Neurosciences of technology adoption and growth

Globally one of the key challenges to blockchain and new technology adoption and growth is to create awareness and passion outside of those in the “know” to engage with this new revolution.

Perceived as a risky and unknown technology, start-ups, innovation teams and investors often face significant effort to educate the market, overcome negative perceptions, address technology failures while also using scarce resources in developing new solutions and improving competitiveness and growth.

Research on the functioning of the brain shows that resistance to risky change is not only a psychological, but actually a physiological reaction. When the brain’s fear response is activated, rational and logical explanations about the benefits and opportunities will not always convince people to change their minds, even if it is the “right solution”.

Many a new project failed when impacted decision makers or influencers simply didn’t show up for demo-meetings (“sorry….we had to play golf with an important client.”), send juniors in to negotiate (“they will need to use the solution”, created onerous administrative hurdles to overcome (“our procurement policy…”) or demanded assurance that the solution has been tried and tested by others (“we need evidence that it works”).

Blockchain advocates and companies need to focus in particular on learning how to overcome resistance points to adoption. Understanding behavioural science and best practice change models and tools will help close the blockchain adoption gap and improve the rate of utilization to demonstrate the return on investment.

Blockchain and AI adoption challenges can be managed more effectively by innovators when they apply brain-based behavioural change models and principles to blockchain initiatives.

For a simple start, innovators  can apply global research from the world’s leading technology adoption and change experts to navigate a sequence of milestones, each requiring a different approach and tools for:

  • Increasing Awareness of the blockchain; leading to
  • Desire (willingness) to engage with blockchain technologies (answering: what is in if for me?);
  • Motivating them to Gain more Knowledge about the blockchain to understand it;
  • To be able to better Apply the blockchain technologies successfully to achieve the anticipated performance and outputs; and finally
  • Reinforcement activities to make the blockchain initiatives stick.

(Model from Prosci’s “ADKAR®  is a goal-oriented change management model that allows change management teams to focus their activities on specific business results.”)

What is in it? How will it help improve business growth?

By understanding how to brain responds and knowing how positive change can be achieved by improving the way people think about how to overcome resistance to change, blockchain startups and investors will gain advantages for their own blockchain services and products through

  • Improved and more effective business development and growth strategies based on brain-based models of human behaviour;
  • Strategic communication plans based on behavioural change tactics that will motivate target audiences to engage in a positive way with blockchain technologies;
  • Shortened time lines and decision making with key decision holders around blockchain technology Initiatives; and
  • Setting up blockchain initiatives for success by pro-actively managing risks of resistance by impacted groups to the technology.

MaRi Eagar is a Director and Founder of Digital Futures an independent strategic business and investment advisory and incubator that brings to bear many decades of deal shaping and making to the world of digital currencies, blockchain and financial technologies fuelling the growth of the digital economy.