- Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module. Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
- After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them.
I have been on both sides of accepting and resisting change from our agency. Looking back, most of the ones that I rejected were when the changes just came out of nowhere. When I was notified of possible upcoming changes or even better, being able to provide input, then I was a lot more susceptible to the changes. You are never going to make everyone happy when it comes to change. But I believe that good communication would cause much less resistance.
I believe that adapting to change is essential for any law enforcement department. The world is steadily changing and Law enforcement must change with it. First, making sure the change is necessary is important. Second, making a well thought out plan and making sure it is communicated properly can help ease change. Also, Identifying the people the change will affect most and involving them in the process will make the change easier. Though not everyone is susceptive to change, change is inevitable within law enforcement or any organization for that matter.
Even a well thought out, well considered plan for change may still be scrutinized by some. Effective planning can play a part in success. As leaders we should always hear people out and enlist the help of others. Doing so will also help promote ownership of the change and may help build the trust in others regarding the plan for change.
Change in most organizations is inevitable, especially growing organizations. Other reasons for change could be new leadership, outdated systems, or the advancement of technology. In this module, I learned that stress from change is normal, and that stress is not always bad stress. When I started with my organization 20 years ago, we had less than 100 full-time employees, today we have almost 500 full-time employees counting civilian and commissioned employees. So, my organization has seen a significant change in those 20 years, to say the least.
Our profession is constantly changing, as it should. The world is changing around us and to be effective we need to change with it. From type writers to keyboards, pay phones to cell phones, note pads to laptops, some change comes and we barely notice. On the other hand, policy changes, shift changes, and uniform changes will have everyone up in arms.
Often, our administration makes decisions during times of crisis which can lead to disruption and hastily made changes. When decisions are made too quickly, employees are keen enough to recognize the lack of consideration, which often results in additional workload for them. Therefore, a well-planned change that considers the needs of employees can facilitate a smoother transition.
We've recently lost a handful of deputies due to knee-jerk reaction policy changes by "old school" supervisors.
You made a good point that some changes come without much notice. Looking back, I can see a huge change in law enforcement from when I started. Some of them went unnoticed until I actually took time to reflect on how it used to be. But the changes that gets everyone up in arms usually turns out to be for the better. I can attest that I was against changing certain things during my career but once I experienced them I typically came to agree that the changes needed to occur.
Making sure you make changes at the right pace is on point. Going through these lectures just reaffirmed that with me. Too fast and you will leave people behind or put them under too much stress. If you go too slow you can hold up progress or lose interest from others involved in the change. We have to remember that “Change is inevitable”.
Also, change is often implemented without seeking input from the individuals who perform the job daily. Consulting with these employees can help facilitate a successful outcome by promoting buy-in for the proposed changes.
Change needs to a have genuine purpose Tobias stated. Not everything needs to change, especially if it is already working like a “well-oiled machine.” However, the saying, “This is the way we have always done it” can truly the downfall of any organization or division at times. People who resist change may be because they are complacent, or they have no buy in. Not everyone will be on board with a change, but if we effectively communicate the change, have that genuine purpose for the change, and identify and involve those who will be affected by the change, then I do believe the goal can be reached. As long as we have genuine purpose.
Change should be made using the leadership test... Are we doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason(s)? You are correct, even the best leaders could be resistant to change and depending the type of change being considered may have their own steadfast beliefs on the topic and why they are hesitant. As Tobias mentioned, even the best plans may fail.
I like to think that I am a big proponent of both changing for the better and also agency traditions. This module provoked some thought on both. I am 46 and most of the Senior Staff in my department including the Chief are in 53-55 range. Not a great amount of age separation really but there is a massive separation on thinking and direction in of the agency. Ideas and initiatives to change things between those who started policing in the 2000's and those who started in the early 90's are completely different. One example is beards and uniforms. I love the traditional uniform and clean shaven look personally. However, the comfort at work trend nationally is wearing outer carriers, relaxed uniforms and allowing groomed beards. With that said, I also know that recruiting is awful, and that new recruits are going to choice a department that allows those things over the ones holding one to the traditional police officer uniforms and grooming standards. While we have made some small strides on more relaxed uniforms, the senior staff here remain very resistant to these type of changes. Most of the junior staff who are mostly mid 40's age range don't want beards and nontraditional uniforms either, however, most of us are are willing to sacrifice our opinions and rewrite traditions if it means attracting and retaining good officers. I guess my real point is, even steeped traditions should be subject to change when operational readiness is being impacted.
I appreciated Hemerling's five strategic imperatives to put people first. In summary, implementing change the way he suggested is simply investing in your people. If you invest in your people using the five steps, they give it right back by working through the transformation. Everything comes full circle because investing in your people helped them to invest in the transformation, which then helped the organization to accomplish its goals. They were able to see in growth in themselves, which resulted in organizational growth.
National Command & Staff College
Session # 17, Myrtle Beach, SC
Learning Area 1, Module 8
Discussion Board: Effective Communication
Excellent points included identifying those who will be affected by the change and including them in the decision making. Three immediate examples come to mind. Uniforms, Mobile Data Terminal Software, Body Cameras. Each of these allow for discussion as well as to decide if change is needed. Instead of purchasing managers or office personnel making these decisions, a team from those who will be using the equipment must be involved. Of course, budgets will always be of concern so have those personnel included from the start and discuss options such as grants or moving dollars within the budget depending on priorities. In some cases, you may determine change is not needed or only a slight change. There should be a good reason for initiating the change so ensure that all areas are properly discussed. Taking the aforementioned steps will remove most resistance and allow for everyone who participated to share information and support for the change.
I particularly liked the concept Chief Tobia provided of identifying AND involving those that will be effected by a potential change. Most public safety agencies are used to some degree of change. Laws change on a regular basis, technology and resources are constantly evolving, and policies and SOP's change frequently. However, when agencies make major changes that can have a direct impact on employees' routines and lives outside of work, allowing their opinion or voice to be heard can have a tremendous impact. Although some will never be completely satisfied, giving employees an opportunity to be heard is something that should not be overlooked.
This is an excellent concept that, if employed, will help tremendously in producing effective and positive change. We have all read new ideas, that on paper looked efficient and seemed to solve all of the issues, but in reality, they were terrible, reduced efficiency, and hampered the workflow. Involving the ones who are going to perform the task can provide the best insight when making decisions on anything that will be used by the masses.
If our profession didn’t change, we would be useless. We must adapt to the world around us; we have no choice. Laws are constantly changing; our environment is as well. No matter what change comes our way we must effectively communicate it with each other. Finding the right person to help make others aware of future change is a great tool to have in your belt. Also finding the person that you know you will get the push back from and involving them. Officers do not like getting out of a routine for any reason. Some individuals will argue just for the sake of arguing. Getting non-ranking leaders to help implement your change is a great way of developing them also.
You are correct, some change will take place regardless of leadership. This was observed recently across the USA with lowering of police funding. It only took a year to auto-correct often with budget increases far greater than what they previously had. Also, police salaries are finally getting to where they need to be. As you state, you must communicate, keep everyone involved and informed. Some will continue to resist but with the support of others from within their ranks, it usually will diminish quickly.
Adapting to change is essential for any law enforcement organization. To do so successfully, it is important to understand why change can be difficult and what strategies can be employed to facilitate the process. By doing this, organizations can ensure that they are making informed decisions about when and how to implement change, creating an environment conducive to successful change, and setting themselves up for long-term success. This will ensure that all stakeholders are on board with the necessary changes and that employees can better adjust and embrace the change. Sometimes we as leaders have to help and nudge our coworkers by addressing the positive aspects of change for the mirror exercise "Zig" Ziglar spoke of.
