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Showing posts from May, 2017

Weekend Building Blocks - 26 MAY 2017

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There's no value in collecting blocks unless you're connecting them to build something awesome! Here's what I've picked up this week:
Professional Policing & the Data Dilemma. If you're interested in evidence-based policy and practices, read this piece by police sergeant Jason Potts, a current board member for the American Society of Evidence Based Policing. Jason and I have different predictions on the value of research in police policy (I see it as fairly limited & overall dim). In this piece, he addresses some of the obstacles and struggles here in the US with EBP. And yes, that was my uncited quote regarding "academic BS." The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything. Yes, this is from 2012! What's the difference in knowing something and knowing the name of something? I've long considered what topics and subjects I know deeply enough about to explain them to my kids. In fact, now that I'm a parent, I enjoy breaking down an…

Adaptive Problem-Solving, From the Hospital Emergency Room to the SWAT Team

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In December 2013, I wrote and published a blog post titled The Doctor in SWAT School (and What His Performance Says About Police Culture). Thanks to the overwhelming sharing of the post, it is one of my most visited pages on The Illinois Model website. It's a real life story with an accompanying theory in perpetual refinement. The story begins with an emergency room physician named Jeremy (his real name). We met through my wife, an ER/trauma nurse who worked with him in Chicago. Jeremy took an interest in my job as a SWAT police officer, as he had aspirations of volunteering as medical support for a local SWAT team. 
I helped Jeremy find a team willing to take on a doctor in a support role - usually in the safety of an armored truck or down the block at the command post. But Jeremy is an overachiever. Instead of enrolling in an abbreviated training class for unarmed (and limited-role) tactical medics, he weaseled his way into proverbial boot camp for veteran police officers trans…

Closed-Minded: Not All Training Is Good Training

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As a municipal police department Training Coordinator, my mailboxes (both physical and digital) are depositories for all sorts of training class announcements, brochures, and flyers. 
The vast majority of the flyers end up in the recycling bin after only a quick scan. Some of them end up tacked up at my desk contemplating its value. Very few of them cause me to immediately register employees to attend. 
I also receive stacks of memos and emails from employees requesting to attend specific courses, seminars, and conferences. These are people taking interest in their own personal growth - certainly deserving of special consideration.
But with limited budget and manpower, how does one determine what training is given to an organization's members?
The easy answer is a mechanical matching of weaknesses with skills. Analyze each member for his/her weaknesses (based on current, future, or predicted) responsibilities -- and give specific training to address that weakness. 
Imagine a newl…

Weekend Building Blocks - 19 MAY 2017

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There's no value in collecting blocks unless you're connecting them to build something awesome! Here's what I've picked up this week:
Delegation: The Art of Letting Go (Properly). Leadership consultant John Grinnell has another great piece, this time on delegation. This is particularly timely for me, as I'm elbows-deep in a blended learning project at work. The workload is rather significant and diverse, pulling me into an uncomfortable area of delegating out to members of different teams.How Leaders Can Make Innovation Everyone's Day Job. Lisa Kay Solomon discusses innovation as having components of experimentation, exploration, creativity, growth, and uncertainty. She ties in a lot of theory and ideas that I've been speaking and writing about, but she focuses them on organizational innovation. How can we nurture a culture of innovation in our teams?3 Key Criteria of Disruptive Innovation. I stumbled upon Jorge Barba's Twitter profile a few months ago.…

Rundown: Growing Adaptive Thinking

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Yesterday, Thom Dworak and I wrapped up a 3-day workshop for police trainers and supervisors. Illinois MTU#3-NEMRT contracted with us to design and moderate Growing Adaptive Thinking - a new twist on instructor and supervisor development.  Twenty students from sixteen Chicago area law enforcement agencies attended the workshop. 
Though Thom and I have known each other for close to a decade, this is the very first time he and I have ever presented or taught alongside one another.  By co-moderating, we bring in a diversity that (obviously) a solo instructor can not. The shared experience was everything I had hoped for!

The course objectives were relatively abstract in themselves: how to nurture creativity, independent critical thinking, subjectivity, and organic problem-solving in a social environment of change...but inside a culture of increasing standardization, mechanization, data, objectivity, and oversight. This goal was to both grow these traits in the students themselves, but al…

Weekend Building Blocks - 12 May 2017

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There's no value in collecting blocks unless you're connecting them to build something awesome! Here's what I've picked up this week:
The Rise of the Useless Class. How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing what kids should be learning in school? Yuval Noah Harari predicts how AI will change how we look at education, learning, and work. This piece is just as much one of humanities as it is about technology. Be very afraid!!!From Chaos to Resilience - Options B,C,D,E,F,G... DJ Patil is a math guy. His short blog talks about contingency planning and...reminds us to "kick the shit out of Option B." Why Being a Jack of All Trades in No Bad Thing. How did Elon Musk build four (4) multi-billion dollar businesses by his mid-40s? Michael Simmons tells us the trick lays in knowing a lot about a lot...and being able to transfer that knowledge and experience into other (seemingly non-related) fields. The Complexity of Social Problems is Outsmarting the Human Brain. N…

Weekend Building Blocks - 05 MAY 2017

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There's no value in collecting blocks unless you're connecting them to build something awesome!
Here's what I've picked up this week:
Surgeons Should Not Look Like Surgeons. Nassim Taleb continues to poke conventional thought. This piece from February 2017 is filled with terrific stories of complexity, perception, and theories. My favorite quote: "Never hire an academic in the complex domain, unless the function is to partake of the rituals of writing papers or taking exams." His take on scientism is right in line with a lot of my rants against making things more difficult than necessary.Elephants & Riders - How The Brain Works. The "Venn Leader" Joe Willis uses an analogy of the elephant and its rider to discuss how humans process stimuli and make decisions (personally, I am partial to my Caveman & Professor analogy, but...ehh..whatever.) . Joe is a dear friend; we stay in close touch about our ideas and how to connect various theories and …

Adaptability...Then Resiliency

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I find it challenging to articulate the connection between Adaptability and Resiliency. For the past few days, I've been spending my daydreaming time thinking about how they are similar, different, and related. These are working thoughts on the topic. Don't get too connected to them, nor let them confuse you; they'll change before you know it. 
Adaptability is a mindset and preparation one takes on in the time before venturing into the adverse the chaotic, the complex, or the unpredictable.

Resiliency is a mindset one takes on while stumbling, failing, or having failed in the face of adversity, chaos, complexity, or unpredictability.

The two are not exclusive of each other. There is certainly shared space, at times the overlap is considerable. But I believe the two deserve some distinction from each other:

Adaptability deals with foresight, in how we stack-the-deck or shape our current environment for anticipated success.  It's demonstrated in the systems and tools we …