Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Leadership Potential Seminar

Leadership Potential Seminar:
A Personal PerspectiveDeveloping Future Leaders

This seminar assists agencies in their leadership succession planning through early development of current and future managers and leaders. Set in the context of peer-to-peer leadership, this seminar first helps participants find and define a mandate for leadership within themselves.
Through assessment, reflection, discussions, and demanding application, participants discover and practice the skills and insights that foster effective and legitimate leadership. The experience establishes strong foundations in self-awareness, continual learning, building and sustaining relationships, and creative problem solving that are the prerequisites for increasing levels of organizational responsibility. Participants use the insights gained over the two weeks to outline and implement a strategic action plan that will enhance their potential for leadership and link personal strengths, talents, and objectives to the Government's mission of service.
Agencies will increase their potential for success in a future that may be ill-defined by sending high achievers to this dynamic seminar where they will find the commitment, the energy, and the skills to adapt to changing needs and to work toward continual improvement. The seminar is appropriate for those in or transitioning into the supervisory/management pipeline, as well as for those whose contributions will come from outside traditional positions of authority.

Key Results
Discover the mandate to lead
Develop increased awareness of self and others
Develop skills in effective communication and feedback
Understand and enhance capacity for self-authorship and sense of personal authority, and learn the traits necessary for long-term leadership growth
Learn to lead others without relying on traditional authority, i.e., when you're not in charge
Understand the President's Management Agenda as context and opportunity for individual leadership within Government today
Learn and practice leadership's strategic skills in influencing, negotiating, goal setting, and problem solving
Who Should Attend
High-performing technical specialists, project managers, and professionals, such as lawyers and engineers. Presidential Management Fellows Program participants are encouraged to attend.
Special Note: An extensive amount of assessment instrumentation must be completed before attending the program. The Management Development Centers must receive individual nominations, by name, along with an obligating document, no later than 8 weeks prior to the seminar start date so that scoring and analysis can be completed.

Schedule and Cost
Start/Stop times for EMDC: Arrival - Monday, program starts 11 a.m.Ends - Friday at noon(If Monday Holiday - Arrival - Tuesday, program starts 11 a.m.Ends - Friday at 5 p.m.)
Start/Stop times for WMDC: Arrival - Monday, program starts 1:30 p.m.Ends - Thursday at 5 p.m., Friday is a Travel Day, Check out by noon(If Monday Holiday - Arrival - Tuesday, program starts 1:30 p.m.)
Course includes meals, lodging, tuition and course materials

Jun 5 - Jun 16, 06

SPACE LIMITED: Call for availability: 1-304-870-8008
Jul 10 - Jul 21, 06

Aug 7 - Aug 18, 06

Aug 21 - Sep 1, 06

Sep 18 - Sep 29, 06

Oct 23 - Nov 3, 06

Nov 27 - Dec 8, 06


Leadership Communications Workshop

Leadership Communications Workshop
Interpersonal Communication

The foundation of great leadership is interpersonal communication. Public executives must effectively communicate to achieve their vision and to accomplish results. This workshop focuses on developing the skills to motivate and influence direct reports, peers, supervisors, and important stakeholders.

The intense, dynamic format of the course combines lecture and interactive sessions on the key components of effective communication with small-group coaching sessions to practice the skills in real-world simulations. One skilled coach for every four to six participants works with small groups using video feedback, public sector case studies, and individual consultations to ensure that each person develops an individualized action plan for improving communication skills.

Key Results
Develop skills to maximize the flow of information in an organization and increase performance
Learn the techniques used by great communicators
Practice the key skills for effective communication in real-life simulations
Learn to defuse the intensity resulting from difficult interactions
Understand the strong correlation between skill in developing relationships and achieving desired outcomes
Be prepared to influence up, down, and around in the dynamic world of public sector leaders
Who Should Attend
Executives, managers, and leaders who wish to improve their ability to understand and influence others through improved communications.

Schedule and Cost
Start/Stop times for WMDC: Arrival - Sunday after 3 p.m., program starts Monday 8-8:30 a.m.Ends - Friday at noon.
Course includes meals, lodging, tuition and course materials

Jul 24 - Jul 28, 06

SPACE LIMITED: Call for availability: 1-304-870-8008
Sep 18 - Sep 22, 06


Leadership Assessment Program

Leadership Assessment Program
Planning for Leadership Excellence

The Leadership Assessment Program (LAP) is an intensive, five-day program designed to meet the needs of individuals who wish to move into leadership roles or who are in the initial phases of management careers. Students complete personal assessment inventories, personality/temperament profiles, a case study analysis, and participate in various problem-solving activities.

Multi-rater feedback (360-degree feedback) and feedback from assessment professionals, combined with opportunities for self-observation (via videotaped sessions), are integral aspects of the program. These activities are set in the context of a broad range of Leadership Competencies, as assessment center specialists assist participants in identifying strengths, opportunities for improvement, and areas for continued learning.
At the program's end, participants use new insights to create a personal learning plan for continued leadership growth.