My organization is currently experiencing a lot of change. About two years ago, our chief retired, and another chief took over. There were also a few changes in staff officer positions. Typically the changes have been geared toward more community orientated policing. There were events every week and sometimes several within a week. Officers began complaining about the excessive amount of events. In the last ten or twelve months, the complaints have lessened. Officers are beginning to enjoy the events. Officers participating more frequently are recognized and receive positive feedback in their yearly appraisals. The staff has been able to show officers the positive impact of the effort. Our detectives solved several serious crimes relatively quickly. The quick resolution is due to community involvement. Witnesses are coming forward and helping solve cases. Our chief's ultimate goal is to build trust capital with the community, so in the event of an officer-involved shooting or other such situation, the community will give the department time to investigate what occurred and not assume the police are in the wrong.
Just like the comment that we have always said, there are two things that cops hate, change and the lack of change. For years I have used that saying to justify the officers being resistant to changes or that complaining that nothing ever changes. After viewing this I think that we have to move past that concept and stop reinforcing the "old adage. " Admitting that we do or don't like change is just as bad as admitting that our profession is stuck in the past and will never challenge ourselves to become more. From the video I think that we are looking to change our mindset and our thinking to be more adaptive and flexible to change. This is not just from the line level but also command. The major difference is that in command our change needs to be purposeful and for the right reasons.
One of my biggest takeaways was from the Ted Talk with Jim Hemerling. "Leaders often wait too long to act. As a result, everything is happening in crisis mode."
This causes decisions to be rushed, knee jerk in nature and causes undue stress on all of those on the team.
Mitch, I agree with you 100% that if a leader waits too long to take care of an issue and we are pressed with a knee-jerk reaction everyone suffers. We have seen many cases of this. I have always been a fan of meeting the problem head-on and checking for ways to take care of it before it becomes a major issue. I also whole heatedly believe it’s a team effort so I get everyone that it affects involved.
For me, this module is about mindset development as much as it is with the implementation of change as a leader. Too often we as leaders and law enforcement officers find ourselves fixated on a given task and once complete, we move on to the next task. We are problem solvers by nature. This often causes us to seek out problems to solve, a fixation on helping if you will. The fixation guides us and eventually we are in a monotonous rhythm of problems and solutions. We typically find joy in this process. As change is introduced, we become hesitant and anxiety builds from the unknown. As leaders we must recognize the value in creating buy-in within our organizations is critical to change acceptance. Involving those formal and informal leaders in the development phase of change increases buy-in. Always seeking out the positive in the situation and openly discussing these positives and how they address the problems or concerns is a great mindset to maintain. It also aids in the development of the positive workplace culture necessary for fostering the innovation and creativity requisite of our profession and the decisions and plans we are entrusted to make.
I agree that leaders must have the correct mindset when it comes to change. They must be very adaptable while having patience and not reacting too quickly to make changes. I also agree with the importance of buy-in from others in the organization before the change is made.
A big takeaway for me was the importance of keeping people informed, and it directly correlates back to Learning Area 1, Module 7, "Effective Communication." People will try to fill that space where a lack of communication exists with something: a rumor, a theory, or negativity.
(Tobia 2017) "Identify those who will be affected by the change. Identify formal and informal leaders and be sure to involve them in the process so others will follow their lead."
It will be much easier to effect a positive change if you begin with communication, positivity, and buy-in.
I agree with you on this one Sgt Daniel Hudson. We see this in our agency on the regular, where people fill in gaps of communication with rumors, theories, or negativity.
Finding informal leaders of change are an excellent way to move the baramitor. When my agency was transitioning to the use of body cameras there was massive resistance to the change. Some of those who were most vocal against the change were some of the first to be trained and issued the cameras. After a very short time, the opponents became some of the most vocal supporters of the change after they were able to see the value in utilizing cameras firsthand.
I enjoyed this block for multiple reasons. I could relate to when Jim Hemerling stated that we always expect the worst when we hear transformation. I believe this to be true, but I have now realized many of these needs for transformation are opportunities for our growth as an organization and an opportunity to focus on long-term goals. I also enjoy hearing Zig Ziglar speak. I had not heard anything from him in a long time, and he is probably the OG of positive mental attitude training for organizations. A good positive attitude makes all the difference and be a good finder, not a fault finder.
These videos have pointed out some great topics on effectively presenting change to the department’s culture that I will utilize. I have seen the resistance to change on what some may believe is minor or no big deal—for example, teaching patrol officers to write reports in a manner that flows and cuts out filler words. The patrol captain resisted this because it was not his idea. The patrol lieutenants oppose it because they feel they correct the report, and if anyone rejects a report, it makes them look bad. Lastly, the patrol officers don’t like change when it comes from someone within the department or someone they know. I believe people will judge others by believing, “what do they know? They think they are smarter than us because of their rank or position?” Including others in their ideas about the change is a crucial point. Bringing up the idea and making others believe the change in their opinion will help the process. Some change is required because senior officers have seen the results of what happens when a corrective change is not implemented.
I agree, there is a subculture to most departments that has the division between command and line levels. If your not one of us then there is no implicit trust. Usually the line level senior experienced officer will have more institutional leadership than the command structure of the department. This is due to the concepts that command is not in the trenches with the staff and they are removed from the day to day.
Change is frustrating and difficult to adapt to the new way. I started my career in policing in 1998 and during that time all reports were handwritten. The only personnel in my agency that were using computers were detectives and staff, which was an old AS400/DOS system. Technology evolved over the next few years and eventually ten years later everything was done on computers. Transitioning from handwritten reports caused some disequilibrium for me, especially the first few attempts to validate a report. The amount of time to complete a report was time consuming for the older generation and it caused a lot of frustration. Eventually everyone became acclimated to completing reports by using a computer and learned that the computer was a faster and easier way. Over my career our agency had experienced all sorts of changes and now I’ve accepted the fact that eventually things change and will never stay the same forever. I’ve learned to embrace change and realize that everyone responds differently toward change.
Those are great examples of change we had to work through. When I went to investigations in 2007 there we were just beginning to use one report writing program. Citations and accident reports were still hand written. When I returned to patrol in 2015, we were on our second incident offense report programs, accident reports, and citations were also done on computers. My disequilibrium was significant. I not only needed to learn how to use the programs, I needed to be able to become proficient enough to check officers' work. I jumped several calls to force myself to work accidents and take I/O reports in an effort to become proficient. One thing is for certain, the organization is not going to stop changing for one person.
I have learned to embrace change and the new adventures that come alone with it. I believe as long as you don't try to change something or a lot of thing to quickly and have a systematic approach, that people will be more susceptible to go alone with the change. As Chief Tobia states, " the process of moving change through the organization is done through a well-planned and coordinated communicated way". as for me, i know I embrace change easier, if I know the reason for the change and the reward of accomplishing the change.
Change is good, and we should embrace it. We always seem to think of change as a negative when it truly is an opportunity to overcome a challenging situation.
Change can get everyone out of comfort zones. What was day-to-day becomes something new requiring understanding before successful implementation. It is easy to see why change can be stressful, especially for leaders who must ensure it occurs while bearing the burden managing those who resist. Successfully implementing widespread change efficiently is the mark of an effective leader, especially if the leader gets everyone involved to accept the change seamlessly.
