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The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems Hardcover – June 16, 2010
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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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Much like Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, understanding the little things that make a huge difference is incredibly powerful!Published 2 months ago by RDG
"Hook of Positive Deviance is looking for those who succeed focusing on the glass half full in a world of glasses half empty", pg. 153. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Eric Nelson
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 on July 7, 2014 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 on May 24, 2014 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