Here are some examples of Group Jazz projects:

A large government agency brought together the entire staff community from top to bottom to build and strengthen connections across disciplines and branches, “exploring together all the ‘good stuff’ we do and how we can keep moving forward in our commitment to Service Excellence.” Since the event, participants have been using Liberating Structures in many of their own meetings to make them more engaging.

Himalayan Watershed: From Narratives to Networks is a series of meetings that brought together individuals and people representing organizations focused on science, grass-roots innovation, NGOs, international development, and government policy to engage in dialogue linking diverse communities-of-interest in a systems approach to the challenges and opportunities in the Himalayan watershed.

The Starfish Leadership program in the US Army incorporated Liberating Structures as a critical problem solving strategy for officers to gather more intelligence from the edge. Participants have been using these tools for a wide range of field-based as well as system-wide challenges.

An IT services company engaged staff from 3 regional offices in an event focused on finding ways to incorporate more customer experience in product and service development. The meeting included multi-level teams as well as customers and representatives from several suppliers. In addition to seeking some ideas that could be put into place immediately, goals of the meeting included building capacity for regional offices to facilitating similar, local meetings on their own.

Maryland Patient Safety Center Leading Edge Initiative to Combat Hospital Acquired Infections
The purpose of this initiative is to combat Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection transmission in the Mid-Atlantic Region’s healthcare facilities. The Maryland Patient Safety Center Initiative will expose and guide hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis units to use an innovative behavior-based approach called Positive Deviance (PD), which is aimed at dramatically improving adherence to established prevention strategies and uncovering hidden practices that can lead to reductions in MRSA burden on a scale that has been considered unattainable in the past. Instead of waiting for "experts" to mandate "best practices," the PD approach facilitates a process where everyone – from the chief surgeon to food service workers to those responsible for cleaning patient rooms - look inside their own organization for solutions. Once found they are shared and amplified to fuel hundreds more small changes in behavior that cumulatively push back decades of unchecked transmission of infections. Lisa Kimball is leading a team of consultants, trainers and coaches using the PD approach in more than 25 health care facilities in the MD region. Group Jazz is also providing a web-based environment for the team developing a Field Book for health facilities interested in adopting the approach.

Read the MRSA Fact Brief (pdf)

Plexus Institute Initiative Using Positive Deviance to Combat Hospital Acquired Infections
Medical experts believe most healthcare acquired infections can be prevented. So why aren't they? The answers are simple, but not easy. Every medical professional knows the importance of hand hygiene and environmental cleanliness. But knowledge alone does not erase old practices. What needs to change is behavior and habit. As Dr.Jerry Zuckerman, medical director of infection control at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia puts it: "We have to change the culture from one of acceptance to one of outrage." In 2005 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded Plexus Institute a grant to begin an innovative effort to prevent infections in healthcare facilities. The effort includes a nationwide network of more than 40 hospitals, six of which are serving as "beta sites" using Positive Deviance (PD), a social change process based on the recognition that in every group or community, there are people who solve problems better than neighbors and colleagues using exactly the same resources. The emphasis is on finding solutions that already exist within the organization. That way, problems and solutions have the same DNA, and successful practices have a better chance of spreading throughout the organization. Lisa Kimball is a senior consultant for the project and serves as the project lead for one of the beta sites, Franklin Square Hosptial in Baltimore (a member of MedStar). She is also training and coaching additional consultants to use the PD process as part of Plexus Institute's network.

Read the Plexus Institute Newsletter - MRSA Issue (pdf)

US Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration "Getting to Zero" Initiative
Positive Deviance (PD) is an innovative approach to behavioral and cultural change from within an organization. VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System chose to incorporate this model to prevent Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in an effort to foster leadership support of staff owned and operated implementation strategies. Results were so promising that VHA engaged Plexus Institute in a larger initiative launched in 2006 to pilot the PD methodology to combat MRSA infection transmissions in an additional five hospitals. The project provided educational and training support to ensure effective, informed use of the PD process, hospital-wide learning about this pioneering new method for quality improvement, and, most important, success in reducing the human and financial toll of MRSA infections. The goal is to build internal facilitation capability in the participating VHA hospitals to handle potential future expansion of positive deviance (PD) in additional VHA facilities; a train-the-trainer strategy will be utilized through a PD Community of Practice within the VHA. Lisa Kimball is a senior consultant on the Plexus team and is the project lead for the Baltimore VA hospital initiative.

Read the VAPHS Story (pdf)


+1 202-344-5930