Cedric, I could not agree with you more. I believe change is good and necessary for anything to grow. change keeps all parties on there toes and prevent complacency.
Well said Cedric, I totally agree. I think in this job we need to work outside of that comfort zone as much as we can, it keeps people ready and fresh in my opinion.
Joseph Spadoni, Jr.
I learned that with change comes challenges. Not everyone is accepting of changes. As leaders, we must embrace change and stay “in the game’ and communicate the changes in a well-planned coordinated way. We must remember there will be setbacks but we have to remain focused.
Keeping the "eye on the prize" or like you said "in the game" is so crucial in our field. There are times that we will get discouraged in the results of our efforts, or the staff do not see things like we do and there is resistance. This is where we have to work together and get that buy in, not just from the "us" side of the conversation but also that concept of getting everyone on board. Staying focused like you stated is essential.
In most situations change is usually met with resistance. But if the purpose of the change and the plan of change is communicated it is easier to accept. Engaging your. staff throughout the process of change is key. People want to feel as if they have a say in decision making. Seek their input. Once they feel included in the process the resistant is decreased.
Kecia, I agree. Communication and engagement are two crucial elements for properly implementing change. Even if everyone is completely satisfied, they will have at least had an opportunity to have their voice heard.
I believe people resist change because of the fear of the unknown. I think as a leader in order to have a positive effect on the people we are supposed to lead we need to explain in detail why the change is necessary in the first place. Having a clear concise set of goals and outlines to that change will aid in making other buy-in. I agree that we should be change managers instead of change agents.
Jeremy Pitchford session #015
Jimmie fear of the unknown is definitely a reason people resist change. Another major factor is the fact that people become comfortable where they are. That makes it easy for them to stay there.
Jimmie and Jeremy, you both make good points. No one wants to rock the boat because of the uncertainty beyond the here and now. People want to keep their space steady. Having a better understanding of what is to come and what will be expected makes the process easier. It provides a sense of security, especially if you are involved in the process.
Being a change manager rather than a change agent, I thought it was a good explanation. I have often seen leaders and been guilty myself of just making a change. Then that change fails, and frustration and stress come with that. I agree staying positive about the change helps others view the change positively. The effort verse reward is an exact way to analyze how change impacts others and how they will see it. It would be best if you had buy-in, or the change will fail or not last.
The effort-versus-reward consideration is instructive, especially in law enforcement. For a variety of reasons, police officers' responsibilities are far greater than they were a few decades ago. Change has in many ways meant more documentation, more effort, more responsibility, and more stress. Buy-in is crucial to successful change.
We observed in this course that change is a constant in all aspects of life. It doesn't matter if you support or are against the change. Leadership and change are tied together. Both are a part of the growth of any culture or organization.
Change is looked as a negative in law enforcement. Everyone believes that you should continue doing the same thing because that is the way it has been done for years before. I believe that everything should be changed at some point and time. With no change, we become stale. When there is a need for change we should always make sure that there is a purpose and everyone buys in. We also need to make sure that the reward out ways the risk.
Leadership and change is a concept that really takes everyone firing on all cylinders. Whether it be the vision, communication, what we need to do to get there, and get through the negativity for the better.
Jason, I agree. I believe we can get through the negativity if we communicate the change properly.
I enjoyed the opening video, TED Talks with Jim Hemerling regarding 5 ways to lead in an era of constant change. I particularly learned from the segment about accelerating and energizing transformation by putting your people first. Much of the time, maximum effort by police officers is expected and is just “part of the job.” We tell our subordinates what to do and they do it. We all know it is an often thankless job. This segment reminded me to enable my people with what they need to succeed, and to articulate to them my clear vision, to create buy-in. To me, that is inclusive leadership.
In the segment by Chief Tobia, I like what he says about some stress leading to learning and beneficial change. I think cops are some of the worst when it comes to being resistant to change, but change presented in a positive way with a benefit is accepted so much quicker and easier. I also liked the part about expecting challenges and when you observe others objecting professionally, listen carefully. So much of the time people react negatively to an objection, but I will take to heart that point.
I think that most law enforcement get into the "stinking thinking" mindset. I feel that if we can change the mindset we can change the overall outcome. The sky will be the limits if we can get out of our own way.
Change in law enforcement has always been a hard thing to accept. People get use to doing the same thing over and over again. When you ask that they to change the way they are doing something, it causes a disruption. It takes good leadership to move people in the directions they want them to go and to accept the change. I myself find it hard to change the way I do something, even when I understand the value of it. We must understand also there can be too much and too little change and guard against this.
Leadership and change: After listening to the lectures, being involved in trying to make change on my end and to be changed by my leaders, I see where we fall short. We focus on the perceived enhancements that we bring to the table and don’t focus enough on the negative aspects of employee pushback and outcome. I think this starts with positive communication with the impacted stakeholders that we usually don’t see. Change is commonly barked as an order, get in line with the leader’s vision with no reasons or buy-in given. I’ve seen this approach fail repeatedly.
Leadership is in the “people business” so this module is particularly relevant to change if we are to have buy-in and ultimately a positive outcome. This course reinforced the previous modules where we need to focus on the endgame and let our in-house talent shine through. As leaders, we need to listen, empathize, and encourage while guiding our subordinates to the goal. In summary, put people first!
This lecture had some great information. It is important for leaders to recognize when change is needed and to know how to go about implementing a change. It is also important to involve everyone in the changes and keep them well informed of the changes being made. Communication is the key for change to be successful.
Devon, my thoughts exactly, communication is the key. That communication may also reveal that change is not needed at all. I’ve been on the receiving end of change that was not needed, it was a knee-jerk reaction that the leader had not thought through. This reaction caused other unintended outcomes that could have been avoided if the leader would have communicated with his subordinates. Instead, it was an order that was barked causing resistance and stress. That’s disappointing because the leader I speak of is probably in the top 1% of all leaders I’ve had the pleasure to serve under in my 37-year work career. We all make mistakes, even the best of us.
I agree with you Devon, and I liked the segment about changing only for a genuinely good reason. Also involving those who would be affected by the change. So much of the time in law enforcement, we are told just to accept that change is inevitable and it may be, but that doesn't mean that it can't be planned out better and that we can't do our part to prepare our people better for it.
Yes... I agree. Everyone knowing what the overall vision is can help with some of the stress associated with the change. The leader should display a passion for accomplishing the vision, which would help motivate others. As you said, Communication is vital, which I agree with. The change must be well planned, coordinated, and communicated to staff.
I agree the buy-in and participation help those affected by the change understand it. I agree that communication is essential, so everyone understands the nee, processes of the change, and the intended goal. Lack of communication will cause unneeded stress.
I agree, communication is definitely key. The way the message regarding change is delivered may change the entire trajectory of the plan. This is when effective communication must be clear and concise. Making people feel a part of change is paramount. It softens the blow.
I agree Devon. I learned the importance of including everyone with change and the proper channels to take before implementing changes. The lecture provided some very beneficial information about change and the importance of how it’s introduced.
Zig Ziglar mentioned that there is only one person we can change. One of the most powerful concepts that I have ever come across is the difference between internal and external locus of control. If my locus of control is external, that is, I am controlled by outside forces, then I can blame everyone else for the bad things that happen to me. It also means that I cannot make any changes. This is a victim mentality. But if I have an internal locus of control, then I am in control of my destiny. I can make whatever changes I see fit, and realize that I am responsible for the outcomes. I really am the only person I can change, but that is a truly powerful place to be!
