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's Weekend 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! ;)
  1. 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!
  2. 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 by way of bikablo flip-chart drawings. If you've been in my classes and workshops, you know I rarely use slides, and default to white-boarding or flip-charting. I don't plan on practicing bikablo icons anytime soon, but a good conversation about some vital presentation skills.
  3. The Stormtrooper Problem: Why Thought Diversity Makes Us Better. Another great one (1) from Shane Parrish's Farnam Street Blog. Seems like everyone wants a shared vision, or shared this or that...but homogeneity can make us weak. It's a short read. Read it. 
  4. Matt Brady, Retired US Army Major. This is an episode of the Finding Mastery Podcast, with host Michael Gervais and guest Matt Brady. I've mentioned it before, but I really appreciate the way Gervais interviews and converses with his guests. It's such an authentic, intimate feel. In this episode, Brady really lays it on the line with some difficult-to-discuss topics. Having never been in the military, I connected with this episode as a 21-year-and-still-going-strong police officer who has been in some funks over my career.
  5. Spectrum Thinking. This is an episode of the SPaMCAST podcast, with host Thomas Cagley and guest Julia Wester. I've long believed in "spectrum thinking" - whether by name or just as a subconscious practice. It seems like less and less in life is binary. When we think in spectrums or dimensions, we more deeply appreciate the tradeoffs, consequences, benefits vs risks, and side effects of our decisions. You'll probably connect a lot of Julia's conversation with things I've written or spoken about. 
  6. The Future of War, and What it Does to YOU. This is a Smarter Every Day video on YouTube with Destin Sandlin. He interviews GEN Robert Brooks Brown on multi-domain operations. You'll hear a lot of references to complexity. 
Second, I wrote quite a lot (for me) the past few weeks:
  • Lesser Discussed Traits of Complexity.  Let's kill some of the buzzwords. Some things will always be complex because of the natural tensions in the situations. Values are what help us navigate, not necessarily experiments or research.
  • Fallacy and Complexity of Police Accountability. There is no accountability without first talking about standards. What are some of the standards to which police officers are held? Do you understand the different punishments for violating each of them? Decisions come so much more quickly when the standards are in bit more harmony. Reality: They are sometimes in direct competition! 
  • Teams versus Groups. Groups have more swappable members. Teams have great interconnectivity and chemistry. You might argue about the terminology I use, but I think it's pretty rock-solid conceptually! 
  • Q: Is policing too generalized at the supervisory level and too specialized at the operational level? This was a direct response to a social media inquiry posted by a UK copper. My answer is basically No, but get into thoughts on ideal compositions.
Third, my Presentation Hack column continues to exceed my expectations. It's my way of sharing tips and tricks to better public speaking and classroom experiences. Here are two (2) of the recent offerings:

  • Death by Bikablo. At some point, we will tire of the cool sketchnotes, flip charts, and graphic facilitations that we've been seeing in online videos, TED-type talks, and similar workshops. Much like PowerPoint, these drawn images WILL be overused, misused, and abused. It's just a matter of time! 
  • Whether you believe it or not... is a post that explains how I get students, attendees, or other groups to debate, argue, or defend/attack positions of a complex or controversial topic. It involves tactfully separating the stance from the person. Do we truly understand the complexity if we cannot argue both (or more!) sides?

As for Weekend Building Blocks, I appreciate you allowing me to make these recommendations to you.

    Lou Hayes, Jr. is 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 @LouHayesJr or on LinkedInHe also maintains a LinkedIn page for The Illinois Model


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