Key Results
Develop a personalized Leadership Development Plan
Complete individual assessment of Leadership Competencies
Receive multi-rater feedback using 360-degree feedback instrumentation
Receive personalized feedback from assessment specialists, superiors, peers, and subordinates
Assess individual skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, conflict management, interpersonal relations, and oral communication
Enhance understanding of personal behaviors as they relate to effectively managing workplace interactions

Who Should Attend
High-performing career specialists, team leaders, and recently appointed managers in the earliest stages of their positions who have the opportunity to move into management positions. Individuals in career development programs and potential managers benefit greatly.
Special Note: Past participants in the Leadership Assessment Program report very positive long-term results from attending this seminar. It really makes a difference.Take a look at what former student's have reported at:
Inner Cover Sheet (5 K)
Executive Summary (32 K)
Telephone Survey (82 K)
Data Analysis Plan (38 K)
Evaluation Report (1814 K)

Schedule and Cost
Start/Stop times for EMDC: Arrival - Sunday, program starts Monday at 8:00 a.m.Ends - Friday at noon
Course includes meals, lodging, tuition and course materials

Jul 17 - Jul 21, 06

Sep 18 - Sep 22, 06

Oct 30 - Nov 3, 06


Leadership Assessment for Women

Leadership Assessment for Women
(formerly the Women's Assessment Program)

Leadership Assessment for Women (LAW) is an intensive, five-day program that provides insight into leadership strengths and areas for improvement, with a focus on the challenges facing women in leadership positions. Participants are evaluated in several leadership competency areas and coaching is provided to help build individual development plans. Through lectures, exercises, assessments, and individual feedback, the LAW provides the critical information needed for supervisors and managers to develop effective strategies to improve their leadership performance and have greater impact on organizational effectiveness and success.

Key Results
Gain a candid appraisal of your leadership style and behaviors
Receive individual feedback from superiors, peers, and subordinates through a 360-degree assessment instrument
Receive an assessment of your leadership ability in the areas of leadership style and preferences, your approach to managing groups and teams, and your ability to mange relationships (i.e., emotional intelligence)
Learn the critical factors that lead to leadership success, with an emphasis on the factors effecting women leaders
Have a confidential planning session with a professional executive coach
Create an Individual Development Plan for leadership growth

Who Should Attend
Primarily intended for women with at least one year of supervisory experience who wish to have a rigourous assessment of their leadership capabilities while keeping a focus on the unique challenges facing women leaders in the workplace.

Schedule and Cost
Start/Stop times for WMDC: Arrival on Sunday. Program starts Monday at 8 a.m. and ends on Friday at 12 p.m.
Course includes meals, lodging, tuition and course materials

Oct 23 - Oct 27, 06


Monday, May 15, 2006

Leadership Issues: Managing Change

Managing despite the 3% at 50 rules and changing generations; From Boomers to “Nexter’s” What’s next?


“Changes in Latitudes, changes in Attitudes…”

Perhaps Jimmy Buffet had it right; one’s attitudes will change with one’s perspective. Leadership in public safety agencies, particularly police agencies, is at a critical crossroads. Early retirement incentives have enticed experienced personnel to leave their departments in mass numbers, creating a shortage of experienced supervisors. In addition, there has been a graying of the department with the majority of the existing leaders in the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1943 and 1960) all reaching retirement age at or about the same time. A third contributing factor in the leadership crisis is budgetary constraints as a result of less government funding and under-funded pensions, resulting in fewer dollars for training. The exodus of experienced supervisors has created a unique challenge for law enforcement agencies to fill openings quickly, while continuing to manage the daily operations (both administrative and tactical). Unfortunately, little has been done to develop the next generational pool of candidates in terms of succession management or career development; many agencies have taken a laissez-faire approach to this growing crisis in public safety. Without effective oversight from supervisors, police agencies leave themselves vulnerable to liability and lawsuits.

The Impact of Early Retirement Incentives

In the early 1990s, state, county and city budgets (particularly in California) were typically at a surplus and, consequently, police unions created early retirement incentives for its members. Many agencies adopted what is coined, the “3% at 50” program. This program allows any employee over the age of 50 to collect an annual retirement salary calculated by multiplying 3% times the number of years they have been employed by the department (i.e., 3% x 25 years = 75% of their existing salary as their new annual salary). For many, this is an offer too good to pass up, given the option to begin a second career.
To counterbalance the exodus created by 3% at 50, some departments, such as San Diego Police Department, created a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) Program. The DROP programs allows city executives to collect both their regular pay and retirement pay during the last five years of their employment (essentially allowing employees to double-dip) for continuing to work in the City after retirement eligibility. Unfortunately, financial analysts miscalculated the impact this expense would have the on the City of San Diego’s budget, resulting in a massive pension liability of 1.4 billion, ballooning to $306 million annually by Fiscal Year 2011, which is 21 percent of the City's General Fund (Roberts, 2005). Clearly, for government agencies already in a budget crisis unrelated to retirement programs (as a result of reduced legislative funding and grants that have been diverted to Homeland Security), finding the monies to recruit, train and retain qualified leadership candidates has become an even greater challenge.
As a result of the 3% at 50 retirement incentives, agencies are feeling the pinch of having to replace veteran leaders with younger candidates who have not had the length of service in the field, and without experience in leadership positions. Consequently, the need arises for more concentrated efforts to identify leadership traits, to create a career development path, and to prepare those replacements as supervisors.
For agencies, the cycle of bringing people into the organization, preparing them for the job, and then keeping them in the organization, is divided into three areas: Recruitment, Training and Retention. Each of these areas could have a significant impact on the other, particularly with leadership training and how it relates to promotions or employee development. It is this issue that is the core of my thesis: that law enforcement agencies should do more to develop their leaders. Studies show that many public administration academics are, at best, ignoring leadership issues and, at worst, rejecting the concept. Practitioners, on the other hand, are trying to gain sufficient training or grounding in leadership to deal with the relationship-based issues they face daily (Fairholm, 2004).

