Summary of The Power of Positive Deviance
How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems
Copyright 2010 Richard Pascale, Jerry Sternin and Monique Sternin. Summarized by permission of Harvard Business Press
To engage communities in solving their own problems, first find the “deviant” who has already got the answer.
Certain paradigms – child malnutrition in postwar Vietnam, female genital mutilation in Egypt, hospital MRSA infections in the US – seem to be intractable elements of their communities’ intrinsic fabric and, thus, unchangeable and beyond repair. This book by Richard Pascale, Monique Sternin and the late Jerry Sternin demonstrates the reverse: Even stubborn social problems are correctable if you search for a solution inside the affected community. Each dysfunctional social behavior the authors studied yielded a functional exception: a “Positive Deviant.” Communities can learn the wisdom of their deviating members and use their solutions to stamp out problems. In this readable, detailed, humane exploration of this deductive method and its dynamics, the authors show how to share hidden knowledge to create change. Using wide-ranging case studies, they explain how exceptions to the rule can lead to a common good. getAbstract recommends this book to those compelled by social dynamics or intent on solving community problems.
In this summary, you will learn
- What “Positive Deviance” (PD) is,
- How practitioners have applied PD to solve problems and change a variety of difficult circumstances worldwide, and
- How to facilitate the PD process.
About the Authors
Richard Pascale is an Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School, Oxford University. Monique Sternin directs the Positive Deviance Initiative at Tufts University. She and the late Jerry Sternin facilitated PD sessions worldwide.
Comment on this summary
4 years agoInteresting and thoughtful. Great read.
5 years agoA wonderful book that has the power to change the world.
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