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How alert hospital employees improved hospital's MSRA infection rate
Date:6/13/2012

ation of complexity theory to organizational leadership. It encourages behavioral change through revealing and tapping into "positive deviants" or notable individuals who come to lead the change process from within based on their own behaviors that deviate from the organization's norms and accomplish extraordinary results using ordinary resources.

"How do they lead this change?" Schneider asks. "They are wise regarding the organization's work processes, history and norms. The change and development process known as positive deviance unearths these folks, and their stories become compelling and motivating to others. But rather than merely train others to copy the deviants' behaviors, the positive deviance process is also about continuous improvement and generation of new ideas and behaviors through a team-based, collaborative effort."

Themes that emerged in the study include the roles of anxiety, attachment and relationships in facilitating change efforts; and power shifts and the subsequent emergence of leadership that occurred across the MSRA collaborative.

It is important to realize that organizational change efforts cause anxiety and skepticism among even the best employees, and this must be acknowledged and overcome for any change to occur. The means for overcoming anxiety and skepticism include tapping into our need for attachment/affiliation and relationships. If people experience the change together, support each other, and reflect upon and share their experiences with the change, the change becomes part of their culture and identity, and they embrace rather than fight it.

In terms of power shifts, complexity theory illustrates that leadership is often an "emergent" process coming from the bottom-up or occurring laterally among peers.

One of the strongest leaders in fighting MRSA infection at Maine Medical Center was a patient transporter/van driver, who had developed great practices and ideas but was in
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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
Sheryl.M.Weinstein@NJIT.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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