CHAPTER FOUR

When: Opportunity Structures

Innovations and movements take hold at some times and places and not others. Wheeled luggage is ubiquitous among travelers today. What could be more obvious than putting wheels on a heavy suitcase? Yet the first patent for a wheeled suitcase was issued in 1972, and almost no one bought them until the Rollaboard was invented in 1987. Even then, it was initially aimed at airline crews and only later adopted by the general public.1 Why did something so obvious take so long? Apparently, real men carried their bags—and real women rented carts—something that seems ludicrous today. In this mystery lies the secret of finding the right time for instigating change.

This chapter describes how you can assess your ...

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