Innovation Adoption Cycle
Prior Conditions Knowledge Decision-Making Characteristics Communication Channels Persuasion Perceived Innovation Characteristics Decision Implementation Confirmation Adoption Rejection Continued Adoption Later Adoption Discontinuance Continued Rejection

Prior Conditions

This is the way your organization operates today.  Your current momentum.  It may also be some areas that should be added to your list of changes if they are providing obstacles for your goals.


This is to obtain information on the existence of a “solution” .  In some cases, a solution (e.g. technology) may have come to your attention.  In other cases, you may have a problem you need to solve.  Consistency with your organization is going to be important to your success.  However, is it necessary to make some changes as to how you operate in order to make the progress?   You are collecting information.

Decision-Making Characteristics

Whereas Prior Conditions more reflect processes in-place, these more reflect the personality of the organization.

Communication Channels

It is essential to have transparency, visibility. If people are aware and feeling positive, success is more likely.  If people have issues, the sooner the issues are known, the easier to address.    Newsletters, meetings, management reports, news boards?  What is the best way to communicate with each group?


The decision-making process begins to build.  Is the innovation going to have the characteristics you need?  Going back to the Innovation Life Cycle, have you looked at the risk, the consequences, direct & indirect, desirable and undesirable?

Perceived Innovation Characteristics

Some characteristics needing consideration. 

  • Any advantages over your competition?  Over your current circumstances? 
  • Is the solution compatible with your organization?  How difficult will be the adjustment? 
  • How complex is it?  Too complex to implement?  Too much training?  
  • Can you try it out?  Is a mini-implementation possible?  Can you take it for a trial run? 
  • Are people from outside the initial group going  to be able to understand what is going on?  Are they going to be able to become comfortable?  


Looking at all of the information, what do you want to do?  Adopt?  Reject?  Too many issues?  Not enough advantage?  Do you may want to conditional adopt and evaluate as you implement.  Nothing like real world to see the impacts.  


This is where the rubber meets the road.  Unforeseen issues can develop.  Alternatives can develop that actually enhance the results.  Deviations from plan may provide options (re-invention).   Higher degrees of re-invention have been found to provide quicker adoption and an increased level of sustainability.


Now that you have it, is it giving you what you want?  Do we keep going?  Do we shut it down?  What do we do to improve it?


A decision to adopt has been made.  Onto Implementation.


Decision to reject at this time.

Continued Adoption

You have gone through the implementation and things are working well.  You will continue to proceed.

Later Adoption

After a delay, a decision has been to proceed.  Maybe funding has become available.  Maybe personnel has changed, enabling an implementation.  Maybe markets are requiring a response?  Maybe technology has improved...


Implementation found unresolvable issues?  Complexity was too high?  Too expensive?

Continued Rejection

Reasons have not changed sufficiently to engage in the innovation.