The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems

by Richard Pascale, Jerry Sternin, and others. Harvard Business Review Press, 2010.

The intervention called positive deviance asserts that the solution to any problem is hidden in plain sight. For every unsolvable problem, the solution already exists within the community. It is a matter of finding the solution by looking for the flourishing that is already present. This book serves as a comprehensive introduction for a congregational leader curious about the principles of positive deviance. This creative process is particularly applicable to your congregation’s work with the community. It has been used to address issues related to education, malnutrition, health care, human trafficking, mental illness and much more. Richard Pascale is a management consultant and business teacher. The Sternins are the husband and wife who developed positive deviance. The book describes situations where positive deviance improved intractable situations. If you are interested in leveraging the assets of your congregation to solve challenges that have before now seemed insurmountable, then this book will not only give you hope, it will provide you directions on how to experiment with the positive deviance process in your congregation.