There are employees in your organization who are already doing things differently and better. Management just doesn't know it, yet.
The authors offer several useful guidelines. One step is to reframe through facts – another way to phrase this step is “focus on the positive.” In one example, a company felt the sting of disappointing sales after launching a new product. Management, however, identified two salespeople among a national force of 242 who were selling 20 times more of the product than their peers.
Here were classic positive deviants. Two women, responsible for the Dallas and Fort Worth territories, had successfully overcome resistance in the target audience.
You'd think there would have been a happy ending. Not so. Using a top-down approach, management tried to implement the best practice and met resistance. Resistance won.
The authors suggest another approach:
When identification of a superior method is imposed, not self-discovered, cries of “We're not them” or “It just won't work here” predictably limit acceptance. By contrast, a design that allows a community to learn from its own hidden wisdom is, among other things, respectful.