One of my favorite discussions during my M.B.A. studies was on the adoption of new technology, concepts or processes — often referred to as “The Innovation Life Cycle.” The instructor displayed a bell curve with “innovators” and “early adopters” at the beginning (the “ambassadors”), “early majority” and “late majority in the middle (the “supporters” and “neutrals,” respectively), and the “laggards” and “saboteurs” (the “defectors” and “adversaries,” respectively).
I love innovation, disruptive technology, and unique perspectives.
During my career in public relations and marketing communications, I’ve had the opportunity to think about The Innovation Life Cycle and how it applies to many of my clients. Sometimes clearly communicating the benefit of a new technology or concept can be challenging. But that pales in comparison in getting others to believe the communication and embrace the product or idea being promoted.
I blame dogma for this.
Dogma’s a good word to know. Per The Century Dictionary it means:
- noun – A settled opinion; a principle, maxim, or tenet held as being firmly established.
- noun – A principle or doctrine propounded or received on authority, as opposed to one based on experience or demonstration; specifically, an authoritative religious doctrine.
- noun – Authoritative teaching or doctrine; a system of established principles or tenets, especially religious ones; specifically, the whole body or system of Christian doctrine, as accepted either by the church at large or by any branch of it.
In layman’s terms, some folks are just stuck in their ways and there’s no changing ’em!
I’ve been pondering dogma of late because one of my clients, Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D., recently used it in a discussion we had. Dr. Bikman is a metabolic scientist who specializes in the study of insulin resistance. He talks all about it in his wonderfully insightful, just-released book, “Why We Get Sick.” He says insulin resistance is at the heart of nearly every chronic disease and other health disorder, including heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
But it’s what he said about type 2 diabetes that I found especially fascinating.
He said doctors are trained (i.e., in their “system of established principles or tenets”) to measure glucose levels to diagnose diabetes. However, if they were to measure insulin resistance instead, type 2 diabetes could be diagnosed years earlier.
Of course, I asked Dr. Bikman, “Then why don’t doctors check patients for insulin resistance?” His response was something like, “Because they’re stuck in the dogma of their training. Diagnosing diabetes by measuring glucose levels is the way it’s always been done.”
That’s one of the reasons he decided to write his book. He has years and years of research to back up the need to start taking insulin resistance far more seriously. As a PR pro pitching him as a source expert to the press, I love how he’s completely fact-based, no opinion. Everything he says can be backed up by research.
If you want to read about the warning signs that indicate you may have insulin resistance and what steps to take to reverse it (including specific diet recommendations), then I suggest you pick up a copy of his book (it’s available wherever books are sold).
Hopefully, our PR campaign to promote Dr. Bikman’s books is wildly successful and many doctors are convinced to break free of their dogma and be early adopters of Dr. Bikman’s advice. Fortunately, his extensive research is already causing some medical doctors to change how they’re practicing medicine so they can more effectively treat their patients.
When there’s something that seems out of the norm, different, or contradictory to our belief system, may we have the ability to be sufficiently open minded to at least look into it? If our due diligence reveals it will be a change for the good, then it’s only common sense we adopt it and tell others about it. After all, are any of you out there still buying and playing 8-track tapes?