I liked the video on overcoming resistance to change. it highlighted the idea that you have to find out the benefits for others in the organization and present it in a way where they are agreeable to the benefit of the change. After all, everyone has their own priorities in life.
When someone doesn't feel they are benefitting from change, the resist it. Change should always be for the better of the department as a team, not for a individual.
Zig Ziglar's clip really hit home with me. I can relate to how perception can cloud your views and not allow you to see how well you really have it. In the past a negative outlook has soured my opinion of my environment. And I have seen first hand how it effects others.
I agree, it really takes some time to stop and think about the bright side of things before letting negativity overcome you.
I see this every day in my department. As changes are implemented it usually affects the people towards the bottom, which may consist of the change of day-to-day operations or additional paperwork. This is usually done by email therefore no explanation is given. If you are lucky you have a leader within your division that will break it down and explain it but for most this never occurs.
I agree Michael. We as leaders must make sure our people understand why we are doing something so they can learn from it. We must understand the people on the bottom today are the leaders of tomorrow.
Chief Tobia’s lecture on Leadership and Change had a lot of applicable concepts that I took away. Change within an organization can be a struggle for some. The simple fact is that we all have our comfort zones and sometimes it is different to get past those and challenge ourselves. When Chief Tobia discussed that change doesn’t need always need to be negative. He made a great point about taking the time to learn about the organization before making a change. This is true even if you have been within the organization for a while. It is far more beneficial to get the input and feedback from those who the change will potentially impact the most.
Chief Tobia also made a great point about making too much change too quickly. This can be seen as unnecessary by those that are impacted the most. This will cause resistance and undue stress within the organization. As leaders, we must be prepared to explain the “why”. When people understand the reason behind the change and can support it and more importantly have some input into the decisions that will affect the change then you will have better success implementing the change. It is important as leaders we are ever mindful that we must be change managers and not just change agents. Change for the sake of change will most likely fail, change with a purpose and a plan has a higher likelihood of success.
Chief Tobia’s statement “There can be too much change, where the volume or speed overtake the participants ability to absorb, and they shut down. Knowing this, individuals need to be change managers and not just change agents.” resonated with me. Just like supervisors need to know the personalities of their subordinates to lead them more effectively in daily operations, they also need to know how their subordinates react to and process change. Taking the time to consider how individuals react to change will allow the leader to tailor the delivery of notice of change to those who are resistant to change. It’s too easy to get your orders and execute without considering the perception of others. This can stress and overwhelm some, so the idea of leaders being “change managers” sounds like a valid concept. Those functioning as change managers can help to regulate the delivery of the change notice and possibly the speed of change adoption.
No one likes change for the sake of change. In law, enforcement change is usually seen as an extreme knee-jerk reaction to something that could have been resolved with better communication and training. Positive change comes when we effectively communicate with our teams and get them involved in the planning process. Chief Tobia and Zig Ziglar spoke about how change starts within us and how we cannot change someone else; I believe this is 100% correct as not everyone will support change even when it is for the best.
I agree with you, that no one likes change just for the sake of change. I also see the value of effectively communicating with your team about any change that needs to happen. When the reason for the change is understood and everyone who will be affected by this change is listened to and provides feedback will be more supportive of the change. I think the concept of being more than just change agents to being change managers, to manage the process, to be inclusive, and seek advice from your team. This has definitely a weakness of mine that I am working on.
Forcing disequilibrium is stressful, as Chief Tobia said. His concept of change needing to be well-planned, coordinated, and well-communicated is important. If we are making an extreme knee-jerk reaction to a crisis, we are reacting, not responding. Very few times outside of tactical situations do we need to make split-second reactions. We should try to stop, breath, and think about what we are doing.
The main takeaway I received from Chief Tobia’s lecture was when he spoke of introspection. From the first module of the section, I have had to be honest with myself and discover some hard truths about some of my deficiencies in leadership. This has not always been easy but it has been eye-opening and given me some much-needed skills to improve. I don’t know if this is something everyone experiences, but it has been a positive by-product for me.
I like what Zig Ziglar said about changing attitudes and it all begins with you. I believe in this theory and that we need to change our attitudes about change. I believe a positive attitude is infectious when communicating and selling the idea of a change in the organization. This is the first step to creating a culture that is striving for improvement.
I also liked the idea of identifying formal and informal leaders and including in them in the process and development of the planned change and others will follow. This gives more individuals in the organization buy in and in turn they will be positive when talking about it with other members of the organization
Change, What a concept, as long as someone else is doing it. No one wants to change or thinks that they need to change. Most people want things to be different about where they work as long as they get to stay the same and do the same things. Getting people to understand that the change is going to benefit them, is what the lesson is about and for some people that is a fairly easy task, because they want everything to be about them. The other side though that is always looking for the negative side of things will be super difficult to convince that anything is going to come good out of change. As leaders that is what we face everyday, sometimes internally. We must understand that change is necessary and that we all must adapt to get to where we need to be in life.
Organizational change is difficult and necessary. I think communication is key when it comes to successfully implementing change. Some employees are always going to resist change, but communication regarding the reasons for the change will help. A key point to me was the importance of identifying and involving formal and informal leaders in the process of change. This allows for employees, who may have different perspectives, to voice concerns and possibly identify issues not previously thought of.
Learning Area #1 / Module #8 Discussion Post and Response
Captain Jeremy Harrison
Oklahoma City Police Department
National Command & Staff College, Session 16, 2021
I believe much of this course has pointed out how important communication is in leadership. My entire career there has been a focus on better communication, and rarely have I heard that we have good communication internally and externally. Good communication may be the most difficult task we have as leaders due to the need to constantly prune and nurture relationships to ensure ongoing communication.
Our department has gone through many changes over the last couple of years. The changes have mostly been accepted but there have been some where employees have balked. Generally, when people have been apprehensive, it is because they do not understand the source of the change, the goal of the change, and the method for completion. I believe we have witnessed how good communication has turned resistance into acceptance. However, there have always been examples of where communication could have been clearer earlier, to prevent rumors, complaints, and resistance. I hope moving forward we can all do better at communicating as that always seems to be the most difficult leadership principle to master.
As stressed in the last module on Effective Communication, I believe communicating is the key when implementing changes.
I agree completely
I confess that I have been guilty of seeing people's resistance to change unfavorably. It's been easy for me to pass resistant people off as dinosaurs who just don't want to learn new things or time pleasers who are retired on duty. Tobia's lesson that people resists change because they see it as a threat to them was powerful for me. Because I generally know and understand the reasons for change (and because I'm kind of innovative by nature), I tend to readily accept change and have a hard time understand why others don't. But understanding that people are threatened by it gives me a useful tool to think about why the feel threatened. What do they think this change is going to bring for them? Knowing this, how can I then help them to see that the change isn't going to bring the threat they fear, or that the trouble will be worth it to them and their ability to do the job? This understanding gives me a new tool to empathize with my people and to help them through change.
Ziglar's discussion was outstanding. It's so simple really. People are motivated by positive stimuli. Sometimes though, we aren't able to see the positives because we can't get past the negatives. Not being able to see (or appreciate) the forest for the trees. If we can simply open our eyes to what is truly good about our circumstances, and realize how good we have it, we become grateful. The negatives start to fade away, and our glass becomes half full.
