Engage your positive deviants

By William Seidman Once you’ve committed to a Wisdom Discovery session in order to uncover the knowledge and skills within your positive deviants, you’ll need to get your positive deviants onboard. Many people believe that positive deviants don’t want to give up their secrets—that it would somehow diminish them if others in the organization were more like them. Our experience has been that positive deviants are excited to discuss what they do and articulate why they do it. Our success at enrolling positive deviants has come from following a few basic procedures: 1. Be honest about the reason for needing their help. 2. Point out that their contributions have been numerous and appreciated. 3. Tell them that they will have an opportunity to discuss what it means to be great in their role with a group of their successful peers. When inviting your positive deviants to participate, be sure to address the importance of learning what they know and how it will affect the organization. The tone of the communication should be very straightforward and honest. Rarely are the very best in an organization given a chance to share ideas and discuss best practices. By nature, positive deviants are always looking for new ideas and new ways to improve their performance. The invitation process alone will energize positive deviants; they will be intrigued by the opportunity to uncover best practices and excited to be part of a team of “experts.”]]>

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