Power of Positive Deviance
This is an important and powerful idea that we at TACSI use as part of our work. A review at SSIR by Dean Karlan, a professor of economics at Yale University.
In The Power of Positive Deviance, authors Richard Pascale, Jerry Sternin, and Monique Sternin take their readers on a fascinating tour to learn about “positive deviance”—an approach to solving social, and even some business, problems.
The approach, which the authors developed from work done by Tufts University nutrition professor Marian Zeitlin in the 1980s—has roughly three steps. First, engage the people needing change in the process; they must take part in discovering answers to their problems to adopt changes. Second, identify “positive deviants”—people who seem to have succeeded compared with others, despite having the same resources. Finally, work with communities to pinpoint what the positive deviants do differently, and figure out how the whole community can adopt these successful practices.