Showing posts from April, 2015

The Benefits of a Smaller Toolbox

At the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association’s (ILEETA) annual conference this past week in Chicago, I started a conversation about the mental and emotional burden of having too many “tools” to do our jobs as police officers. The same theory applies to any industry, field, or business. How can you streamline your organization’s toolbox of processes, strategies, or systems? 

There is a popular saying in police training circles (and I suppose in your industry too) that a new technique or procedure or trick is “just another tool for the toolbox.” Here’s the problem: Our toolboxes are full. Our brains don’t have the bandwidth to accept any more tools. We need less tools…but still need to reach an ever-increasing level of output. The answer lays in finding those select tools with broad applicability and high adjustability.

I have long advocated for generalism in life. There is tremendous benefit of being well-rounded, broadly educated, and diversely prepared. Speci…

The Roadmap to Adaptability

Most of my seminars revolve around a central theme of adaptability. It doesn’t take long for the question to arise: How do we get there?
Adaptability, whether organizational or individual, is the ability to respond to change – change that comes in the form of problems and opportunities. Developing adaptive traits in your people (or yourself) is not a step-by-step checklist. Nor is it an elusive organic metamorphosis. Organizations committed to learning surely have a head start. Here are some of the waypoints I’ve plotted on my map:

VALUES. People in your team who share a common set of values will rely upon those principles when all else fails. The philosophic or abstract theories that bind your organization cannot be overlooked.

GUIDELINES. Strict rules are for kindergartners, not problem-solvers. Adaptive thinkers need flexible guidelines, built upon a solid set of concepts. Few issues in your industry fit nicely into pigeon-holed responses, especially during times of crisis.