When considering promoting individuals to leadership roles, the pool of candidates may vary greatly in their values, behaviors and commitment to the department. The issue of how committed they will be to the organization pivots on whether the individual’s needs are met; those needs are based on their shared experiences as cohorts relating to the sociological, economic, and technological developments during their formative years. Police managers need to adapt their recruitment and development styles to match and motivate the different workplace generations. To hire them is one thing; to keep them is another. When we look at the four generations of cohorts that are working together, there are:
1. Veterans: those born between 1922 and 1943 (52 million people). These cohorts were born before or during World War II and their earliest experiences are associated with that world event. Some also remember the Great Depression.
2. The Baby Boomers: those born between 1943-1960 (73.2 million people). These people were born during or after World War II and raised in an era of extreme optimism, opportunity, and progress. Boomers, for the most part, grew up in two-parent households, safe schools, job security and post-war prosperity. They represent about two-thirds of all U.S. workers. On the job, they value loyalty, respect the organizational hierarchy, and generally wait their turn for advancement.
3. Generation Xers: those born between 1960-1980 (70.1 million people). They were born after the Boomers into a rapidly changing social climate and economic recession, including Asian competition. They grew up in two-career families with rising divorce rates, downsizing, the dawning of the high-tech age, and the information age. On the job, they can be fiercely independent, like to be in control, and want fast feedback. 4. Generation Nexters: those born between 1980-2000 (69.7 million people to date). Those born of Boomer parents and early Xers into our current high-tech, neo-optimistic times. Although the youngest workers, they represent the most technologically adept. They are fast learners and tend to be impatient (Zemke, 2005).
Cultural diversity and sensitivity training should be expanded to capture the internal cultures created by the generational variances in the workplace. This concept is foreign to law enforcement’s paramilitary, hierarchical structure of leadership, which typically purports top-down communication according to rank. The Gen Xers and Nexters typically prefer to work in teams with more bottom-up (open) communication channels. As a result of natural attrition and retirements, law enforcement agencies are attempting to replace their Baby Boomers with Gen Xers or Nexters and are challenged by each generation’s perspective on leadership, teamwork, desire for autonomy, and most importantly, commitment to the organization and the profession.

