The Opposite of Strategy

I'm fascinated by the intentional practice of examining the opposites of things. It's as if I can get a better understanding of a theory, concept, idea, or principle when I seek something else that is in direct competition with or in tension with the original term I was thinking about. 
To think about light, think about darkness.To think about decentralization, think about centralization. To think about micro-management, think about laissez-faire.To think about generalist, think about specialism. To think about God, think about the devil.You get the picture. There are plenty of these sorts of dichotomous concepts - especially to those of us who study complexity and adaptability. 

So with that, the concept of strategy has been on my mind recently. Without turning this into a post about strategy itself, I'll go easy on my definition or explanation of it.

To me, strategy is a vital link between goals and tactics. Strategy is more conceptual (and more steadfast) than tactics.


Presentation Hack: Moderating & Participating in Panels

Panel presentations can be among the most interesting sessions for attendees, yet the most stressful to coordinate for organizers.
Aside from having watched/attended quite a few panel presentations, I have some experience at both the moderatorand the panelist roles (<-- links to recent panels). Here are some hacks I've picked up on:

As a moderator, your role is to... provide or coordinate an introduction of each panelist;openly state any agenda, intent, or purpose of the assembled panel; act as glue - fill in gaps, connect panelists, & relate ideas;call on the introverted, quiet panelists;keep the strong personality panelists from taking over;coordinate transitions between panelists & topics; highlight similarities & differences among panelists' content; temper conflict, yet draw out competing perspectives;make sure no panelist is seen as a winner or loser; solicit audience questions & direct to appropriate panelists; provide a conclusion to the session.A…

Mental Models & Thinking Models

There is a lot of talk about "mental models" these days. I see disparity in how the term is used and defined. I offer this to the already-confusing discussion and debate:

What I see is a commingling with something else that I refer to as thinking models...

Mental models are etched patterns and worldview (often subconscious) that represent how various parts of reality connect, interact, relate, or work together. They are build through experience, exposure, faith, cognitive heuristics, storytelling, schemata, and imagery. We rely upon these models during intuitive, primal responses and reactions...but also arguably during rational, creative decision-making. 

Thinking models are useful tools and frameworks that help us make conscious decisions. Examples: Cynefin; OODA; The Illinois Model; PDCS; SARA; economics theories; generalism vs specialism; systems thinking tools; political theories; geometric/algebraic formulas; risk management models; certain procedures (linear & non-l…

Hot Wash Debrief: OODA + Cynefin

Last week, I was fortunate to attend Cognitive Edge's MasterClass exploring the links between Cynefin (a sense-making framework, born in the IT industry) and OODA (a modeling of decision-making, born in the US Air Force). If you don't know at least one (1) of these frameworks/models, there's a good chance you're going to be lost here... 
This post is my attempt to capture some of the smaller "events" within the workshop, and also to begin chunking together various lessons learned. My head is still spinning with new ideas, so I write this as almost a way to help myself analyze and synthesize what just happened....

I've been a passionate student of both Cynefin and OODA, as well as US Air Force Colonel John Boyd (d. 1997), complexity, adaptability, and learning. With regards to the integration of Cynefin-OODA, I've been particularly watchful online of Brian Rivera's mashups in his blog. How he thinks and writes is very similar to ho…

Everything is Connected

Everything is connected. Some things...hashtaconnected. Some things: 
more strongly or loosely;to more or less things;more or less interactive.Somebody will always disagree with where you drew the boundary around the system. They do this in two (2) main ways:
Make it bigger; thereby more complex.Make is smaller; thereby simpler."Carving nature at its joints" will never be a wholly objective endeavor.
"All models are wrong; some are useful." - George Box
Some carvings are, however, justifiably wronger than others.


Lou Hayes, a criminal investigations & intelligence unit supervisor in a suburban Chicago police department. With a passion for training, he studies human performance & decision-making, creativity, emotional intelligence, and adaptability. Follow Lou on Twitter at @LouHayesJror onLinkedIn. He also maintains aLinkedIn page for The Illinois Model.

Chidike Okeem, on awards and recognition

The following is from a Twitter thread posted by Chidike Okeem, combined & reposted with his permission.

It's so important to design your life in such a way that awards & recognition are not central to your identity.

Doing excellent work should be central to your identity—irrespective of whether that work is awarded and recognized.

When awards and recognition are central to your identity, it is extremely easy for people to control you.

Awards are decided by extremely fallible human beings. They're not objective measures of brilliance. Just focus on being great.

People can deny you awards and accolades, but they cannot take away your greatness. Chase greatness and history will remember you kindly.

Do you want to stunt someone's growth? The easiest way to do it is to fulsomely praise and reward their mediocrity. They'll NEVER improve.

Praise is often used as a tool of suppression and control. It's so powerful because it's a sugary killer.

Do you know why Nigeria…

The Biggest Hurdle for Tech in Policing (& Probably Your Business Too!)

I recall a new gadget put in our squad cars a dozen years ago: a driver's license scanner. It was to be used like those at the grocery store check-out. Scan the barcode on the back of a motorist's license and the data would be miraculously imported into twenty (20) or so boxes on a traffic citation or warning. 
Except it was just as quick and habitual for most every cop to just type the digits into the keyboard than to grab the scanner out of the cradle and actually get a decent scan.
Several months into the program, a Command officer asked in roll call how the scanner was working in the field. Nobody wanted to answer. Except for one (1) seasoned copper who offered up, "Sir, they're great. I use it everyday!" We were shocked! Nobody expected this particular old school cop to use that sort of technology. The Command officer's eyes beamed with excitement on the success. 
The copper continued. "It's mounted at just the perfect height and position to hang…