Below are recent publications on Positive Deviance including articles, books and blogs that caught our eyes.
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- "Book review: The Power of Positive Deviance", The World Bank
- "Exceptional responders in conservation", Society for Conservation Biology
- "Nuts and Bolts: Positive Deviance", Learning Solutions
- "Positive Deviance: A Non-Normative Approach to Health and Risk Messaging", Arvind Singhal, Lucia Dura
- "Positive Deviance: An Elegant Solution to a Complex Problem", Curt Lindberg, Thomas Clancy for Managing Organizational Complexity
- "On PD and Ebola" Equal Times
- "Positive Deviance in Theory and Practice: A Conceptual Review", Matthew J. Herington, Elske van de Fliert
- "Quality Improvement Approaches: Positive Deviance", Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
- “Should Positive Deviance be my next Big Thing?”, From Poverty to Power
- Social Justice Initiative: Just Drum Roll, The University of Texas at El Paso
- "The practicalities of change: Positive deviance and land reform in Vanuatu", Developmental Leadership Program
- "Unleashing the power of positive deviance", devex.com
The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems
Think of the toughest problems in your organization or community. What if hey’d already been solved, and you didn’t even know it?
In this inspiring and paradigm-shifting book, Richard Pascale, Jerry Sternin, and Monique Sternin turn conventional ideas about problem-solving upside down and reveal a counterintuitive new approach. Their advice? Harness the power of “positive deviants”—the few individuals in a group who find unique ways to look at, and overcome, seemingly insoluble problems. Positive deviants see solutions where others don’t. And they’re the key to spreading and sustaining needed change.
With vivid, first-hand stories of how positive deviance has alleviated some of the world’s toughest problems (including malnutrition in Vietnam and staph infections in hospitals), the authors illuminate this approach’s core principles and practices, including:
Initiating an open, curious inquiry into the nature of the problem
Using innovative behaviors to shape new thinking, rather than vice versa
Confounding the organizational “immune response” seeking to sustain the status quo
The Power of Positive Deviance unveils a powerful new way to tackle the thorniest challenges in your own company and community.
About the Authors
Richard Pascale is an associate fellow at Said Business School, and author or co-author of numerous books, including Managing on the Edge.
Jerry Sternin was the world’s leading expert in the application of Positive Deviance as a tool for addressing social and behavioral change.
Monique Sternin has been an equal partner in these efforts and now heads the Positive Deviance Institute at Tufts University.
- "The Power of Positive Deviance in Compliance", Bruce Horowitz
- "Alcohol use among university students: Considering a positive deviance approach", Journal of Health Psychology
- "How schools amplify psychological resilience - A Positive Deviance Inquiry", Centrum Media & Gezondheid
- "Positive deviance: learning from positive anomalies", Paul G. LeMahieu, Lee E. Nordstrum, Dick Gale
- "Teaching and Learning about Positive Deviance: Boosting Metacognition to Grasp Global Communication Theory and Practice", Jean Claude Kwitonda, Arvind Singhal
- "Transformer l'education..par la deviance positive", Arving Singhal
- Aid on the Edge of Chaos: Rethinking International Cooperation in a Complex World, Ben Ramalingam, Oxford University Press
- "Grow Simple Interactions Inside Everyday Practice", Junlei Li
- "A Practical Guide to Using the Positive Deviance Method in Health Services Research", Adam Rose, Megan McCullough
- “Beyond the hospital infection control guidelines: a qualitative study using positive deviance to characterize gray areas and to achieve efficacy and clarity in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections”, BioMed Central
- "Front-line ownership: generating a cure mindset for patient safety", Healthcare Papers
- "La déviance positive : analyse de concept selon l'approche évolutionniste de Rodgers", Josiane Letourneau, Marie Anderson, Chantal Caux, Lucie Richard
- "Learning from positively deviant wards to improve patient safety: an observational study protocol", Ruth Baxter, Natalie Taylor, Ian Kellar, Rebecca Lawton
- "Value co-creation in healthcare through positive deviance", Cole Zanetti, Natalie Taylor
- "Applying Positive Deviance for Improving Compliance to Adolescent Anemia Control Program in Tribal Communities of India", Vani Sethi, Monique Sternin, Deepika Sharma, Arti Bhanot, Saba Mebrahtu
- "Parent Mentors Using Positive Deviance in Childhood Obesity", The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- "Deviance and resistance Malaria elimination in GMS", Chris Lyttleton
- “Identification and Characterization of Families That Are Positively Deviant for Childhood Obesity in a Latino Population: A Case-Control Study”, Byron A. Foster, Christian A. Aquino, Sharol Mejia, Barbara J. Turner, and Arvind Singhal
- "The potential of positive deviance approach for the sustainable control of neglected tropical diseases", Tropical Medicine and Health
- "Becoming a 'Positive Outlier': A Case Study of Oman", Developmental Leadership Program
- Center for the Study of Bribery, Extortion, and Coercion Situations, Bruce Horowitz
- "Engaging Community Resilience for Security: Development and Peace building in Afghanistan", Future Generations Afghanistan
- "The Power of Positive Deviance in Compliance", Bruce Horowitz
The Positive Deviance Wisdom Series is a collection of powerful stories about how the Positive Deviance (PD) approach has been used in the field. The Positive Deviance Initiative, in collaboration with the Social Justice Initiative in the Department of Communication at University of Texas El Paso, invites readers to explore the use of the Positive Deviance approach to address intractable social problems with local resources and wisdom.
These highly illustrated, and captivating case studies document the use of Positive Deviance approach to reduce malnutrition in Vietnam, increase school retention in Argentina, reintegrate child soldiers and vulnerable girls in Uganda, and reduce hospital acquired infections in the United States. Please share widely with students, scholars, and practitioners who value asset-based, culturally-appropriate, and indigenous wisdom approaches to social change.