Sunday, January 23, 2011

You need to be Positively Deviant... and Here's How

Atul Guwande in his book Better gives several examples of Positive Deviants. These are people and organizations who outperform the norm. His examples come from the medical profession ranging from hospitals who have dramatically decreased their rate of infections through hand washing to the highest performing clinics for the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis. He has some practical advise for those of us who would aspire to be positive deviants in our line of work. Here are his five actions that would enable you and I to achieve improved performance.

  1. Ask an unscripted Question
  2. Don't complain
  3. Count something
  4. Write something
  5. Change

I've been working on #2 lately, though it is no easy task. Complaining can be such an addiction. Many supervisors get trapped into looking for areas for improvement and become focused on what's not working instead of what is working.

What are some things that you do to increase your ability to perform at the highest levels?

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