these ideas with Quaerere blog pilot. I want to start small and simple, so people can try it out and see if there is something for them. And only after we could talk about hosting, costs and other things.

    It seems that I’m getting the topic to write about for BlogTalk 🙂 Anyone to join?

    I have a copy of this chapter from somewhere and I assume that the full reference is:

    Dormant, D. (1997) Planning change: past, present, future. In R. Kaufman, S. Thiagarajan, and P. MacGillis (eds.), The guidebook for performance improvement: woring with individuals and organizations. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

    I’m not 100% sure if I can reproduce it here, so please let me know if I can’t.

    Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2002/12/19.html#a401; comments are here.

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