Ziglar highlights the importance of a positive outlook, and the power of that should not be understated. On the other hand, as leaders and change agents, I do think that we have to be mindful that helping our people change their mindsets will only go so far if we don't also help change the legitimate problems they face. In the anecdote he told, it is perhaps true that the woman he was speaking to was the problem and that changing her attitude would be enough (I think we've all known burned out officers whose primary problem was their failure to see that their situation was actually pretty good), but in all of our organizations, there are likely legitimate problems that need to be changed. In these situations, I think it's important that we be careful not to think we can fix that with the band aid of asking people to change their attitudes. If they see us as only lecturing them to be happy, and not working to make things better for them, they will resent us and see us as Pollyanna. We can and should help our people see our organizations positively, but we also need to be making and showing a concerted effort to deal with our people's problems.
Some people see change as interfering with autonomy and making people feel they’ve lost control over their territory. It’s more than just political, in who has the power. As stated in the module, you have to learn how to apply the right amount of change. You cannot change anything in its entirely overnight. If change feels like walking off a cliff blindfolded, then people will reject it. People sometimes prefer to remain mired in misery than to head towards the unknown. As leaders, we should create certainty of process, with clear, simple steps and timelines.
Change has to happen. Change has to happen for a reason. Leaders have to be change managers. People will often dread changes. Not knowing what the outcome will be. Some changes are good and some do not work out. We have to be willing to explain what the change is, the benefits and how it is going to affect people. Listen to their concerns and be able to talk out the concerns.
This module especially pertains to law enforcement. In my opinion, all cops want things to be different but complain when there's change. That resistance to change can be fixed with this module and the last module on Effective Communication. The four steps to help overcome resistance to change are showing the person how the reward of change will benefit them, the risk of not changing, how the person's effort and risk do not change, and how the change does not affect their current situation. These steps will benefit me in resolving resistance to change with my personnel and help me overcome a complainant's resistance to change.
I agree. We all want something different than what we have in our law enforcement professions. But as soon as we experience the changes that come when those different things are introduced, we start feeling uncomfortable. The deputies in my office seem to all have THE idea for changing the way we do business, but actually thinking forward to how their changes will affect the entire organization is a different story. I know this, because it wasn't long ago that I was in that position. Seeing the bigger picture is key to getting folks to understand when and why change is appropriate.
To quote an old cop friend of mine “The way it is sucks and change is bad.” This was a saying he used to make light of those stressing about change and not looking for the positives. We need to be better about pointing the positive aspects of change and helping others to look for the positives.
I work for a department that has had a lot of change over the last fifteen years. Six police chiefs and three mayors along with a city that is among the fastest growing in the state. Four of the police chief changes happened over a short period of time. Change is part of life, some changes are good, some changes are not so good. What Mr. Ziglar made clear, in a very entertaining way, is that attitude is the key to navigating those changes. As part of the leadership in my department I have tried to understand the change, embrace the change, and then try to enlist support for the change. The last two years should have been a lesson to any one paying attention that change is inevitable. One of my take a ways from this module is that change for the sake of change is bad but so is waiting too long to make a change.
100% agree. Change is inevitable and constant. Our ability as leaders to embrace the changes from above and set the tone for those below is critical. But also, is our ability as leaders to recognize the problems, issues, and concerns before major change is needed. Small rudder taps here and there are far easier to process and accept by the masses than allowing those issues to grow and fester to a point require extensive change. In my experience, and I'm sure yours, this is the major failure on the political level of leadership.
If there is anything I have learned in my career is that cops hate 2 things: 1. When things change. 2. When things stay the same. Change is inevitable and no matter how good the change is it seems difficult to get everyone onboard with it. The animated story in the module made me realize that we can not just tell our people why we think they should go along with it. Rather, we have to present a four sided argument, that acknowledges the positive and negatives for them.
Dustin, your comment mirrored my comment. I have observed that exact correlation. Hopefully, we can use what we learn and, when change is needed, use the four-sided argument to augment positive change that is openly accepted.
I agree. I thought the animated story presented a beneficial representation of how we must communicate and think about change. We must look at it from other employees' perspectives and consider the positive and negative impacts the change may have on them.
Change is difficult in any profession. I do believe change is hard in law enforcement because we deal with so much negative, therefore we focus more on the negativity of everything, including change rather than being positive. Let’s face it, we would rather complain about change than try something new. I remember when we implemented a new records management system and CAD. The Chief at that time put together a committee comprised of employees from all levels in the department. It is important to involve formal and informal leaders of the agency to help communicate the benefits of the change. We all gathered information and weighed the pros and cons of the different systems available. When it came time to implement the system selected, those involved in the process were able to talk it up to the rest of the department, thus making the change more acceptable by promoting positive feedback.
Resisting change is a normal part of human behavior. However, it can become positive if leaders focus on the people throughout the processes. It starts with understanding the various variables that will impact the people during change. By recognizing and acknowledging them, one is able to demonstrate an inclusive approach to the transition. They are heard and seen because they have a voice. Your reason for change is not the only consideration but all the reasons present by others for no change have to also be considered and evaluated. Once they perceive the change is not a threat, the benefits outweigh the negatives, and resistance decreases. As with other leadership tasks, it a process that is achieved through goals and looking at each slice of the pie until the whole, being change, is achieved.
This module covered a very interesting topic concerning leadership and change within an organization. This change can be both positive and negative. When most people hear the term used, they assume that the change will affect them directly. Growing up I heard the analogy if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. This does not apply to all things in life as sometimes change is needed for improvement. In our profession in general, we must inspire our subordinates to be “all in” and that comes with putting people first. Matthew Tobia spoke of the different strategies that must be incorporated in order to apply the concept of change properly. The one that stuck out to me the most was inspiring others through a purpose. This holds true and shows that a leader should be able to validate the purpose for the change that he or she is attempting to implement and know who it will affect directly. Always have a positive plan of action ready for when this change is challenged by others. Change may be the best strategy for succeeding and we must be open minded to that change.
I agree Jerrod. I think the positive aspects of change need to be pointed out to them. Talk through their concerns and address them.
It will never be an easy task to change something within an organization, or a change that impacts the community. Most individuals don't want to see anything change but those same individuals don't want to see it stay the same either. "That's how we've always done it" is the most difficult part of change to deal with. Getting individuals to buy into the idea of change. I have never heard the term "disequilibrium" but in a way I have always dealt with the concept. If the change is approached in the right manner, anything is possible. I have found much more success when I get people involved, letting them run with the idea, and keeping them informed is the best way to promote the change. Getting others involved can also help find any negatives to the change or challenges that may occur.
Oh my goodness if I never hear " that is the way we have always done it" I would be a rich woman! Resistance to change seems to always start out negative. The idea to make it energetic and positive by focusing on these same cancerous folks and hear them, redirect them anything can be possible. Inclusivity is the key.
HAHA Never hearing "that is the way we have always don it" ever again would be the day that certain places freeze over! Energetic and positive environment is was we need.
Couldn't agree more. Police officers fight change more than any other group of people I have ever seen. They get in a routine and any new idea, tool, or responsibility they seem to only look at it as just something added to their plate. "What was wrong with the way we used to do it?" After going through this module I believe a lot of that has to do with the leaders just implementing the change and not being inclusive and identifying the formal and informal leaders to participate in the planning and development of the change.
Absolutely! Cross-functional, dynamic teams comprised of the informal leaders of the agency always seem to manage changes way better than a bunch of brass trying to enact it. Even if the team is doing the exact same thing the executives were doing. It is all about perception.
You are exactly right. For change to be effective, it must be positive, and the best way to make a positive change is to bring your team on board and get them involved and invested. It all starts with people and good communication.
