Stages of Acceptance

Another short post while I get my head back from the migraine sequence I’ve been in.

I was speaking to someone from industry about some interesting ideas in networking and we had a great meeting because we were constantly agreeing on the resistance to new ideas. There’s a pretty standard set of responses, indicating the evolution of acceptance over time:

  1. It will never work.
  2. It may work but it won’t work here.
  3. Of course we should do that.

What we were discussing was currently in the stage 1/2 phase. Even where people could see its utility, they had a really good reason why it wouldn’t happen here. The first is straight out denial, of course. The second is special pleading, where a set of circumstances are identified as to why a general case (or accepted idea) does not apply here. The last is just plain old Human nature – I told you so.

We see so much separation between the different communities of practice across the disciplines and, regrettably, it’s possible for teaching practitioners to be (effectively) at stage 1 when the educational researchers and designers are at stage 3. Returning to Gladwell’s three requirements for the stickiness of idea, the environment in which the idea is presented and received makes a big difference: context is everything.

I suspect that next year will be one of building bridges for me, between one community and the next. Bridge building is essential if people will be able to walk from one state to another. The term Pontifex (bridge builder) is disputed in origin and is co-opted by churches now, but the existence of the term, whether it originally referred to roads or bridges, emphasises the importance of the role of the joiner, the people who brings things together.

Oh, good, another challenge. 🙂

One Comment on “Stages of Acceptance”

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