Organizational Commitment

Organizational commitment can be divided into two dominant dimensions: Affective commitment and calculated (or continuance) commitment. The first form of commitment (affective) is essentially an attitudinal phenomenon related to personality traits and job-related factors, and leads to the willingness of an employee to support organizational goals (Brown, 1990). This applicant is driven by their own altruistic passion and will seek out the position based on their intrinsic qualities and desire to effect change. Typically, this individual is self-motivated, stable, and exhibits a higher level of commitment.
Calculative commitment is the result of employees’ perception that merely by being part of the organization, their self-interest will be served. This commitment tends to be more transitory. The calculative applicant needs to be sold through an aggressive (extrinsic) marketing campaign. They need to be able to identify with a popular or specialized group that exhibits a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. Interestingly, the tougher it is to join certain specialized groups and the higher the demand and mystique of the group (such as the military’s Special Forces, or the police SWAT team), the greater the impact on the calculative commitment. In addition, lucrative benefit packages, specialized assignments, and recognition and rewards (coupled with a good match of personality and temperament), can help cement the calculative commitment.
Whether an individual is intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, they have similar expectations of their leadership. Six qualities have been identified as beneficial for police administrators in creating a committed workforce. These include:
1. Vision: Having a clear sense of direction, communicating the direction to others and developing a level of enthusiasm among subordinates for the direction.
2. Charisma: Having the ability to interact with subordinates and inspire them toward organizational objectives.
3. Symbolism: Offering special awards and holding ceremonies to recognize excellence and identify heroic or outstanding performance.
4. Empowerment: Delegating truly challenging work and helping others develop (personally and professionally; giving them the responsibility and the authority to do their jobs).
5. Intellectual Stimulation: Creating an atmosphere whereby subordinates begin to think about problems and use their creativity to solve them.
6. Integrity: Being honest and open to all members of the organization and consistently adhering to the high standards of ethics and morality (Gains, 2003).
Beyond the aforementioned ideal characteristics of a leader, the challenge remains: how does a leader keep their workforce engaged? What is it that will motivate employees enough to want to remain in the organization? Empirical studies suggest that the bond between employees and their organization is strengthened by a number of factors including job scope, job challenge, leader communication, participative management, occupational commitment, job involvement, and job satisfaction. Conversely, role ambiguity, conflict, and work overload lower the commitment of the employees towards the organization (Brown, 1990). Ideally, the commitment to an organization or the profession would be considered a desirable trait since it ideally would result in lower turnover and contribute to greater productivity (Hom, 1995). In a sense, commitment should be a dimension desired in recruiting and testing efforts and applicants could be screened for their values, integrity, character, and willingness to serve a long-term commitment. Various psychometric tests such as the Myers Briggs, Keirsey Temperament, and Supervisory Skills Inventory could be utilized in hiring, rather than merely having candidates answer questions from an oral panel (which is considered subjective in nature) to determine leadership characteristics.
The competition for qualified candidates has grown strong with greater variances in starting salaries, incentives and benefits relating to each department’s financial strength. “Money is a big deal. It is what is driving some officers to leave the San Diego Police Department as a result of taking pay cuts to offset the pension deficit” (Hasemyer, 2005). In the midst of recruitment and retention efforts, some departments are facing cutbacks due to the municipal or county financial woes and are losing experienced officers based solely on dollars and cents. Police Chief, William Lansdowne, fears the resignations have just begun, stating, "We have to fix this problem. We can't continue to lose the most valuable members of our police department." The salary and benefit rollbacks spurred 15 officers, to leave as of October of 2005. Eighteen left last year. By comparison, only eight officers left five years ago, when the City's financial future was brighter (Manolatos, 2005). As a leadership issue, the retention of personnel has become a primary concern.
Circling back to the issue of attrition, in one California city, city leaders realized they were facing a potential leadership vacuum when, within four to five years, 11 of 15 department heads would become eligible to retire. The city recognized the impending loss of these key leaders and considered these two questions:
1. “Did the city have qualified people ready to fill key positions now and grow the organization in the next three to five years?”
2. “Will there be a sufficient number of qualified candidates ready to fill key positions in five to ten years?”(Western, 2001)
The answers to these two questions led to the creation of a program to identify, develop and support the city’s future leaders. Through interviews with the city’s department heads, the following eight dimensions were identified as crucial to the success of future city leaders: communication; decision-making; interpersonal effectiveness; leadership style; administrative effectiveness; flexibility; planning and organization; and developmental orientation (Panza, 2003). These qualities and capabilities can be measured in an Assessment Center setting.

Assessment Centers as a Screening and Development Tool

Many police agencies utilize assessment centers, managed by outside consultants, as a promotional process. An assessment center is typically an eight-hour interview comprised of job-related activities designed to assess an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) as they relate to the dimensions of the next promotional rank. Multiple assessors observe and score candidates in simulations, mock-subordinate counseling sessions and community meetings (with role players), a timed in-basket, and writing exercises (such as a squad briefing on a new policy or a press release). Most agencies still incorporate some form of an oral interview requiring the candidate to provide an overview of his or her readiness and accomplishments, although this is unrelated to the KSA’s, and is the most subjective and least quantifiable aspect of a promotional process. Unfortunately, oral panels have eliminated many very qualified candidates as potential supervisors simply because they could not talk about themselves in describing their accomplishments. The obvious question remains: if the assessment center is effectively utilized as a screening tool for promotional purposes, why are not more agencies also using it as a preparatory/screening tool to identify their future leaders? Currently, this opportunity is untapped in the public sector, yet it has been highly utilized in the private sector, and was originated by AT&T.
William Byham, Chairman and CEO of Development Dimensions International (DDI), a leading-edge human resources consultancy firm that specializes in the identification and development of leadership talent, addresses this in his book, “Grow Your Own Leaders.” Byham proposes “Acceleration Pools” as a new method of nomination for succession management. (Byham, 2002). In these pools, people who show high potential can have their development needs diagnosed and an individualistic outline can be designed for purposes of mentoring their strengths and coaching their weaknesses.