Earlier in my career, I hated change. However, as I have grown older, I have learned to appreciate change. Looking back, I learned a lot from my "changes" and I believe it has made me a stronger leader. This module just reinforced my belief that change is good for a person’s development. I thought the lesson on disequilibrium was very insightful. I especially liked how Mr. Tobia explained how stress is a good tool to implement positive change within an organization.
I grow up hating change because so often my family would just up and move. But as I got older and matured, I understood that change was necessary to get to higher stages in my life. Anyone who says they never had an issue with change is lying. I understand now that change is apart of life, whether its convenient or not. Change is 85% of the time better then not changing. Great post!
This was an interesting and insightful lesson. As a good change agent one must be open to those that we work with, with the understanding that not everyone will be open to the change. However listening to their objections and then being able to point out how the change can positively affect them will only garner them to help champion the change overall. The concept of disequilibrium and being able to understand how much stress your people can handle is also a good tool in implementing positive changes. A positive attitude coupled with praise and gratitude as the process evolves can only form a tighter unit.
As someone who usually hate change, I've gained a new perspective after reviewing this lecture. As a leader, I see that change is necessary for development and growth. The key is to learn how to apply the right amount of disequilibrium to be successful with implementing the change. One of the phrases that stuck with me during my review of this module is "The healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude" from speaker Zig Ziglar. I really enjoyed his speech how "attitudes makes all the difference". It's definitely a great way to look at things and to focus on the positive.
This module brings to mind the old adage of we hate when things stay the same, but not as much as we hate it when things change. Both, Jim Hemerling and Matt Tobia make excellent points in this module with their strategies for implementing change but Zig Ziglar's short video on attitude making all the difference brings into perspective how much of a role our attitude plays into our perception of a situation, in this instance, change within our organizations. I think that whether organizational change is forced by factors outside the organization, from the top of the organization down or we as leaders are the ones implementing it, it is most important that our attitude as leaders remain positive and even grateful. Any and all strategies used will not be effective if our attitude as organizational leaders does not promote the change, rendering it a period of uncertainty and unnecessary stress if the changes ultimately did not take hold due to a lack of buy in from the organization at all levels, starting with the top.
I agree totally with your views that a leader's attitude must be positive because it effects the whole organization. A leader with a positive attitude, especially during change, will have a great affect on the organization's employees. They will "buy in" on the direction the organization is headed and not be stress about the change.
I've seen change resisted on many different levels not just on the job. Personal situations, organized religion, social organizations, and educational institutions to name a few. I agree Trent that attitude plays a huge role in accepting change. I too liked the short video and his example of the disgruntled employee. Leaders must enlist support from subordinates and get help promoting the change. Have real conversations about why the change is taking place or needed.
My favorite phrase from this lecture comes from Zig Ziglar. He said that the lady in his story was suffering from "Stinking Thinking." Not only did I laugh out loud, but I immediately knew what he was talking about. It is easy to think of examples of times when I myself have suffered from the same syndrome. It is also easy to think of examples within the department of others doing the same thing. I appreciated his talk and encouragement to be positive in how we choose to see work. Choosing to be positive has a powerful ability not only to change our own view points, but it is also contagious and can have positive effects on all those we work with.
I have to agree with you John, that phrase from Zig Ziglar had me laughing also. I know so many people with the same attitude as the lady he described in the lecture. I have to try his method to some of the negative people around me.
Ziglar was funny and as previously stated we all have the one or two completely disenchanted co workers. His method of listing out the pros and cons was pretty brilliant in that situation as it forced the subject to focus on the solution which led to a complete change in thinking and attitude.
After reviewing the module, I found how disequilibrium is critical in the development of strong leaders and organizations. I have seen firsthand how this concept provides the inspiration needed to develop leaders, stimulates organization growth, instills tools needed to succeed, and puts people first. I found it is crucial that the individual in charge of incorporating the transformation has to be committed. The key to success is learning how to apply the right amount of disequilibrium and not over cooking the individuals that are being supervised.
I really enjoyed the speaker’s lecture regarding how an individual’s attitude can make all the difference in a workplace. He truly touched on how a person’s attitude at work can impact their career as well as an overall outlook on life. From experience, it is generally the same people that tend to always bring problems to the workplace. In many cases the person bringing the problem is looking for attention and establishes a victim mindset. However, I was very impressed with the example he gave in regards from moving that young lady’s negative attitude and turning it into a positive one. It was priceless.
We are currently moving Sergeants around in our organization. When this happens, it causes a lot of nervousness amongst all of the teams. After 8 years in my current seat I am moving to another unit. My investigators are nervous and worried that the "consistency" we have had for so long will be detrimental. I sat down with my team and we talked about possibilities of who would be there new supervisor. Their recommendation was a very good one and when I met with my Lieutenant I was able to influence that decision and work through his concerns. Had my conversation with me team not happened, that person likely would not have been selected. They had buy-in and felt a part of the process which is making the "change" go very smooth.
That is a tough one. When a team has a cohesiveness, it is rough to disrupt that for an unknown. I think sitting down with your team and being inclusive of them and then taking it to your lieutenant was a brilliant example of being a change manager.
My agency has recently implemented a new records management system. At first, officers were excited about it because it seemed to be change that would make their jobs easier. However, the problem occurred when the new system was not operational until almost a year after receiving the training which by then, most of us forgot how to navigate it. This caused a lot of grief, discord and reluctancy to do proactive work because it meant having to use this new system to write a report. I feel that if we had shortened the timeline from training to implementation and involving the informal leaders in the process it would have been a much easier transition than the trial by fire officers are enduring now.
Donald, My agency did this about 10 years ago and had the same issues you describe. Our timing was not in line with going live like it should have been. We learned a lot of lessons from this and it has helped us when implementing other programs.
Donald, I agree. Change is tough when it happens in law enforcement organizations and individuals will want to fight it. I have seen when a new leader begins their transformation within the agency, individuals will become vulnerable. It will take a little time but you will see, as beneficial changes are made, the ones that don’t act in accordance will leave the agency.
Donald, I agree. We went through the same thing about 2 years ago and they are still making changes. We have to just keep telling them it's for the greater good, and it is. It is tough sometimes to stay positive.
Change is good for everyone even though we don't like change it sometimes make life better when you are so use of doing things the same way over a couple of years.
The term disequilibrium was new to me, however I was familiar with the concept by having experienced a major change within my agency with a series of fairly recent retirements. The change was for the better, however there was still some major changes with how the agency was managed and new policies implemented regarding overtime in the wake of COVID. That took some adjusting for individuals who are assigned to task force roles or in positions that require a substantial amount of overtime a week. The change wasn't explained to them directly at first and it caused some confusion. Although not a popular decision with the rank and file, it was a necessary decision to keep the agency functioning properly. When thoroughly explained to the officers, they understood and appreciated the explanation, and continued to perform their duties as before.
Changing things within an organization doesn't seem ever to be an easy task. It has always been said that most people don't like change. I'm sure there is some truth to that; those who push against change can sometimes be used to the way things are. In this lesson, we learn that change is always possible if done correctly. Getting people involved and keeping them informed is an excellent way to begin. Sometimes the change you think is best might not be for others. It is good to be prepared for the reasons others might resist the change and always be ready for challenges.
I agree with your statement Jose. I have experienced the resistance to change. I believe it has to do with the unknown of what the changes will bring.
The lesson on making change and how disequilibrium relates to the effectiveness was well taken. It provided insight to situations I have experienced, some more pleasant than others. The points on speed and volume verses the ability to absorb, inclusion, empathy and maintaining control of the disequilibrium will be reflected on from this day forward. Great lecture! Changed my perspective on imbalance.
