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The Diffusion Curve is a reflection and discussion activity based on the theory of the diffusion of innovations. Using the basic principles of the diffusion curve, the activity aims to have participants reflect on the question: in which areas of my life am I: an innovator, early adopter, early majority, late majority, or laggard? It can also be extended to have participants apply the same lens to the organizations or companies they work for.
Using tape on the floor, recreate the diffusion curve model. Make is as large as possible. Clearly mark the different categories within the diffusion curve: innovators; early adopters; early majority; late majority; laggards.
Begin by giving a brief explanation of the diffusion curve of innovation theory (see below). Use a projected slide or a whiteboard to show participants the model and review each category. This explanation does not have to be in-depth. Remind participants that the model is being introduced here simply as a reflection tool.
Diffusion of Innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures...diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system...there is a point at which an innovation reaches critical mass. The categories of adopters are: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. (Wikipedia)
Ask participants to take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions:
After a few minutes of reflection have participants group into pairs and walk through the diffusion curve together. The pair can move through the curve in whatever order they wish, but they must pass through each category. At each category, the pair briefly shares their respective individual answers for that category.
After pairs have moved fully through the diffusion curve, bring the whole group back together and invite spontaneous reflections and insights.
Optionally: Use these additional questions to stimulate more or different kinds of learning:
It can be effective to have participants answer each question by standing on the curve on the relevant category. Then, for each question asked, invite a few participants to explain why they chose to answer the way they did and to reflect briefly on their thoughts.
The purpose of this simple exercise is to demonstrate three key principles useful for creativity and idea generation: quantity is a condition for quality; building on the ideas of others; the ideas we come up with are usually all the same. The format is simple, with small groups standing and drawing apples. At the end of the exercise the whole group reflects and draws out learnings and reflections.
IDOARRT is a simple tool to support you to lead an effective meeting or group process by setting out clear purpose, structure and goals at the very beginning. It aims to enable all participants to understand every aspect of the meeting or process, which creates the security of a common ground to start from. The acronym stands for Intention, Desired Outcome, Agenda, Rules, Roles and Responsibilities and Time.
A short activity to run early in a program, focused on sharing fears, anxieties and uncertainties related to the program theme. The purpose is to create openness within a group. The stinky fish is a metaphor for "that thing that you carry around but don’t like to talk about; but the longer you hide it, the stinkier it gets." By putting stinky fish (fears and anxieties) on the table, participants begin relate to each other, become more comfortable sharing, and identify a clear area for development and learning.
A team-building activity in which a group is challenged to physically support one another in an endeavor to move from one end of a space to another. It requires working together creatively and strategically in order to solve a practical, physical problem. It tends to emphasize group communication, cooperation, leadership and membership, patience and problem-solving.
This workshop aims to help participants define, decide and achieve their goals. By supporting participants to envision where they want to be in a number of years on a holistic level, and defining the steps that will take them there, participants get a clearer picture of the action they need to take.
This exercise is useful for bringing groups together, to create interpersonal bonds, and to build trust. Participants stand opposite each other and have 30 seconds to give appreciative feedback to the other person. The group rotates until everyone has given feedback to everyone else. It is often used as part of wrap-up activities, to create an energized feeling to leave with.