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Resources for 09-11 March 2021 Workshop

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I'm doing an on-site workshop in early March 2021 . As part of the program, I promised the hosts I'd publish a list of pre-course study materials. This post serves as a landing place for those resources.  (updated 02-09-21) *** Let's get this out of the way: We are gonna talk about weird shit in this workshop.   Here's some advice to gain some momentum in preparation: Pre-workshop study. Think of it as homework. In what follows, I've done my best to categorize some resources, describe them, & put them into a rough hierarchy. DAMNED-NEAR REQUIRED. If you're tight on time, at least get this stuff knocked out. You'll thank me later: VIDEO; 20-minutes;  Do Schools Kill Creativity? by Sir Ken Robinson.  VIDEO; 9-minutes; The Cynefin Framework by Dave Snowden. VIDEO; 26-minutes; Using Complex Adaptive Systems Thinking by Dr Charles Macal. BLOG; Team of Teams: A Leadership Model for a Complex World , by Dan Snelson.  BLOG; The Tao of Boyd: How to Master the

Weekend Building Blocks: The Illinois Model's Most Read of 2020

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There's no value in collecting blocks unless you're connecting them to build something awesome! I haven't posted a   Weekend Building Blocks  post in quite some time. Actually, the last version was my 2019 year summary you can find  here !  Simply, I took a different approach to sharing ideas and thoughts in 2020, with beefed-up posting in LinkedIn. The response was terrific! As such, blogging took a backseat.  Regardless, I managed to pump out 24 posts on this website this year, with the Most Read ranked here: OODAZoom 01: Thursday, June 04th . A two (2)-hour video conversation on John Boyd's OODA. This was the most visited post of the year!  The Dangerous Gap Before Deadly Force . On policy, neck restraints, and cultural issues with police use of force.  Police Officer Defense Against TASER . Intertwined with a real life incident, the factors that cops should consider when faced with a TASER used against them. Situational Awareness: Passive or Active?  How do you get

OODA: It's About The Pathways!

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I get asked a lot, by OODA "outsiders" about where some specific cognitive issue sits in the OODA diagram. Things like confirmation bias, or Recognition Primed Decision Making, or prejudice.  The answer, more times than not, lays not in any of the Observe, Orient, Decide, or Act "phases"...but rather in various routes, combinations, cycles, or pathways. And over time, how things change.  Like in much of complexity, it's less about the nodes and more about the interactions. This is no different. Over the past month, I've published a series of posts on LinkedIn about the lesser discussed pathways and phenomena of OODA. Here are some of these posts, under the #OODAzoom hashtag: In summary: Quit drawing OODA like a circle!    *** Lou Hayes, Jr.   is 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 intellige

To The Deadly Force Degree: Reimagining How We Talk About Police Use of Force

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This is going to be a tough read for some of you. If so, you're probably the exact ones that need to hear it. I have a theory on how to better teach police use of force. With terms like minimum & necessary popping up in use of force discussions, frankly neither the "Objectively Reasonable Camp" or "Team Continuum" do great jobs explaining the nuances. It requires taking the best of BOTH groups (case law & continuum) into new unchartered territory. And this middle ground is very uncomfortable for those pegging themselves into certain ideological groups. My recommendation: Hold a candid, unorthodox discussion on how each tool, technique, or weapon can be scaled-UP to Deadly Force. "How would you kill someone with tool X?" "How about with technique Y?" "How do people die when tool Z is used on them?" Continue through as many options as possible. Yes, talk about killing people with each tool on your duty belt & in the tact

Case Detectives vs Pattern Detectives

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I have a growing curiosity about different mindsets of criminal detectives.  Maybe I'm about to use the wrong terms. Maybe I'll make unfair assumptions. Maybe my experiences are too anecdotal. But here goes... Anyone who's spent time in a police detective unit can appreciate the certain mindset of an investigator who is drawn toward financial or cyber crimes. It's patient, analytical, methodical, procedural. Financial crime investigations tend to be puzzles, waiting to be pieced together. In Cynefin terms, I find them floating in the Complicated domain.  Other detectives might hold special skills in interviewing. They're the men and women who know how to connect with a person, in retrieving the truth. Often...an uncomfortable truth. Again, if you spend time in an investigative unit, you'll soon learn who these folks are too.  This isn't to say that the above two (2) categorizations are mutually exclusive or exhaustive. There is a generalist-specialist tensi

