Think of the toughest problems in your organization or community. What if they'd already been solved and you didn't even know it?
In The Power of Positive Deviance, the authors present a counterintuitive new approach to problem-solving. Their advice? Leverage positive deviants--the few individuals in a group who find unique ways to look at, and overcome, seemingly insoluble difficulties. By seeing solutions where others don't, positive deviants spread and sustain needed change.
With vivid, firsthand stories of how positive deviance has alleviated some of the world's toughest problems (malnutrition in Vietnam, staph infections in hospitals), the authors illuminate its core practices, including:
- Mobilizing communities to discover "invisible" solutions in their midst
- Using innovative designs to "act" your way into a new way of thinking instead of thinking your way into a new way of acting
- Confounding the organizational "immune response" seeking to sustain the status quo
Inspiring and insightful, The Power of Positive Deviance unveils a potent new way to tackle the thorniest challenges in your own company and community.
Richard Pascale is a writer, a leading business consultant worldwide, and an associate fellow of Templeton College, Oxford University, England. He co-authored Surfing the Edge of Chaos: The Laws of Nature and the New Laws of Business, and the best-selling The Art of Japanese Management, with Anthony Athos. He was on the faculty of Stanford Business School for twenty years, and has written numerous articles for leading business management publications. Jerry and Monique Sternin, are the world's leading experts in the application of Positive Deviance as a tool for addressing social and behavioral change. The Sternins pioneered the approach in Viet Nam in 1990 and have spent the past two decades making the approach accessible to millions of people in more than 25 countries around the world. Sadly, Jerry Sternin died in December 2008.