Leveraging the right “kind” of positive deviance?

Awareness of the term “positive deviance” is rising, as a way of solving tough problems by finding what already works.  It’s been the topic of seminars for health leaders.  It’s been frequently mentioned by Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer, NHS England, as part of a repertoire of approaches to front-line change, and by Jo Bibby in her Health Foundation Blog.  It is the subject of a slide show by Bob Sutton, and gets a brief mention as a possible new option in a recent article about the limitations of quality improvement projects in the NHS by Prof Mary Dixon Woods and Graham P Martin.

There is, however, no available comparison of the various interpretations and applications of “positive deviance,” and some authors mix up the various conceptual frameworks.  This article aims to put this right, and offer tips to leaders for implementation. Continue reading

Positive peer pressure and positive deviance

Peer pressure is really powerful.  The trouble is, it can be used for good or bad.  We aim to create positive peer pressure to achieve change, but it’s not always easy. Continue reading

Ownership not buy-in – Hidden Insight of the season

People will take personal responsibility for solving a problem,  completing an action and performing better if they own the solution – a key Hidden Insights principle is “ownership not buy-in”.

Hidden Insights® achieves this through its group coaching approach.  Coaching works with anyone, in organisations, families, or communities.  Coaching is reported by the 2015 CIPD employer survey to be the second most effective learning after learning on the job (which is also a part of Hidden Insights). Continue reading

Behaviour change around troubled families – building relationships and resilience

The Department of Communities and Local Government’s Troubled  Families Initiative (TFI) was set up to reduce the significant costs to the taxpayer of a minority of deeply complex families.  The DCLG has calculated that one family can cost between £40,000 to £400,000 a year in reactive interventions. There have been some great achievements in turning families round.  The Initiative is now being extended into phase 2. Continue reading

Unusual suspects do extraordinary things – presentation at the Social Policing Unconference

Audrey Asamoah and Jane Lewis’s TEDx-style presentation at the Greater Manchester Police and Fire Services’ Social Policing Unconference showed how Hidden Insights® community facilitation delivers big behaviour change in unlikely places  – most recently in a deprived part of North London.  We  shared some of stories and techniques – which enable both community members and professionals to move past “baggage” and  suspicion and share hope, skills, leadership and aspiration in a very different relationship, learning life and work skills in the process.

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Haringey extends Hidden Insights work to build community resilience

Woodward Lewis have been training Haringey Council and partnership agency staff in using Hidden Insights to tackle problems and to build better, more collaborative relationships, within existing resources.  The contract has just been extended into three new areas:

  • Helping the community to collaborate to address anti-social behaviour in Northumberland Park, N17
  • Helping vulnerable families to adjust to being more self-sufficient when leaving intensive support in N15 and
  • Helping young people leaving care to take responsibility and adapt to being more independent, with the support of personal advisers.

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Leadership and the difference

Hidden Insights® only works well if people on the frontline and/or in the community generate, and take responsibility for analysing, quantitative and qualitative data to track progress and achievement.   This means that the measuring the impact of a project is an integral part of the Hidden Insights process.  However the skills and practices required to identify, collect, analyse and present data can be new to people.  They might even be counter-cultural or raise fears of being judged.

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PD user group endorses social value of positive deviance!

For the first time, representatives of nearly all the UK users of positive deviance met together in Westminster for a round-table debate on the value of positive deviance, and learning points from the exercises so far to carry forward into future projects.

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Complexity, positive deviance and pecha-kucha in Paris

Attended another great meeting of the Change Leaders, the alumni group of the Coaching and Consulting for Change programme of Oxford University and HEC Paris.  The group is growing, cohort by cohort, and we are getting world-leading speakers.  In this case, we had the privilege of Margaret Wheatley‘s presence for a whole day, in which she updated us on her latest thinking about complexity.

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Positive deviance featured in Guardian Public Leaders Network

Our work in Cambridgeshire features in the Guardian’s public leaders networks blog.  Simon Kerss, the Cambridgeshire Domestic Abuse Partnership Manager, speaks about his experience of working with PD to “devictimise” survivors of domestic abuse.

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