Hartpury Digital Skills Framework in Agriculture

Innovation and the organisation Let’s now consider an organisation’s track record and the culture and mindset about innovation and change.

Tip to take away Create knowledge exchange activities that promote adoption of new technologies.

Innovation culture and mindset

Farmers and growers have a good history of introducing new techniques, often rapidly, to survive and adapt to market requirements, environmental improvements and commercial pressure. The benefits of innovation for any business can be two-fold. Firstly, more functionality and utility, being able to do more and different things. Secondly, getting more from less with better use of resources and productivity. Digital technology, in all its forms, can bring both of these benefits to agriculture. Change can be challenging for a business: what is the attitude to risk, is there sufficient funding for the investment? Change can be challenging for people too: low confidence about using new technology and adopting new routines. This is not all negative. Resistance to change might reveal something that was overlooked or unforeseen in the decision making, it may prompt leaders and managers to better plan how they communicate change and engage staff.

The innovation adoption model (Diffusion of innovations, Rogers, 1962) provides an insight into how different businesses approach innovation. It identifies five groups:

There is more information about innovation adoption models and good practice available.

Innovators . First ones to try something new. Early adopters . Willing to try something new.


Early majority . Interested in ideas and taking some risk. Late majority . Open to proven ideas that are ready to use. Laggards . Will change when there is no alternative. This is relevant to agriculture. Colleges and universities, industry support bodies and professional service providers have a role to play with knowledge exchange work. Knowledge exchange can accelerate the diffusion of new technology by not just increasing awareness, but communicating the evidence that ideas are not just useful but proven, so reaching the early and late majority faster. With faster uptake comes not just more impact industry- wide, but also the benefits for industry from more support and user networks. The role of knowledge exchange

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Digital Skills Framework in Agriculture

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