Some good insights for R&D managers trying to drive change in their organizations in the article Minority rules: Scientists discover tipping point for the spread of ideas:
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.
We can use this to form concrete communications strategies. We should plan on getting at least 10% of the stakeholders committed to a change. The 10% number can be used as a metric to guide success of change related training or buy-in…
When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority,” said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. “Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.