Hey everybody, Lou Hayes here from The Illinois Model.

I want to talk to you today about complexity. But not in the way the business blogs do. They tend to focus on things like emergence, patterns, volatility, uncertainty, unknowability. 

I want to talk about tension. What do I mean by tension? It's a tug-o-war; it's adversarial in nature between actors, values, beliefs, theories, positions, perspectives. 

In tension there will never be an answer. There will always be some sort of a sacrifice, a tradeoff, a compromise, an unintended consequence. 

Who's talking about these things with complexity? 

Drop me a line below. And let's continue this conversation!

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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 o…

The Future of The Illinois Model?

I get asked a lot about what I see for the future of The Illinois Model. As if I have some sort of crystal ball...

As I write this in 2019, I'm in the middle of my 22nd year as a full-time career policeman. As one (1) of the civil service sayings goes, "I got time, but not age." With enough years of service to retire, I'm not eligible to collect my police pension for quite a few more years...a drawback of being hired too young. 

The Illinois Model is more of a hobby than a second job. The time away from my full-time job to take on side contracts (for classes; for workshops; etc) is becoming more complicated by the year. It was considerably easier for me to schedule weekday events when I worked shifts and weekends as opposed to my current "banker hours." 

This side hustle is run on a MacBook Air, through this cheap website, a free LinkedIn profile, and a Twitter account that just can't seem to reach the 1,500 follower benchmark. Please don't call me if…

"Bounded Applicability" & "Conditionality"

I first heard of the term Bounded Applicability last week, in Liminal Cynefin & 'control' by Dave Snowden:
...with some exceptions few things are wrong, most are right within boundaries. To put it another way they are context specific not context free.Also, from the Cognitive Edge glossary:
Bounded Applicability -- the concept that different and contradictory things work in different bounded spacesMy mind immediately turned to parenting and teaching kids about dangers, hazards, and safety. I had been pondering the difficulty in talking to young children about when certain behaviors are acceptable and when they're not. 

Don't walk in the street. Then have a block party where everyone is literally sitting on chairs in the roadway.

Don't talk to strangers. Then strike up a conversation with some random guy in line at the deli counter. 

Don't touch the BBQ grill. Then pick up the grates with your bare hands to wash them.

Don't drink alcohol. Then uncork a bottle …

Presentation Hack: Impact of Audience Size

Presentation styles do not scale well.

I'm using a loose definition of "presentation" here. Think not only about college lectures, conference keynotes, or wedding toasts...but also other workplace training, office meetings, or learning workshop environments.

Right now, I'm imaging a friend who owns a training business. He is a skilled public speaker. Having helped coordinate a 700+ person annual conference for over a decade (and attended many more), I've seen hundreds of speakers in his industry. And he's among the most polished! He's got well-designed slides, great timing, strong confident appearance, appropriately dressed, and a general tone that draws you in. Totally impressive.

I watched him give that two (2)-hour lecture to an auditorium audience of multi-hundreds. He was awesome!

Months later, I attended a multi-day class he gave to 40 students. And I was less impressed.

What I realized is that his presentation style did not change one (1) bit. If y…

Presentation Hack: Using Analogy

Whether you are conveying a message through lecture, webinar, blogging, tweeting, e-learning, workshop, or any other you tell the story matters. 
Yes, a story.
And not necessarily a story with characters, plot, a beginning, middle, and end. But maybe just some sort of emotional imagery. And yes, characters do help!
People respond to emotional, relatable characters and situations. It's how we are programmed. But it's not necessarily intuitive to develop or identify these stories when we are presenting new, often complicated research, concepts, theories, or principles.
Effective imagery can compare or contrast. Especially to show contrast, I gravitate towards example and analogy.
What are some of the contrasting analogies I use? Caveman vs ProfessorChess Player vs Sports CoachCharcoal BBQ vs Electric SmokersPotty Training vs Changing Your Own DiaperAdjustable Wrench vs Box WrenchBull Shark vs Princess & the PeaIrrigated Grapevine vs Dry-Farmed GrapevineSwim Teams vs…

When They Make Wine Out of You

A few years ago, I listened to a story about how grapes are grown. 

More specifically, two (2) different ways they're farmed before being made into wine:

Most grapes in the United States are grown underirrigatedconditions. Farmers use drip systems to add water to the soil at the base of the vines. The roots suck up the provided water. The grapes grow to be large and plump.

In many other countries, grapes are grown without irrigation systems. This is called dry-farming. Roots fight to find water. The grapes grow to be considerably smaller, producing a smaller yield per acre.

Both types of grapes are used to make wine. Some experts claim that water-filled irrigated grapes require the addition of sugars to the wine during the fermentation process. These experts cite these artificially-plumped grapes lack the nutrients, integrity, or chemistry to make good wine by themselves. As such, they need something extra. 

These same experts claim that dry-farmed wines do not require additional sugar…

Resources & Links to Learn More About OODA

This is meant to be a living, breathing, evolving post to continually update links and resources to help my readers learn more about John Boyd's OODA. 

I continue to publish blog posts that reference or dig deeper into US Air Force Colonel John Boyd's OODA framework. (This label is a link to all such blog posts on The Illinois Model, several of which are also linked below.)
It seems that enough readers feel my posts are the equivalent of jumping into the deep end of the pool. I rarely spend time introducing OODA, or give the foundational background. While I do post warnings about this purposeful omission of introductory narratives, it's only fair that I curate a post like this to share that foundational knowledge.
I'd also like to open this up to others who have recommendations on OODA, however I deserve (& reserve!) the right to separate them from my own suggestions and endorsements.
Lou's recommendations - I've read or listened to all of these. What sort…

(How) Can Cynefin Help the Police Criminal Intelligence Community?

NOTE: This is a followup piece to Criminal Investigations Through the Lens of Complexity & Design Theory

In its most basic sense, "intelligence" is the output after "information" is processed. In the criminal justice and law enforcement realm, this intelligence is used to help prevent, disrupt, respond to, suppress, investigate, arrest, and prosecute crime and criminals.

What exactly is the processing? It depends greatly on the information. And also greatly on what the desired use of the intelligence product is. 

Intelligence work is the development of workable theories. In many cases, it's about using current or historical facts and clues to create theories of how crime(s) occurred. This theory can be used to further investigate and/or prosecute historical crime(s). Theory can also be used to disrupt, prevent, or better investigate future crime(s).

Incoming information may come with varying levels of confidence. At its best, information is absolutely factu…

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…

Bull Sharks & Princesses

I want you to consider two (2) categories:

-- BULL SHARK = adaptable, tolerant of multiple environments. -- PRINCESS & THE PEA = sensitive, aware, finicky, intolerant.

We can hold different traits in different parts our lives. I'm not certain that any one (1) is better than the other. They are simply different. They have tradeoffs, compromises, and side effects.

This theory overlaps with: preferences, tolerances, sensitivities, awareness, generalist vs specialist, and more.

There are times to be the Bull Shark...and times to be the Princess.


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.