Expectations of Leaders in a Changing Environment

Contrary to popular belief, leaders are typically made, and born (Bennis, 1989). In law enforcement, officers must learn to grapple with constant evolutionary changes in an effort to meet the public expectations, address new and evolving threats to public safety, manage governmental and political mandates, and contend with changes in management and philosophy. Only with coaching and professional development, can staff contend with these issues and a multi-generational workforce during the changing-of-the-guard from seasoned, veteran leaders to the next generation. Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard describe this phenomenon as Situational Leadership, wherein a supervisor must assess each subordinate’s readiness to follow instruction based on their confidence and competence in their effort to be effective in policing (Hersey, 1988).
Police leaders are concerned with being effective as well as efficient. The measurement of effectiveness is arguable. Productivity in policing can often be a tenuous term and spurns the question: how does one measure an individual’s effectiveness in policing? Is it simply based on productivity (i.e., the number of citations and arrests)? Perhaps effectiveness is measured in the absence of citizen complaints, or more importantly, the absence of crime.
Most agencies produce an Annual Report which highlights their accomplishments and gives the public an overview of the department’s activities. It will generally include a statistical presentation of their cumulative activities and includes the number of sworn and non-sworn personnel, number of crime reports taken, the number of arrests, and expenditures. Featured programs, such as Juvenile Delinquency Prevention, and the Gang or Drug Awareness programs, demonstrate the wide diversity of local policing efforts. In response to citizen concerns about locally-based issues, many agencies have partnered with the community, and diverted resources toward Community Based Policing (COP) and Problem Oriented Policing (POP) programs.
The leadership competencies required of a candidate for law enforcement to be successful in managing a COP/POP project, as ranked by police managers and chiefs are: (1) Communications and related interpersonal competencies; (2) Problem-solving competencies; (3) Motivational competencies; (4) Planning and organizing competencies, and (5) Actuation/ Implementation competencies (Ortmeier, 1996). You will note in the ranking of these competencies, the ability to demonstrate effective verbal communication skills was at the top of the priority list by respondents (police managers and chiefs). Ideally, these competencies could be identified early on and mentored as an officer progresses in rank and faces new challenges. To truly be effective, officers must operate collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to work through and with others in a constantly changing environment. The planning, organizing, problem-solving, implementing, and communicating skills involved are essential in effecting organizational change, and all are measurable in an assessment center setting.
The concept of organizational change refers to planned, organization-wide change. How is that change managed in police agencies? Are agencies actually working toward training and developing their succession management to anticipate the need for change and to develop strategies for implementing those changes? In addition, are the tools of leadership development honed to a fine art within the organization or left to the vagaries of personalities and competing agendas within the criminal justice system (i.e., police, courts and corrections)?
Police managers and supervisors must be ready to address the challenges facing policing today including: restricted budgets, population demands (i.e., politics), change in priorities, succession management, and frequent changes of leadership (Mitchell, 2004). Many agencies must contend with a resolving door in the position of top-cop or sheriff with the job-hopping occurring with chiefs of police. With a change in leadership, each chief brings a new vision and mission. Supervisors must be able to adapt and implement those changes for homeostasis to occur within the department.
William Bratton, formerly the chief of police for the New York Police Department, created the following mission statement just after being hired as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department: “It is the mission of the Los Angeles Police Department to safeguard the lives and property of the people we serve, to reduce the incidence and fear of crime, and to enhance public safety while working with the diverse communities to improve their quality of life. Our mandate is to do so with honor and integrity, while at all times conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards to maintain public confidence.”

This mission statement abides by the concerns of the community for oversight and accountability. By comparison, his mission at the New York City Police Department was, “The Mission of the New York City Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in our City by working in partnership with the community and in accordance with constitutional rights to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment.”

Conversely, much of Bratton’s call for change when he took over the NYPD was the “quality of life” issues that plagued New York. Since moving to Los Angeles, his message to the community and his officers is similar, but due to local politics, and the ever present specter of racism and abuse of force issues, Bratton had to adjust his mission to reflect realistic conditions in order to affect change.

Accountability and Supervisory Oversight

The Los Angeles Police Department has had its own challenges for years, and has taken severe criticism for the now infamous Rodney King (beating) incident, the resulting riots after the LAPD officers were acquitted in a local court of abuse charges, the resulting Christopher Commission report, and finally the Rampart Executive Report, ten years after the King incident. The Rampart Report revealed systemic abuse and corruption within a relatively small group of officers in the CRASH Unit (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums). In fact, every commission created to study police misconduct or corruption as far back as the Wickersham Commission in 1931, has cited the crucial role of the police supervisor in detecting and preventing unethical behavior.
The former Los Angeles Police Chief, Bernard Parks, now a Los Angeles City Councilman, blamed, in large measure, the lax departmental management for allowing misconduct within the Rampart Division to occur. The report offered 108 recommendations, including the improvement of hiring practices, supervisory oversight and police training. Ironically, some of the same recommendations (related to the crucial role of the first-line supervisor in terms of oversight) have been found to be true in other commissions on police misconduct, starting with the 1931 Report on Lawlessness in Law Enforcement by the Wickersham Commission

It was the first systematic investigation of police misconduct and became a catalyst for reforms involving new forms of accountability for the police, although at times, it may appear that contemporary police may be unaware of it or its impact (Wickersham, 1997). While there were earlier studies, such as the Chicago Crime Commission (1919), and the Cleveland Survey of Criminal Justice (1927), which served as the model for the Wickersham Commission, it is the Wickersham commission that conducted the first national study of the administration of justice in the United States and was a precursor to the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1965-1967), popularly known as the President's Crime Commission.

Misconduct can only be mitigated by effective and consistent oversight, with supervisors who hold their officers accountable. This will only become a priority at the behest of the chief or sheriff. The chief must make it a priority to proactively train supervisors to recognize the red-flag warning signs (such as: absenteeism, a sense of entitlement, misuse of the badge, accusations of excessive use of force, and bad arrests) which typically precede misconduct. Too often, newly promoted supervisors are sent to supervisory training months after they have assumed the role. This lack of experience can leave a department vulnerable to mistakes and liability from the consequences of apathy. Ultimately, recurrent transgressions can place a police department under federal consent decree.