I agree Chris some of the changes has been better than others.
Change within the organization will not always be popular and certainly comes with some individuals being very uncomfortable. But I believe that it is our jobs as leaders to effectively apply that change in stages coupled with effective communication skills. Leaders have to be honest and explain the reasons for that change. If leaders fail at this, then the personnel we supervise will not believe in the institutional change and then we all fail as an organization.
This is true. It is challenging to create change when people have grown accustomed to a way of doing things. I like the idea of getting key leaders on board with an idea to effectively create change.
The concept of disequilibrium was a term I had never seen applied to change prior to this module. Prior to really looking into this concept, I would have thought the opposite, equilibrium or stability, would have been something to strive for within our agencies. However, I have since seen how creating disequilibrium can cause stress which leads to learning and ultimately has a positive effect on our agencies.
Those were my thoughts exactly Andrew. Disequilibrium brings on stress which most of us consider as a bad thing. This module helped me remember that some stressors are good and needed to better ourselves and our organization.
Change is unpreventable, there is change in everything we do in life. Whether its' in our professional or private life. We have to be able to accept change and not be quick to discredit the possibility. Changes are good, they bring the possibility for growth and prosperity. Changes are like opinions, everyone feels there is a better way to do things or their idea is better. As human beings we are creatures of habit. We're custom to routines and some individuals cannot adapt to change in routine. We have to be open minded and embrace it. It can be the avenue to success.
I agree, Kevin. Change is unpreventable and inevitable and we must be willing to change, or be left behind and fail. One of the most important concepts I have taken from the module is considering how the changer will affect each individual. With this in mind, we must ensure we are making the appropriate change at the appropriate times.
I agree Kevin. Change is good, although not always readily accepted. It breaks up the monotony and disrupts the sense of complacency that officers tend to settle into when they get too comfortable.
This module talked about change. People do not like change because of the fear of the unknown or because they are comfortable with how things are currently being done. When I think about change, I think back to when I first started at St. Charles. I had only been working at the jail for a few months and one day during roll call, I was handed a piece of paper and told to fill it out. As I looked at the paper it was asking about changing the way the work schedule was currently set up. I was given the option to pick to keep the schedule the same as it was, to go to permanent days or nights, or no opinion. As I sat there continuing to look at the paper, all I could hear was the other deputies that had been with the department for a while complaining that they did not want to change the schedule. For the next few weeks, personnel continued to complain about the possibility of having the schedule changed. Fast forward to approximately a year ago, a newer deputy began conducting research into the benefits to changing the schedule. At that time, he began conducting a poll to check the interest of the personnel that currently work at the jail to change the work schedule. After conducting the polls and submitting it with all the research it was approved for a trial basis. Some of the same people that had complain years prior again began complaining about the change of the schedule. Now that they are trying the new schedule, they are actually enjoying it and seeing that the change was beneficial and was not as bad as they thought it would be.
My lieutenant has an expression he likes to use, "There are two things cops hate, when things change and when things stay the same." So often people do not like the thought of things changing. They do not like the feeling of disequilibrium. Taking where they are comfortable and shifting them. With some people, it seems that even a small change makes them feel like the floor is falling out beneath them. The larger the organization the more effort it will take to make an organization-wide change. Tobia mentioned that if half of the people saying you're moving too fast and half too slow, you are probably on the right track. I always feel like I am on the side of we are moving too slow. I see so many areas where change would be positive as a whole, and yet the process to turn the ship is a slow one. I need to remember that when turning a ship we don't want anyone to get seasick.
Burt - I agree with your Lieutenant. It is very hard to find that place in the middle that will make every one happy. No matter the situation, everyone will not be happy. It is trying to get most of the people out of their comfort zone that is the important step in the process to have effective change throughout the institution.
I remember the first module during the leadership program where they discussed being an agent of change. In this module they expanded on the idea and advised to be a manger of change instead of an agent of change (Tobia, 2017). I can say that our organization is open to new ideas and change. Many of the personnel have to be convinced to embrace the change but overall it is a positive culture toward new ideas. I speak with a lot of my former recruits that I trained and have gone on to other agencies and one of the biggest compliments they give me and the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office is how we are treated. The most recent example of this is how two deputies in Corrections requested to change the shift work schedule. They did the leg work and the research and in the end it was approved for a six month trial. When Administration approved the schedule they pushed the importance that it was driven to better serve the personnel and further encourage more ideas to be brought forward.
Tobia, M. (2017). Leadership & Change. Module 8, Week 1. National Command and Staff College.
I worked with a Major who had ALOT of ideas...HIs nickname "Major Ideas". To his credit, some were really good. However, most of the time he struggled because he didn't follow the simple strategies in change management. He had his in-group and if you were affiliated with it in some way you benefited. But if you weren't and the change affected you; he typically didn't seek input which caused a lot of confusion and resentment. Although very job competent, he struggled with internal communication within the agency.
I thought Zig Ziglar's comments about how people deal w/problems is spot on...I think of all the "complaints" I listened to over the years from citizens; were really an opportunity to for them to get some attention and allow them to vent. The substance of their complaint had nothing to do with our officers; but their situation.
Jay, I agree that Zig Ziglar was spot on. I had the opportunity to attend one of his talks in N.O some years back and it was impressive. No doubt a great communicator and always talks about lookin in for solutions.
One of the concepts from this lesson that stuck out the most for me came from Zig Zigler. He talked about how every person that comes to you with a problem is not looking for you to solve it. Many times, they simply like the attention that comes from having a problem. As soon as he said this, I immediately thought back to several situations where I have witnessed this first hand. The person(s) involved were offered a genuine solution that would work, however they were resistant to the solution as it would take away their problem.
Second, he shared that people who are the problem within the organization are in complete denial that they are the problem. This caused a change of mindset for me as I thought about it. I always have believed these people knew they were a problem and that they found fulfillment in being the problem. It seemed as though they were intentionally taking the stance they were to fulfill themselves. Zigler caused me to rethink their perception when he said they are in complete denial they are a problem. The more I thought about this, the more I realized the importance behind it. I thought back to a few years ago to when I was serving as union president. We had a person who was well known to the union board as being a complainer or malcontent. If he got a raise, he would even complain about that! It seemed to us that he enjoyed the conflict as he would always find another when one to take up when one was resolved. As I think back, I now realize that he probably really didn't even know he was the (and his own) problem.
Amen! Internally and externally I know we all have experienced situations/people you have described. Its frustrating at times, giving people solid advice; but unfortunately they werent looking for our advice just the attention that goes with the problem. Life is too short for that kind of drama.
We have all dealt with, or worked with, the person Zig Zigler described. That person is so negative that no one really wants to be around them. I actually worked beneath that guy for a while. It makes it hard to do your job when your supervisor can not say anything positive about his job or the organization.
Change is going to come to every agency at some point. Society drives a lot of these changes and we as leaders need to be able to the good in the change. We need to be able to accept the stress that comes with the change and use it to drive us in a positive direction to make the change. As leaders when we accept the change and learn to work with it and not against it the men and woman we lead will see us as leading from the front or by example and follow us through the change.
Bradley you are correct every agency will experience change at some point. In our profession with the ever changing moods, trends, etc. we have to constantly adapt. We have to come up with new ideas and have faith in it. If we don't have faith or belief in our own ideas; how can we implement the change. Mr. Ziglar stated "Attitude makes all the difference." If we don't have faith in the change, how do we expect others to accept it. In our profession change isn't just about our fellow co-workers; its' about the community we serve. The change has to be beneficial to both sides.
