Temple Grandin is an expert in animal behavior and an advocate for people with autism. I'm fascinated by her work — she has, among other things, designed humane animal slaughter facilities — and in particular her use of her own experiences with autism in her work with animals.
I'm reading Animals Make us Human right now (you can hear her talk about the book on Fresh Air), and one passage stood out for me1. She's talking about technology transfer in agriculture, but everything she says could go just as well in any technical field:
At this point in reading I stopped to add Diffusion of Innovations to my reading list. Grandin then lists four steps to transfer research to business:
- Communicate your results outside the research community.
- Make sure your early adopters don't fail.
- Supervise all early adopters to ensure faithful adoption of the design.
- Don't allow your method or technology to get tied up in patent disputes.
That last is both entertainingly specific and familiar to anyone in Silicon Valley — but Grandin is talking about conveyors for slaughterhouses! She gives examples for each step, and this on communicating within your field also resonates:
Sounds like a good model to me.
 Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life For Animals, by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson, pages 202-204.