An epidemic of over-innovation ...and how to make sure you’re not reaching too far, too fast.

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Business & Mgmt

Published on March 6, 2014

Author: ChristianRamsey



An epidemic of over-innovation ...and how to make sure you’re not reaching too far, too fast.

An epidemic of over-innovation …and how to make sure you’re not reaching too far, too fast.

! The brief: You offer services and products that promise to transform the way farmers make decisions about scarce resources

Transform.. How exactly does transformation happen?


The ancestors of the earliest terrestrial vertebrates were fish who lived in pools that dried up periodically. 01

Transformation: These fish evolved legs that enabled them to move from a drying pool to one that still held water.


In other words.. Legs didn’t evolve so humans could walk on land. ! Legs evolved so that water-dwelling creatures could continue to survive in water 01

Simply put.. Stability is the main impetus for change.

People often seek to change JUST ENOUGH to maintain what they already have. 01

! Similarly, for on-farm innovation.. Farmers do not seek change because they want to live and work in a different way… …farmers seek change to enable themselves to continue doing what they have been doing — more effectively.

The trap of over-innovation This means OVER-innovation is a trap. ! Changes that are perceived as too “radical” will fail for all but the most innovative. 01

“I just wanted to change ONE little thing…?” 01

! Where does your innovation stand? How is it perceived by potential adopters and users? Does it promote stability or does it over-innovate?

Are you reaching too far, too fast?

The answers lie within finding out as much as you can about the people at the heart of your innovation efforts — your users. 01

Before you start innovating…

You need to know their VALUES You need to know what exists TODAY You need to know their NEEDS

Back to the farm… We know a lot about the bio-physical components of a farm: water, soil, air, flora fauna, manufacturing inputs, etc. ! …but how much do we know about the ONE thing that could make or break your business? 01


! Farms are complex social systems Owners Managers Workers Contractors Each actor affects the way information is shared and decisions are made in the system..

Do you know how your innovation will affect your user’s relationships and work environment? *Note that, these relationships are also affecting your adoption success.

Find your allies! Who are your allies on your farm or in your organization? Who is driving adoption? ! How do relationships in your system result in a “yes” for you? 01

How can the design of your service get more people to say “yes” more quickly? 01

Identify your opponents! Who are your opponents? ! Who on your farm or in your social system can slow down or short circuit adoption? What are their hang-ups? 01

How can design be leveraged to assuage your opponent’s reservations? 01

Know the needs of your system and the people in your system.

Your goal should NOT be to change things. 01

! Seek to PRESERVE what already exists Ecological Social Sentimental

! making them work better, as a whole. Ecological Sentimental Social


Let’s help you make sure your innovative approach to agriculture is designed for your users and gets the adoption it deserves.

We are ESP (559) 549-3353

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