To create change within an organization, such as creating a leadership development program, an agency must have a clear vision of the need for change, a base line from which to start, and a barometer by which to measure the results. To develop their employees into leaders, organizations must use the available tools to assess leadership potential and growth. In developing leaders, psychometric instruments, such as the Leadership Skills Inventory could be used to help develop leadership potential. Early feedback indicates that police agencies have not validated the relevance of early identification of leadership potential to actual future leaders. Ideally, departments should follow a blueprint designed by James Collins in his book, “Good to Great,” wherein the goal is to get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus, and get the right people in the right seats (2001). Without solid leadership, and the knowledge, skills and abilities to plan, organize and direct others, an organization’s ability to even recognize the need for change, much less the ability to carry it out, can be jeopardized.

About the Author
Richard, “Rick” Michelson, MPA, and PhD candidate, has a background in law enforcement spanning 30 years, starting with the San Diego Police Department. His experience includes, SWAT sergeant, Crime Prevention Unit director, Community Relations, Emergency Planning and Hostage Negotiations. He has served as a Lieutenant and as an interim Chief. He has written numerous articles on related policing topics, and has co-authored the text, Preparing for Promotion: A Guide for Public Safety Assessment Centers, published by Law Tech, who publish the “Qwik-Codes.” He is a criminal justice professor for a community college in San Diego. He is an adjunct professor for both the Union Institute & University and Webster University’s Graduate Program in Security Management. He is also the director of KSA, Ltd., a training company that conducts workshops for agencies and future police/corrections and fire service leaders to help them develop their leadership skills. He may be reached at (619) 203-3073, or through email, at rmichels@cox.net. The website for KSA, Ltd., is http://assessmentcenter.org

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Building an Organizational Foundation for the Future

by Andrew J. Harvey, Ed.D.

The modern world has become a place of constant change and transformation. In this environment, success depends on how well organizations recognize and adapt to change. Management theorist Tom Peters put it very well when he said that the most successful organizations in the future will be the ones that "thrive on chaos."(1) Those that cannot identify and act on emerging issues are doomed to, at least, inefficiency and ineffectiveness and, at most, disaster and possibly even destruction.

What does this trend mean to law enforcement? With its traditional, paramilitary structure, law enforcement has proven slow to adapt to change. While traditional methods have brought success in the past, relying on these techniques in the future may be dangerous.

To achieve success in the next century, law enforcement agencies must recognize and welcome emerging trends. Part of this means changing the way they operate, from their organizational structures to their management of human resources. This article discusses the strategies that law enforcement agencies need to implement in order to build an organizational foundation for the future.


In order to deal with the rapidly changing environment in the 21st century, law enforcement's paramilitary hierarchy, with rigid controls and strict chains of command, must give way to a structure that emphasizes network-type communication and flexibility. The traditional organizational pyramid, with the chief at the top and line officers at the bottom, must become inverted. Instead, the community must sit at the top of the pyramid, followed by line police officers, then supervisors, and finally the chief.

Late 20th-century belt tightening has put the squeeze on middle management, and in the 21st century, those middle managers who remain may disappear from the picture entirely. Better-educated employees who require less supervision and technological advancements that make information management easier will allow supervisors to increase their spans of control and supervise more employees at one time.

Organizational efficiency will become critical, as the privatization of law enforcement services increases. Currently, private security firms employ 2½ times more people than law enforcement agencies; this number will increase substantially by the year 2000.(2) As a result, the police will find themselves increasingly in competition with private firms for law enforcement services. Without proper preparation, agencies will have difficulty dealing with this newly found competition.

In addition, police departments will acquire new specialized functions in response to both emerging issues and those that continue to require law enforcement attention. These new roles will affect the organizational structure of the department.

For example, the plight of the homeless likely will continue to be a pressing issue in the coming decade.(3) Departments will need to create units that deal specifically with the homeless. Additionally, as the population ages, police departments increasingly will be called upon to respond to the unique needs of the elderly. As a result, departments will require specialists in gerontology. Departments in the future also are likely to change their organizational structures to incorporate more formal partnerships with schools, community groups, and the media.
The most effective leaders in these new organizational structures will be situational leaders. They will be flexible in their approaches, adapting their leadership styles to the situation at hand and the individuals involved. They will rise to the challenge presented by well-educated employees who do not submit to authority as workers have in the past.

These leaders will be consensus builders and agents of change. They will empower their employees and accept the attendant risks. They will be the bearers of ethical standards and will devote themselves to training and developing their staffs. Finally, these leaders will look to the future, anticipating trends while they perform day-to-day tasks.


Determining Future Staffing Levels

Business experts advise companies to work smarter, not harder. In the coming years, many organizations will see this concept come to fruition, as technological advances allow them to achieve the same or better results with fewer employees devoted to the task.

