When the change agent and the client have several potential' solutions before them, they can begin the task of choosing in earnest. "Choosing" really means testing and comparing, applying criteria, eliminating some possibilities, accepting others, and modifying still others on the basis of comparative judgments. There are three broad categories of measurement which should concern us during this phase: benefit, workability, and diffusibility:
There is a considerable body of research literature on the characteristics of innovations. Such research is relevant to the task of selection. These studies provide us with a number of criteria, yardsticks against which to measure and compare potential solutions. The following listing summarizes the main factors that should be considered in evaluating any possible solution or innovation under the three main criteria.
PRIMUM NON NOCERE is the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath. It means "above all, do no harm!" Applies equally to change agents!
These are all questions which should be asked before final decisions are made on the selection of innovations. However, all questions need not be answered affirmatively. Choosing usually is a matter of compromise and trade-off. among a number of advantages and disadvantages. There is as yet no precise way of evaluating these criteria. The advantages will be different for different clients in different situations and, in large part, the determination of advantages and disadvantages is something only the clients themselves can judge; they know what questions are most important and least important for the people in their system.
Even though precision is impossible, it is important to ask these questions in some form. All too often when we survey the wreckage after an innovation has failed, we find that some critical feasibility question was not even asked prior to the decision to adopt.
Many readers may feel that terms like "performance reliability," "installation," "maintenance," and "servicing" apply only to technological change, but increasingly in recent years this same terminology has been used to describe all kinds of innovations. There is a growing recognition that social, behavioral, and technical innovation can be described using similar concepts.
The website's content is relevant to today's business, education, government and non-profit organizations as they attempt to implement new ideas and innovations in their organizations. It also provides case studies to help help understand the roles of Change Agents and the processes related to Change.