Leigh Baker | March 6, 2018

(Originally published on Balance3.com.au in March 2018, updated with ongoing tools)

The craft and science of change-making has been quietly accelerating, sneaking up behind the information technology revolution and the emerging clean technology economy.  Most internet marketers know a lot about it – but surprisingly few sustainability advocates seem to understand its power and its potential to increase their impact.

All the sustainability knowledge in the world won’t avail you much in actually making change happen.

Building your knowledge and skills about how to innovate change-resistant human systems is a great investment, whatever your business, career or life aspirations are.

Key resources for change makers include:

  • Behavioural Economics, with Thaler’s Nudge and MisBehaving
  • Gamification for social change such as  Half the Sky by Kristof and WuDunn
  • The Innovator’s Way by Denning and Dunham.  As well outlining the process of innovation delivery and foundation skills for change-makers, this book includes a great history of approaches to innovation theory and practice.
  • Crossing the Chasm by Moore. Understand how disruptive innovations get adopted by the majority and how to create smarter strategies.
  • Iconoclast by Berns on the biological limitations of human cognition and their impact on change-making attempts.
  • Pre-suasion and Influence by Cialdini on the psychology of persuasion.
  • Systems Thinking for Social Change by Stroh. Understand how to use systems thinking to identify solutions and create agreement.
  • Learned Optimism by Seligman. Avoid creating helplessness and learn to generate optimism.
  • Coaching to the Human Soul by Sieler. An up-to-date model of human communication and personal development. (Especially useful for busting myths about “government action” being the solution.)

“Successful innovation is the adoption of a new practice by a community” 

Denning and Dunham, THE INNOVATOR’S WAY

Sources and resources

It’s all very well for me to “tell” you this knowledge base exists – but how do you get started?

This article introducing Crossing the Chasm is very readable.

Here’s a short introductory video by Richard Thaler on Neuroeconomics.

A great handbook that reviews innovation delivery practices and gives a process for smarter innovation delivery is The Innovator’s Way.