Having repeatedly heard folks in social innovation circles refer to Al Etmanski, I felt compelled to pick up his book Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation. It’s intended to guide innovators after their idea has been mushed, mashed, shaped, sanded, polished and tested.
How does a social innovator shepherd an idea from local success to broader systemic impact?
I recommend picking up a copy for his stories illustrating many of the ideas I’ll be posting. A quick, accessible, useful read.
Etmanski opens by saying we all have the ability, capacity and responsibility to innovate. We can’t escape by saying ‘I’m not a big idea thinker‘ or ‘I’m a doer not a thinker‘. Further, he identifies three types of innovators needed to spread an idea, no matter how amazing, to achieve broader systemic impact.
Disruptive Innovators: have the unwavering belief that we can do better by challenging the the way it’s always been done..
Bridging Innovators: have the credibility and networks to highlight the benefits of the disruptive innovator’s new idea for institutions and policy makers.
Receptive Innovators: have access and knowledge of the system to change policy, law or funding to make the idea possible. (also known as intrapreneurs).
Which type of innovator are you? Even more importantly, do you know anyone from the other two types of innovator?