Working Upstream

Innovation and Working upstream Michelle Adams is a VP at Gordon Training International, which carries on the leadership work of Dr Tom Gordon (one of my heroes). She alerted me to an excellent article in LinkedIn by Greg McKeown on innovation which captured a big piece of what I was talking about in my post […]

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Suggestions for New Chiefs of Police

TEN VITAL SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW CHIEFS OF POLICE VISION. Establish a bold and breathtaking vision for your department. Be willing to pass it around and work to make it everyone’s bold vision. DEFINE. Who you are and what you stand for. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Do your best to stay out of political squabbles. SERVE. Remember, […]

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A City, Police, and a Treacherous River

A Tale of a City, Police, and a Treacherous River When I speak to groups about leadership and improvement methods I often use Don Ardell’s popular story “Upstream/Downstream: A Fable for Our Times” [i] to begin a discussion. It got me thinking again about our nation’s cities.      Once upon a time, there was a […]

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Changing a Troubled Police Department

     Here’s a good case study for police leaders who aspire to be transformational. The city is Albuquerque, New Mexico and the U.S. Justice Department has just given the mayor of the city a 46 page report documenting a pattern and practice of violating the constitutional rights of citizens in 20 fatal shootings since 2009. […]

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“Praemonitus, praemunitus”

          This month, Christopher E. Smith, a white college professor and attorney wrote a thought-provoking article in The Atlantic. I want to thank Chief Chet Epperson of Rockford, Il. for alerting me to it. These are the kind writings of which a police leader needs to be aware. This is the process of life-long learning. It […]

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Showdown in Albuquerque

I have recently posted about three major police issues that I feel must be addressed if our nation’s police are to improve – the need for them to develop methods other than deadly force to respond to people with edged or blunt weapons (most of whom also suffer from mental illness), the new role and prominence of video […]

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Learning From Failure

     I love to read the Sunday edition of The New York Times. It takes me a whole week to do it. One of the sections I have come to enjoy is the one about business. Each week a business leader is interviewed about their career, what they learned, and how they lead today. For […]

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Police and the Mentally Ill: From Last Resort to First Resort?

Jim Chu, Vancouver chief of police and president of the Canadian association of police chiefs, recently told a unique gathering of mental health experts and law enforcement leaders that policing the mentally ill is now a top concern for police. He said, “The police are becoming the mental health agency of first resort.” For me […]

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SWAT! — Is There a Problem Here?

 Police “Special Weapons and Tactics” Units/Teams (SWAT) One of the important tasks that a profession does is to examine its practices and procedures and see if they are doing what was intended and if corrections need to be made to make them. Perhaps this is the time to take a good look at SWAT teams […]

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People Matter, Employees Are People!

Employees are assets, not commodities! People matter. And there are perks to running a quality organization that puts people first – employees as well as customers. It simply makes sense. I have argued throughout this blog that police departments need to treat everyone with dignity and respect – citizens as well as rank and file  members. Organizations that treat their […]

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