Well, first of all innovation is really hard. Innovators are often very intelligent and aware human beings that are very independent of the opinion of others because they are not following herd mentality. Instead they follow an inner compass that they are onto something that is new, meaningful, and revolutionary.
Dr. Jeffrey Bland for example is a true innovator through and through. His conception of the functional medicine model, which is reproducible and scaleable on the level of education is really groundbreaking. And on top functional medicine is actually an innovative technology that has the capability to disrupt healthcare. In America the are a lot of active early adopters and there are signs already for an early majority emerging. In Germany everyone working with "authentic" Functional Medicine right now though is really an Innovator I think because authentic functional medicine is not at all part of the medical community in a bigger way yet.
The drawback of being an innovator is that there is always the possibility of becoming an outcast. Especially when we speak up. When we go against the norm we will be judged, challenged by powers in place, and even ridiculed by an at times ignorant mob conditioned by consumerism and a lack of inner self reflection. In case you are functional medicine provider in Europe you need to understand that you are an early adopter of this new way of doing medicine and you need to act accordingly to this role. Understand on which level you are interacting with people, this is crucial for your own happiness.
The process of adoption of a new and innovative technology over time is typically illustrated as a classical normal distribution or "bell curve". The model indicates that the first group of people to use a new innovation is called "innovators", followed by "early adopters". Next come the "early majority" and "late majority", and the last group to eventually adopt a product are called "laggards" or "phobics".
The demographic and psychological (or "psychographic") profiles of each adoption group were originally specified by the North Central Rural Sociology Committee, Subcommittee for the Study of the Diffusion of Farm Practices, by agricultural researchers Beal and Bohlen in 1957. The report summarised the categories as:
The Innovators: had larger farms, were more educated, more prosperous and more risk-oriented
The Early adopters: younger, more educated, tended to be community leaders, less prosperous
The Early majority: more conservative but open to new ideas, active in community and influence to neighbours
The Late majority: older, less educated, fairly conservative and less socially active
The Laggards: very conservative, had small farms and capital, oldest and least educated
The model has subsequently been adapted for many areas of technology adoption in the late 20th century. Because of this I think it is a great framework to be aware of as an early adopter in functional medicine bringing this wonderful way of doing medicine into society.