positive deviance


How to develop great managers

As I read “Why Good Managers Are So Rare,” I thought, “This has to be written by someone from Gallup.” It’s presenting the same outdated view of talent management that Gallup has been espousing for quite awhile now. While it’s true that there are currently relatively few good managers and that there’s a strong link […]


Monique Sternin at TEDx MidAtlantic

By William Seidman Positive deviance is a core component of our approach to organizational change. In a previous blog post, “Introducing the Positive Deviant,” we explained the genesis of the term and how three social scientists (Richard Pascale, Gerry Sternin and Monique Sternin) coined the term after identifying people in Vietnam who deviated positively from […]


The Wisdom Discovery Session

By William Seidman To discover the attitudes, knowledge and skills that come so naturally to your star performers—the unconscious competence they possess—you must understand the general traits involved and create an environment in which people can analyze their own attitudes and behavior.  Many companies have tried to institute “Best Practice” implementations by doing interviews. In […]


Understanding the Positive Deviant

By William Seidman Every large group of people reveals a variation in performance among its members. The positive deviants—or star performers—in a group have figured out how to succeed, even in daunting situations that others find incapacitating. What enables them to outperform others facing the same challenging circumstances? It’s as simple as their attitude. Research […]


Delivering real change: the four positives 1

By William Seidman In “What, Really, is Change Management?” Brad Hall attempts to explain change management and why many such programs fail to achieve lasting change. While it is true that few change projects succeed, it is not because they are too focused on deliverables, as Hall asserts. It’s because most people leading change efforts have […]


Humility and change leadership 1

By William Seidman One of the most interesting aspects of working with positive deviants—people who are purpose-driven and open to ideas that help them achieve their purpose—is that they are very aware that their knowledge is limited. Even though they are often experts in their particular functions, they are aware and even admit that they […]


Are You a brain-friendly leader?

By William Seidman In “Brain-Based Learning for Leaders,” writer Ann Pace explores how Orion Partners, a UK management consultancy, is using neuroscience to design leadership programs. “Applying the principles of neuroscience—the study of the brain—to leadership development programs enables leaders to behave in harmony with how the brain works, improving the way they motivate and […]


Forces for innovation

By William Seidman In an interesting interview with the McKinsey Quarterly, Brad Bird, the two-time Oscar-winning director of Pixar, shared how he created such groundbreaking movies as “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.” In the process, he revealed how executives in all industries can make their organizations more innovative. According to Bird, a very strong emphasis on […]


Leadership and positive deviance

By William Seidman Rick and I are  excited to be working on a book about our brand of leadership. Key is our belief in the usefulness and importance — and tested success — of positive deviance. From the website of the Positive Deviance Initiative: What is Positive Deviance? “Positive Deviance is based on the observation […]