Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems Hardcover – June 16, 2010
Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The co-authors acknowledge that the positive deviance process is not suitable for everything and suggest that "the process excels over most alternatives when addressing problems that "(1) are enmeshed in a complex social system, (2) require social and behavioral change, and (3) entail solutions that are rife with unforeseeable or unintended consequences." Also, this process should be at least considered when the given problems are viewed as "intractable" after prior solutions failed. Moreover, the process redirects attention from "what's wrong" to "what's right" - observable exceptions that succeed "against all odds."
I can personally attest that, on the basis of my extensive experience with corporate teams involved in process improvement initiatives (e.g. to reduce cycle time, improve first pass yield), the PD approach is almost always the best to take.Read more ›
It has already become a lens with which I think about and pursue my work. And it is an easy read, full of real world stories and examples.
The book combs a lifetime of the most difficult kind of fieldwork by Jerry and Monique Sternin with a lifetime of teaching and writing by Richard Pascale to create a genuinely good book - one that is good on several levels. Leaders dealing with organizational change of the most difficult kind will find The Power of Positive Deviance to open up a world of tools that go often ignored in over structured change programs. But on an altogether different level it is a story book about remarkable case studies - childhood nutrition, female circumcision, deadly MRSA infections, and others - stories that are all about engagement, leadership, commitment and hope.
But it is not just a book about incredibly difficult problems; it is a book about how leaders can re-think their own organization by "re-looking." Easy to say and hard to do. The irony is that organizations spend enormous resources attacking negative deviance (as in "let's do a root cause analysis and fix the problem") but little or no effort looking for things that are "out of spec" in a positive direction. This is a book about how to do that - how to see what is happening, now to nurture it, and how to build a culture that embraces that kind of stimulus and change. For me that may have been the most powerful take-away: look for what is working - even better than you thought - figure out why and embrace it.
The Power of Positive Deviance tells many stories that revolve around many different facets and topics throughout the world. The authors are able to tell the story in such a way that you can apply it to any situation or event that you are dealing with in your life.
I work in the education field and the story that resonates with me most is the child malnutrition in Vietnam. As long as I can remember, we have tried to impose our beliefs onto others in the name of "helping". We are always confused when the concepts don't work or the community doesn't buy-in to what we are trying to accomplish. Yes, it is very important to feed the children and adults, but it is also important to feed everyone in a way that will work for the people that are affected.
As I read the Positive Deviance book, I was amazed at the simple and easy solutions that came about as individuals open their minds to other possibilities and instead of thinking they knew what was best, they searched for actual successes within the community. In our hectic world, we believe the tougher a job the more we will get out of it, but the authors show through several examples that according to Positive Deviance the only agenda is that of understanding.
In the education field we have many problems that need simple solutions. We have beat ourselves and the children up trying to solve the age old dilemma of schools with persistently low test scores and how to close the achievement gap. I, too, have tried to independently solve this huge issue, but no solutions with substance have resulted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow. Just wow. I picked this book up randomly, having no idea what it was about. And now I cannot put it down. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Angela
This book was ordered for my boss and his Direct Reports. I haven't read it yet however the guys have read it and came back to thank our boss for the book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Maria Fambro
Great little book to help people think outside the box, especially good for corporate leaders in situations where the organization is stuck.Published on August 5, 2013 by Dr. John P. Splinter
The authors do a great job of drawing you into the settings where thy describe the PD process from child malnutrition in Vietnam to infant mortality in rural Pakistan. Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by happycamper
Would recommend to anyone from college students to professionals in the business world. Explores positive deviance and how to look for answers to questions on an internal basis.Published on April 7, 2013 by Cweav
This book is full of positive ways to turn a problem around and give it a new look and new angle in trying to solve it. The book was in great condition when it arrived.Published on December 2, 2012 by Deborah A Somers
This is a wonderful book and an incredible approach to behaviour change. It is a must read for everyone. Read morePublished on October 20, 2012 by Nilgun Ogun