The learning style of positive deviants

By Michael McCauley Positive Deviance is usually limited to the domain that’s the focus of a person’s interest and innovation. This doesn’t mean that positive deviants focus on just one thing. Instead, they are always looking for general knowledge that can be used elsewhere – often in their field. They have an intellectual curiousity and continue to learn and grow. Some of the greatest positive deviants have gained their insights by applying learning from other – related or unrelated – areas to challenges they face in their area of focus. Think about the inventors, the tinkerers, the folks who can do a lot with a little – This “crossdomain” appilication can provide some of the most insightful, and useful, innovation. Wilson Greatbach applied his knowledge of engineering, electronics, and human biology to the problem of heart blockage. The result? His invention of the pacemaker. Marvin Camras trained as an engineer and was motivated to record his cousin singing opera. He ended up inventing magnetic tale recording. Positive deviants never really know where their next great “ah ha!” moment will come from. They’re observing, thinking, learning – looking for new ideas that just might come in handy.]]>

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