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


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Richard Pascale. July 4, 2015. Accessed June 26, 2017.

If you are interested in asset-based change, this 47-minute video is well worth your time. Richard Pascale, author of the book The Power of Positive Deviance, defines “positive deviants” as those who are the exception to the rule. That is, they succeed where others fail in the face of unsolvable problems. Pascale describes key principles of positive deviance - relying on the community’s hidden strengths rather than relying solely on experts, focusing on behavior not just thinking, and learning how to amplify the solutions so that others benefit. He tells stories of how positive deviance has been used effectively to solve pressing, almost impossible challenges all over the world. This approach may help you solve something in your congregation or community. It is also a video you can use in a classroom setting to talk about deciphering tough social challenges. Your colleagues will come away with hope rather than despair. And the result might be new ideas about how to address tough challenges inside or outside your congregation. The information contained in this video is an invitation to think creatively about situations that otherwise would be overwhelmingly negative. Possibility reigns.

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