Technological advances will help law enforcement officers fight crime. Smart cars will allow officers to complete such tasks as checking criminal databases, storing and retrieving offender profiles, writing reports, and communicating with other officers, all from their police cars. Smart houses will help prevent break-ins by recognizing and admitting only authorized occupants. A single smart card will replace the numerous cards people carry now for identification, banking, and credit purposes. Biological advances, such as the "sober up" pill, will decrease crimes fueled by alcohol, which, according to futurist Gene Stephens, is linked in some way to 50 percent of all street crime.(4)

Perhaps the most significant changes for law enforcement will result from the move toward a cashless society. In such an environment, criminals could no longer rob citizens and banks of their cash. Cash-only criminal enterprises would disappear. At the same time, many lawbreakers will adapt and employ increasingly sophisticated strategies to ply their trades.
While technological breakthroughs will decrease the number of officers needed, other factors will cause exactly the opposite effect. First, changes in demographics have altered the nature of the nation's once-predominantly homogeneous communities. U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicate that between 1980 and 1990, the United States experienced a 13.2 percent increase in the number of African American residents, a 53 percent increase in Hispanics, and a 108 percent increase in Asians.(5)

Unfortunately, a rise in crime has accompanied this diversification, as cultures and values have clashed.(6) In addition, a predicted 14 percent increase in the 15 to 24-year-old population between 1995 and 2005 will raise crime rates, as the individuals in this age group are most likely to commit or fall victim to crimes.(7)In essence, the demographic trends that will increase crime may cancel out the technological advances that will reduce it. As a result, in order to provide adequate service to the community in the next century, law enforcement probably will need to maintain current staffing levels.

Attracting and Selecting Personnel

In the 21st century, employee recruitment will remain the cornerstone of organizational success, just as it is today. In order to attract the best candidates, law enforcement agencies will need to continue to offer competitive salaries and benefits; however, these financial rewards will become less important. Employees will be less motivated by financial incentives and will look more for an organization with concern for employees. Future job candidates will seek out employers who offer such perks as flexible working hours, housing assistance, alternate work schedules, employer sponsored child care, and telecommuting options.

Police departments also will recruit a different type of employee. In the past, agencies have sought aggressive, "hook and book"-type officers. This one-dimensional approach to law enforcement will not suit the community and service oriented agency of the future. Thus, recruiters will seek candidates who understand the total concept of how they fit into the organization and the community.

Although some of today's testing methods still may have some relevance, personnel officers will need to study and employ testing procedures that identify the type of individual best suited to deal with the broad array of community issues that will exist. For example, departments might consider including community members on their employee selection committees.

More than likely, tomorrow's officers will have college degrees, not only in criminal justice but also in the social sciences. As a result, these officers will have a better understanding of how to serve their communities.

In addition, police departments will need to recruit employees who can help them understand and use the police technology resources available in the years ahead. Finally, police agencies will hire according to the needs of the community, and their employees will reflect the diversity of the citizens they serve.

Making a Good First Impression

As they concentrate on selecting new employees, agency recruiters often forget that the reverse is true: new employees select the organizations where they work. The orientation process represents the first step in helping employees see that they have made the right choice.
Chances are, even the most senior employees remember their first days on the job. Truly, first impressions can last a career. As a result, employees must be exposed to organizational values right from the start, and agencies must treat orientation programs that instill these values as a priority, not an afterthought.

Placing New Employees

By the year 2000, employee placement may be quite different. In the future, law enforcement agencies will place greater emphasis on determining the individual skill levels and potential their police officers possess. Employee placement will become more of a science, with agencies matching officers to positions that take advantage of their unique abilities.

Training Employees

In a knowledge-based society, lifelong learning is a necessity,(8) and in the future, continuing education and training will become mandatory. In order to cultivate employees who can adapt to the ever-changing environment of the future, agencies will need to make a commitment to staff training and development.

Such training will take many forms. Although specialized expertise will remain important, cross-training will receive added emphasis.(9) Cross-training will help agencies deal with decreasing budgets and the call to do more with less. Employees trained in this way will benefit not only by becoming more versatile but also by broadening their overall perspective of the organization.
Furthermore, in order to benefit from new technology, agencies will need to implement training programs that teach employees how to use their new tools. In fact, managers must involve employees in the process from the very beginning, perhaps even before choosing the new procedure or equipment. As futurist John Naisbett has pointed out, high-tech approaches must be tempered with equal amounts of "high touch."(10) Employees control the destiny of new technology; unless they feel comfortable with it, they will abandon it.

Measuring Performance

Traditionally, evaluations have measured officers' performance in quantitative terms-the number of tickets written and arrests and field contacts made. In today's era of community policing, police departments find that they have a difficult time evaluating their officers. This will remain true in the future, as agencies ask even more of their staff members. Officers will become problem solvers and caretakers of the communities where they patrol. As such, their performances will be difficult to measure.

