Weekend Building Blocks - 15 MAR 2019

There's no value in collecting blocks unless you're connecting them to build something awesome! First, this week'sWeekend Building Blocks goes heavy on podcasts, a bit slanted towards the military. Lately, I've been listening more and reading less. But no worries..I added a sixth (6th) bullet point this week! ;)
The Learning Insurgency: It's an Evolution, Not a Revolution. This is a post by US Army MAJ Don Vandergriff (ret). Don's books and articles continue to be a source of inspiration for adaptability and leadership. In this piece, he really breaks down Outcomes-Based Learning, as it applies in the US Marine Corps. It goes beyond task training and into cognitive skills education. If you are responsible for teaching, instructing, or developing others, you need to read this!Visualization and Collaboration.This is an episode of the Agile Chicago Style Podcast, with host Rick Waters and guest Maria Matarelli. In the first half, they discuss visual facilitation b…

Q: Is policing too generalized at supervisory level and too specialized at the operational level?

I'm not one (1) to shy away from discussions about generalism vs specialism in policing. Heck, I start many of them! 

So when Liam Mahon posed this question, I knew I'd need more space than tweets: 
Here’s one to consider:

Is policing too generalised at Management level and too specialised at the delivery level? — Mahoo (@SystemsNinja) March 10, 2019 My thoughts:

Supervisory (management) levels should be more generalized than those below. Operational (delivery) levels should be more specialized than those above.

Generalists are those who make connections and jump specialties. They are the bull sharks who can swim in fresh and salt waters. They coordinate the complex work of multiple, diverse specialists by seeing relationships and forecasting implications that a narrow-minded specialist cannot.

Specialists have deep expertise in a narrow context or set of circumstances. They understand the complicatedness of the long as they have education, understanding, or expe…

Teams versus Groups

I played team sports most of my childhood and early adulthood: baseball; basketball; volleyball; men's slow-pitch; rugby.

As a police officer, I also gravitate towards teams: SWAT; training cadres; investigative task forces.

But though reflection, I question whether some of these teams were actually groups.

I anticipate this post will draw criticism for my language. My intention is to share differences in concept and principle, more than selling anyone on distinct labels of Team or Group. Stick with me, and offer more appropriate terminology rather than beating me over the head with your dictionary.

My kids are on a swim team. However, there is really no "team" aspect to swimming; it's a collection of individual swimmers. Team scores are merely a summation of individual points. Even for relay teams, it's one (1) swimmer at a time. Swim teams, and even relay teams, are plug-and-play; it's quite easy to swap out individuals. This is because a swim team lacks …

Fallacy and Complexity of Police Accountability

I tend to roll my eyes when I hear screams for police accountability. Not because I don't believe in holding our cops to standards. But because those screaming loudest rarely reference or discuss which standards aren't being maintained. And if so, they use a different vocabulary from that used within that particular body, group, realm, arena, or community. 

Police powers and force are complex topics -- because of how many perspectives, values, beliefs, experiences, and ideas are out there. Some philosophies are simply a tad disjointed or misaligned. Others are in direct conflict with each other! 

So which standards, bodies, or realms am I talking about?

I've grouped, separated, and outlined ten (10) of them here:

CRIMINAL LAW determines whether a police officer is sent to prison or not. The standard is criminal statutes, especially those regarding special powers given to peace officers in the performance of official duties. Findings are fairly binary: Guilty or Not Guilty. Sen…

Presentation Hack: Death by Bikablo

Whether in-person or online, you've undoubtedly seen bikablo®stylesketches.  Whether you know it as bikablo or something else, the artistic appearance is unique, recognizable, and gaining familiarity. I like it. And there's a good chance you do too.

"Graphic facilitation" is now slowly replacing projected slides, such as those created by Microsoft Office PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, or Prezi. Graphic facilitators use boards and flip charts to create imagery, word art, and visual links by use of markers.

But why do we like bikablo? Maybe because it's replacing boring, passive slides. We all know about the phenomenon called Death By PowerPoint. Maybe bikablo has re-energized presentations -- through participation, engagement, and creation on-the-fly.

As an outspoken critic of projected slides, graphic facilitation excites me. It gives me hope that presenters, speakers, and moderators are concerned for and desire active, social, non-linear learning that takes place …

Lesser Discussed Traits of Complexity

Popular descriptions of hashtagcomplexity include terms such as: unknowns, unknowability, emergence, interactions, connections, uncertainty, unpredictability. Lesser discussed aspects are those of: tension;compromises;tradeoffs;costs;tolerances;sacrifices;competing values. Each of these lesser discussed traits of complexity require looking at things from multiple perspectives, seeing spectrums & dimensions, considering competing alternatives, making assumptions, & asking questions about potential futures. 
So what sorts of tensions or spectrums am I talking about? Here is a short list of some that immediately come to mind, in no particular order:

Presentation Hack: "Whether you believe it or not..."

A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don't have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed. - Nelson MandelaIn complexity, there are often opposing views, values, or approaches to various situations.

What's the best way to talk about the issues?

Answer: Debate.

But how can a moderator better facilitate a healthy debate?

A lot depends on the relationships between the attendees or participants in the room. It can even come down to the relationship between the moderator and the participants. Whatever the case, I've learned some fairly universal techniques to draw out discussion points that highlight the tensions, tradeoffs, risks, compromises, and side effects with a complex situation....regardless of the personalities.

How or can you remove the person from the stance? How or can we break the connection between an idea or belief...from the messenger?

Presentation Hack: "For those of you who don't know me..."

I've been to quite a few weddings. Not that I've been invited to more than any of you, but I have moonlighted in a few banquet halls over the years. As such, I've heard my fair share of toasts by Best Men and Maids of Honor. (And eaten my fair share of dinners in the back half.)
For many Best Men or Maids of Honor, the dinner toast is one (1) of the most stressful aspects of a wedding weekend for them. Public speaking causes all sorts of anxiety - magnified by the pressure of knowing your failure might ruin your best friend's most special day of his/her life! Yikes!

It doesn't take long to determine who is comfortable holding the microphone. And whether I can see the body language or not, it's sometimes the first few words that come out of their mouths that give it away.
Few public speaking phrases get me to cringe as reliably and as intensely as an introduction of  "For those of you who don't know me..."This introduction extends well beyond wedding…