Posts

Foul Balls & OODA Loops

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Last week, I caught a foul ball at a Spring Training baseball game.  OK...not on the fly, and not quite off the first bounce. But I grabbed it before it came to a rolling stop. That still counts, right?  *** Before the baseball game started, I turned to my kids and told them we were in Foul Ball Territory -- the sections in the stands where batted foul balls were likely to land. And be caught by fans!  How did I know this? Or less arrogantly: What made me believe this? Because I've watched enough baseball games to know where a high percentage of foul balls land. It's a pattern of batted ball behavior. Garnered from decades of experience from playing, watching, and attending games. Where we at the epicenter of Foul Ball Territory ? I'm not sure. But we could (dis)prove it.  What if we had the data to plot against the stadium seating chart? We could feasibly create a heat-map of where foul balls landed.  *** Professional sports is filled with data. Here are a few examples, wi

Why I Like The Term "Mindset"

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There seems to be a growing disdain for the term mindset.  At least as evidenced by my highly anecdotal, biased, & limited LinkedIn feed. But I like the  mindset word.  I first got introduced to the concept of mindset through Carol Dweck's book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success .  In her book are two (2) opposing approaches to learning or self-awareness:   Fixed vs Growth.  These are the two (2) mindsets described by Dr Dweck. Yes, I'm sure someone is going to attack my over-simplification! While I find Dweck's theory to be logical and coherent, I haven't been sold 100% on her claims.  I venture to argue that most folks in the cognitive research world, when they hear mindset,  begin imaging a similar dichotomy between Dweck's Fixed & Growth Mindsets, as depicted in the infographic above. But I ask that we look beyond what Dweck promotes with regards to mindset. What if we looked at mindset as the collective mental models, thinking models , mental abst

Enemies of Agility

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  I was in a friendly game of poker with some dads in the neighborhood. I observed that some of them tended to stay in each hand longer than conventional wisdom suggests. I hadn't drank enough bourbon whiskey to keep me from thinking about agility in decision-making.  Here are some thoughts about enemies of agility, many overlapping, that I hope my poker competitors never read. MOMENTUM.  This may be the greatest enemy of agility. This is a reliance on the things that have gotten you to where you currently are. And thinking those same things will get you even further. You've gotta be able to stop before you can pivot.  COMMITMENT.  This is when you're so invested already, you can't possibly cut your losses. So you keep investing more into a losing endeavor.  In poker, the term is "pot-committed," referring to the inability to fold your hand.  EMOTION. We've all known people who identify themselves with a work project or hobby. This emotional attachment ke

Consolidation is the Future of Crime & Intel Analysis

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DuCOMM, in DuPage County Illinois For decades, small and mid-side public safety agencies have been consolidating their communications centers. The costs (financial and other) associated with maintaining technology and staffing 911 call-takers and dispatchers have driven police and fire departments to share the burdens. This is a clear example of economies of scale . Most simply, the overhead costs are spread out across multiple jurisdictions. The financial advantages are so obvious that some governing bodies have mandated such consolidation. As a police officer who works under a consolidated communications system, and who has also worked under an in-house program (where each city maintains their own isolated 911 dispatch center), I attest the quality of a consolidated system is significantly higher. This has little to do with the quality of the people, but rather the efficiencies of the  system that includes the people. It's a system where workload is (or can be) redistributed, w

Taking the ANAL out of ANALyst

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Also, I don't like no one touching my stuff. So just keep your meathooks off. If I catch any of you guys in my stuff, I'll kill you. And I don't like nobody touching me. Any of you homos touch me, and I'll kill you.  ~ PVT Francis "Psycho" Soyer, US Army, 1981* The "Anal" personality is not well-suited for collaboration. Anal retentiveness manifests in extreme orderliness, perfectionism, ownership, an obsessive attention to detail, & possibly most annoyingly....a need for self-reliance & a burning desire to control their environment.  * Four (4) kids in the same sandbox each building their own sandcastle is not collaboration; that would merely be simultaneous individual work in close proximity. It's also not collaboration if each kid builds a wall or corner of a single sandcastle, though we might be getting closer. All kids working together on each & every part? Now that would be the truest representation of collaboration.  The anal

TENSION: Commitment vs Adaptability

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My depictions of complexity, or complex systems, or systems in general tend to center around tradeoffs, compromises, sacrifices, & tensions. It's about holding multiple (possibly) true things in your hands, knowing at some time...you'll have to drop some of them for the sake of keeping others. I might hold a slightly different take on this than the textbooks & the academics. Maybe it's because I'm self-taught in this arena & don't possess the vocabulary, didn't read their books, or don't understand the vernacular of the idols. Regardless, I'm quite OK anticipating some do-nothing keyboard consultant beating me up over my misunderstanding of the topic...& over-simplification of that which they understand so much better than me. (The vulnerability is the ultimate tradeoff of publishing a public blog.) COMMITMENT  <--->  ADAPTABILITY is a significant tension.  When I think of commitment, I think of marriage. Two (2) people committing

On How to Use a Flashlight? Hardly.

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Klarus XT12S is my every day carry lamp For the last couple years, cops in my police station have been collectively interested in buying quality flashlights for themselves. And I've enjoyed the conversations in roll call, generally sparked by some copper showing off his new lamp. We could categorize many of these debates under: What aspects turn a flashlight into a "tactical" flashlight?  Rechargeable versus Not. How many lumens does it take to burn your retinas?  Do you ever actually use the strobe feature? Despite spending seventeen (17) years on the SWAT team, I've never really been a "gear monkey" when it comes to guns, knives, weapons optics, MOLLE pouches, or anything described as "tactical."  But ever since I was a rookie police officer, I've taken flashlights seriously. I got on the police force as MagLite  D-cell versions were fading, and the market was being taken over by smaller   SureFire  and  Streamlight   models. At that time, pi

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