Weekend Building Blocks - 28 JUL 2017


There's no value in collecting blocks unless you're connecting them to build something awesome!
Student empowerment. Gamification. Incestuous Amplification. Special Forces selection. Broadening systems perspective. Implicit racial bias. What can you connect with your current base of knowledge and understanding?
  1. The Five Biggest Fears that Kept Me from Empowering Students. John Spencer is a college professor and former middle school teacher. He explains the anxiety of turning over the classroom controls to his students. The infographic that lists his particular fears is one that really hit home with me. They were exactly those fears of mine as I shifted to student-led formats in police training classes and programs! 
  2. The art and craft of making board games for the CIA. How can we (or can we?) use games to learn new workplace skills in adulthood? Charlie Hall brings us inside the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for a glimpse of their use of games to develop their agents and analysts. I've long wanted to add gamification to my programming; the investment of time is so friggen huge to design and moderate games in my field that it'll have to wait for another day.
  3. OODA Loop: A Drive Toward Understanding. This is a 41-slide deck from Chad Cote. He's got a deep comprehension of John Boyd's Observe-Orient-Decide-Act cycle, and shares his knowledge with us through easy to follow slides. Some of his awesome slides in this particular deck include: Implicit Guidance & Control; Incestuous Amplification; Absolute vs Relative Speed. If you are a student of Boyd or want to learn more about OODA, Chad is one of the folks you need to be following! 
  4. Why High Performers Feel Awkward in Mediocre Groups, And What They Can Do About It. Aaron Barruga shares some thoughts from Special Forces selection process. I was conflicted about this piece - alternating head nods of yes with shaking my head no. Certainly there are plenty (!) of aspects of my life where I don't even measure up to the mediocre label. What about the less quantifiable aspects of human skill and ability? Are we "measuring" the right things in our people? I spent almost 17 years on a police SWAT team where I felt we often measured the wrong things...frequently to my "benefit."
  5. The Five Steps All Leaders Must Take in the Age of Uncertainty. Authors Reeves, Levin, Harness, and Ueda call for a broader systems based approach to operating in complexity and uncertainty. For those who understand my theories on this, you'll see many similar ideas...but with a different language and framed in different applications or fields. Do you have the right mindset to lead into the unknown? I contend that if you're a hyper-specialist, the answer is No.
Lastly, I was a guest panelist on a radio show this week:
  • Before an Officer Pulls the Trigger... National Public Radio (NPR) hosts a 45-minute show with WAMU in Washington DC called 1A. Their producer invited me to share thoughts as a police training coordinator on how officers are prepared to use deadly force.  
This was a tough week to find time to read. Then all of a sudden...I stumbled on a treasure trove of great stuff during some quiet time I exploited. Hope you enjoy what I've listed this week! 
    Lou Hayes, Jr.
    thinking & adapting like a Tactical Philosopher

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