Select Page

We are all familiar with the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations…

Diffusion of Innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Everett Rogers, a professor of rural sociology, popularized the theory in his 1962 book Diffusion of Innovations. He said diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. The origins of the diffusion of innovations theory are varied and span multiple disciplines.

Back in January of 2012,  I woke up with the Theory of Diffusion of Work on my mind.  I’m sure there has been some research, studies, tests, etc… conducted but I thought I’d think out loud on this topic…  just using anecdotal evidence from my own experiences in life.

I came up with this on my whiteboard:

Everyone is one of these types of workers.


Create new ways to grow by designing, executing, and interpreting experiments. The crazy ones who challenge the status quo.


Commit to getting things done. Growth mindset to embrace challenges, test new ideas, and provide feedback.


Follow proven processes to complete work. Fixed mindset & reliable to execute work that has been proven to be effective.


Complain about the processes, yet never follow all of the details. Drag a team down.

Which type of worker are you?


UPDATE: My friend Jeff Turner helped improve my whiteboard idea into a much cleaner graphic.

Image by Jeff Turner