The School Answer

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The School Answer is found in the textbook. It's written on the chalkboard. It's what the teacher tests you on.  And if 2020 has taught us anything, we need less School Answers ...and more divergent, critical, adaptive thinking than ever. * This week, as on-duty police detective, I walked through a few grade schools during scheduled "lockdown" drills -- the sorts that prepare students and staff for active shooter events.  The schools were operating under a "hybrid" model, where 25% of the students were inside the building. It was my first time inside public schools since the great COVID shutdown of Spring 2020.  Holy crap! Sorta creepy. But also pleased at their out-of-the-box solutions.  Half the classrooms had taken on new use as makeshift storage facilities. They were filled with stacked-up desks, tables, and chairs -- from adjacent classrooms operating at reduced capacity. In the corners of some of these storage rooms sat lonely teachers, behind their we

Anticipation: What's Behind the Door?

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Back in late 1990s and early 2000s, and to a lesser extent today, the Pointman was the SWAT officer who went into danger areas first. On my team, the position required a certain skillfulness with the ballistic shield and pole-mounted mirrors. Those of us desiring such a position often wore two (2) pistols...one (1) on each hip. Like Yosemite Sam. (It was easier to brandish a handgun, ambidextrously, while carrying the shield.) As a youngster to the police SWAT team, I dreamt of be assigned as "The Point." Within a few years, I was given the opportunity.  The Pointman was an awesome position. First off, it guaranteed that I was on the "entry team" that went into a building (as opposed to being stuck outside on the perimeter). I held the responsibility to maintain or adjust the speed. I got to pick whether the team moved left or right. Most importantly, it mean you were trusted by your teammates. And to me, that mattered. A lot.  The bittersweetness to the Pointman p

The Dog That Didn't Bark

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In the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of Silver Blaze , author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writes this about a critical clue in the murder mystery:  Detective : Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention? Sherlock Holmes : To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. Detective : The dog did nothing in the night-time. Sherlock Holmes : That was the curious incident. Sherlock Holmes was a master at pattern recognition. And in this case, recognizing the absence of something that otherwise should have been there. The dog didn't bark! The killer must have been known by the dog... For humans, it's more difficult to see what's not there. Especially when we don't expect it. This sort of observance of negativity is what separates the expert from the novice. * Every now and then, I unexpectedly finish the bag of Oreo cookies at home. I reach in and realize there are no more!! Uh oh!! What's the best course of action? Certainly it's not

The Commodification of Police Training

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The US police training community (or is it an  industry ?) is filled with moonlighters, social workers, hacks, retirees, wannabes, professionals, academics, bullies, bullshitters, experts, lawyers, military special ops, PhDs, right wing extremists, social justice warriors, senseis, and all sorts of personalities.  When I consider who are the thinkers in the police training community, my mind almost never drifts to the largest training companies or the biggest names. Actually, it's often quite the opposite.  I look for the guys and gals who are committed to dialogue and debate, as opposed to lecture. The trainers who lecture are often not the same who enter into meaningful dialogue and debate.  Look at providing training as a business model. It requires officers/students or organizations/agencies to pay a fee for training services, so that a trainer gets paid.  Now look at scale . Per hour or day, that trainer can make a whole lot more money (or charge a larger flat rate) for a room

Seek agility; maybe even without "Agile"

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I don't know crap about " Agile ," but I've learned a few things about  agility .   My journey started when an ER doctor friend went through police  SWAT  school to get on a team as tactical medic. He excelled when compared to veteran police officers! He should have failed miserably.  I theorized it had to do with generalized sense-making, adaptability, & decision-making. In my study since, there are other concepts I've accepted: SYSTEMS THINKING - from closed mechanistic systems to open loop complex systems. MISSION COMMAND - spanning from tight management to open empowerment. PROCESS - from rigid procedures to open feedback-rich cycles. ANTICIPATION - weighing predictions & considering possibilities. DECISIVENESS - from slow stabilizing probes to fully committed permanent choices. TEAMS - groups are plug-&-play; teams have chemistry. GENERALISM - navigate the spaces between. TRADEOFFS - appreciate what you may be giving up. TRIAGE - not