Management theorist Tom Peters says that what gets measured gets done.(11) If this theory is correct, then police departments will need to develop effective measurement systems that quantify patrol officers' achievements in tangible ways. Allowing community residents to evaluate officers with whom they have had contact may represent a viable evaluation method.
In addition, the annual evaluations that most employees now receive must give way to a process that generates continual feedback. Although once a year may suffice for a formal performance appraisal report, too often, employees hear nothing all year long, then get surprised by their supervisors' assessments of the quality of their work. If something in an employee's yearly evaluation comes as a surprise, then perhaps the boss needs a performance review.

Supervisors need to use the evaluation process to create a road map for employees that not only will assist them in their current roles but also will guide them into areas in which they express interest. This means that supervisors will be responsible for providing career development assistance to their employees on almost a daily basis.

Rewarding Achievement

Today's leaner budgets limit the monetary rewards available for deserving employees. In fact, in some departments, even yearly cost-of-living raises have become a distant memory. Furthermore, in the future, one of the most sought-after rewards will be praise and recognition from the boss for a job well done.

Although monetary incentives, educational bonuses, and specialized assignment pay will remain viable rewards, they will not take the place of sincere praise. As a result, department administrators will need to develop innovative ways to reward employees.

Some departments already are experimenting with unusual bonuses. The City of Helper, Utah, has a system in place that allows officers to receive up to 25 percent of the money they seize in drug forfeiture cases.(12) Although some may contend that this type of incentive is improper, it represents "outside the lines" thinking, something police departments should strive to achieve.

Retaining Quality Employees

Employees have become less inclined to spend their entire careers with one agency. They will expect and demand certain things, or they will leave. In order to retain the best employees, agencies will need to go beyond the traditional enticements of salary, benefits, and retirement plans. This may mean allowing officers to serve part time and providing or supplementing day-care services.

Matching employees to positions, providing them with state-of-the-art tools and training, including them in the decision-making process, helping them grow within the organization, measuring performance regularly, and rewarding good work all help to keep employees satisfied and productive. In addition, department managers will need to develop creative ways to deal with employee burnout to help those who have lost their zest for their jobs.

Redesigning Job Descriptions

In the 21st century, jobs will need to be redesigned continually, as job descriptions become obsolete.(13) New events and emerging issues will come so fast that the nature of individuals' jobs will change on a regular basis.

As part of the job design/redesign mechanism, law enforcement agencies must involve line-level employees, who will have firsthand information on how their jobs are evolving. The key to success will be a system where employees can give honest feedback without fear of reprisal. This should not be difficult in an organization where job enhancement, enrichment, and cross-training have become the cultural norms.

Maintaining Ethical Standards

In recent years, ethical concerns have come to the forefront in law enforcement. Now, ethical issues loom even larger as advances in technology place tremendous amounts of information literally at the fingertips of police officers, thus increasing the potential for abuse.

With every technological step forward, police departments must enact commensurate mechanisms to ensure that employees properly use their new tools. Still, the controls must not impede employees unnecessarily. This will require a delicate balancing act.


The Nordstom Company has a one-page policy manual that instructs employees, "Use your own best judgment at all times."(14) If only law enforcement could adopt this as its own policy manual. With the United States' possessing 5 percent of the world's population and 66 percent of its lawyers,(15) law enforcement agencies no doubt will arm themselves against litigation with more detailed and complex policies.

Yet, while law enforcement will be held accountable as never before for both departmental actions and use of resources, agencies can do more to prepare for the future than write voluminous policy manuals. Instead, they can properly select, place, and train employees and ensure their success through appropriate job design, good organizational structure, and an emphasis on strong ethical values.

Finally, law enforcement leaders must recognize and act upon emerging issues. By doing so, law enforcement agencies can control their own destinies, rather than merely react to forces that have spun beyond their control.

(1) - Tom Peter, Thriving on Chaos (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987; HarperPerennial, 1991), XIV.(2) - Hallcrest Systems, Inc., in "Defining the Future," California State POST Command College Training Manual, January, 1995.(3) - The U.S. Census Bureau reported a total of 228,621 homeless people as part of the 1990 census, but due to the inherent difficulties in counting the homeless, this number most likely is very low. In Universal Almanac (New York: Universal Press, 1992), 215.(4) - Gene Stephens, "Drugs and Crime in the 21st Century," The Futurist, May-June 1992, 19-20.(5) - In Universal Almanac (New York: Universal Press, 1992), 199.(6) - Gene Stephens, "The Global Crime Wave," The Futurist, July-August 1994, 23.(7) - Cheryl Russell, "True Crime," American Demographics, August 1995, 30. (8) - Tom Peters, Liberation Management (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992), 757. (9) - James R. Metts, "Supercops, The Police Force of Tomorrow," The Futurist, October, 1985, 31. (10) - John Naisbett, Megatrends (New York: Warner Books, 1984), 35. (11) - Supra note 1,605. (12) - Newsbrief, USA Today, February 1, 1995, 3. (13) - Supra note 1, 605. (14) - Supra note 1, 454.(15) - Marvin Cetron, "An American Renaissance in the Year 2000," pamphlet, World Future Society, 1994, 11.