I agree with you on the fact that change will come at some point. We need to stay positive no matter how the situation turns out. I would like to think that the one making the changes has done his or her homework and can validate the purpose of the change and get everyone seeing the positive aspect of the change rather that the negative aspect.
Bradley, your statement about leading from the front or by example is spot on. If we as leaders are susceptive to change, our subordinates will be more apt to be open minded about the change as well. If we as leaders walk around with a negative attitude about a specific change, our subordinates are more apt to do the same.
I'm sure change happens in every agency and it is viewed by some as good and others as bad. As we have learned here not all change is good and not all is bad. Being that I have been with my agency for over 27 years I have seen a lot of changes and some I have embraced and some I have rejected. The more I learn the more I can see where most changes were needed. Some changes are done for political favors which is not always a good reason for changes. If the change benefits they agency then it is supported by everyone. We have to remember as leaders is that when we believe in the organization, other members tend to do the same thing.
This is a very well worded answer to change. I completely agree with this line of thinking. As I think back on some of the changes that I have witnessed over the years they were needed and in the end great for the office. From the installation of VHS in car cameras to the GPS systems. They ultimately serve us and the communities that we serve with accountability and transparency and serve a greater good. Once I accepted the change and learned to work with it I saw the good in the change, as well as those that I explained the change and its need did.
I believe that in this profession, change is inevitable. Most officers dislike and fight the change because they feel it's not needed. As a supervisor, I am all for positive change. When I took over the narcotics section, I made several changes on day one. The agents welcomed the change because it was all positive and would streamline their paperwork process.
Derek, yes change is definitely inevitable in this profession. We all need positive change Leaders that embrace the change can inspire others to develop themselves and can promote a culture change for the agency
I think the process of disequilibrium and how it applies to changes in a department is important. The stress that is caused be change is normal as people, especially police officer, do not like change. I think this is evident by the many nay sayers when a new proposal for change is made known. This is also why it's important to get buy in by formal and informal leaders, and why change should be driven. It's not beneficial to make a change, just to make a change.
We had a new employee that came into our agency, and although not a leader, wanted to make several changes. The only reason for the change was was convenience for them as that is what they were used to. These changes went against the lessons in this chapter. There was no need for the change, there was too much disequilibrium, and there was no buy in by leaders either formal or informal. The changes, even if they may have been an improvement were doomed from the start.
I think we all have had someone come from a different department and then try to change their new department to mirror their old department. If things were so good there, why did you leave?
Amen!!!! We have had the same problem with my department where they tried to implement things from their old department that didn't work then so why think it's good here.
I believe well thought out change is positive, not the newly promoted version of," I'm here now and must make my mark" kind of change that often occurs with new promotions.
I agree. There is no reason and this lesson teaches us that change should be driven. There is little value to the disequilibrium caused by change for the sake of change. Often these changes are leaders way as you noted as making their mark, not as an improvement that solicited support and guidance from stake holders.
I feel that in today`s ever changing technical world, that change is inevitable and it is up to the leaders to not only except these changes but embrace them as well. We must be enthusiastic about changes and not let employees see us pushing back against these changes. The position I currently hold is Assistant Warden. My captain and I were both promoted at the same time. This was done due to some poor performance and lacking leadership in the positions. We went in and starting talking to deputies, getting ideas and involving them on the change process. Getting everyone involved in the transition of changes made a huge difference.
This module really hit home for myself and my career. As many people in law enforcement know, we HATE change. We are creatures of habit and immediately hate when we hear the word change. I can remember as a deputy myself the immediate hate for the word change within my department. When I went into leadership and had to be the one implementing the "change" I needed to figure out how to effectively do so. This module taught me the importance of making sure you are implementing change effectively. You need to prove the reason for change and expect that it will be a slow steady process before the overall result of the change is seen.
Change in any environment is difficult. Honestly, I really don't like change unless it benefits me. I know some of you may say that's selfish, but there's an old saying that if something isn't broke why fix it. However, I am open to change when it's really needed. I think the way change is presented plays a huge role on if it will be accepted by a team. I think that the person presenting change must be positive, detailed, excited about the change, and they must be open to suggestions once they recommend what's being changed. I think once people hear certain positive words such as an increase and pay, and paid time off they become more open to change. I also believe that too much change can reflect a negative attitude towards a team.
I'm in agreement with you, Kaiana, and I tend to be the same way. While it does seem selfish, I believe most people resist change for the very reason they can't see how it will positively impact them. Their attitude is why change something which is working, for something else that may or may not work. In these cases, I believe it is up to the person presenting the changes to not only present the change, but give details as to why the change is needed, what is hoped for with the change, and how it will positively impact each member of the team.
Whenever police hear the word "change" they immediately tense up and get anxious. Police hate change. We are a culture that strives on following the status quo. I can't tell you how many times I have asked a question as why do do a thing a certain way and the response from an older officer/supervisor is "that is the way we have always done it" At first I would just accept this as the answer, but the more along in my career I have gotten I no longer do. Change without a purpose is useless. All it does is cause animosity and ill will. Change with a purpose that is done at a moderate pace is a good thing. The change needs to have a purpose and not be too much. This will give yourself, as a leader, time to evaluate the change and see if it is working.
I agree Steve. Change without a purpose is useless and it's a waste of time, energy, and emotions. I agree that law enforcement officers tend to tense up and get anxious when change is heard. But, I also think that the way change is presented determines how it's accepted.
Our Department has a Monday Morning meeting with the command team, Sheriff, Chief Deputy Majors and Captains. Once a month it is held out at where correctional facilities are. My captain was gone so I had to go in his place. The Sheriff asked a question and I gave the "Because that`s the way it`s always done " answer. Last time I`ve ever given that answer. I`m not near as tolerant now when I hear the answer either.
I like that Tobia recommended identifying and involving those affected by the change, and I think this common sense approach can have a huge impact. As an example, IT may be considering new equipment for officers with the best intentions for keeping the department on the cutting edge, but if they don't consult and involve the boots on the ground that will be using the equipment it may not be as effective. The communication and feedback is both good for morale and mission accomplishment.
I think the final video, although outdated, was pretty insightful. There is a lot of factors that go into making change especially when it is applied to a large organization. One thing I appreciated from the video was approaching change from all aspects; the benefits and downsides. Being able to identify the negative aspects to a change can help mitigate those aspects. One way of mitigating the negative aspects to a change is to involve those who are going to be affected by the change. This way you can gain input from these individuals and they can help shape the change. I have seen a lot of resistance to change at my agency. As a supervisor it is my responsibility to motivate and encourage my officers towards the changes the department is wanting to make. One of the biggest issues I have when addressing change is when officers complain about the change even if they are not affected by it. It seems like a defensive mechanism that the officers have developed throughout their career. It can be challenging but it is important for me as a supervisor to help the officers see the benefits to the change and be the example for them and the changes.
In Jim Hemerling’s Tedx discussion, he highlighted putting people first. I’ve read a lot about change and Kotter’s principles of change and don’t recall much being said about the “people first” aspect. Kotter and others absolutely encourage employee buy-in and help, but the idea of putting employee’s first is a great idea. So many people are not looking at the big picture, next steps, financial goals of the organization. Creating a philosophy of change that inspires while developing leadership and capabilities of the employees is a fantastic way to encourage change. People will jump on board to big ideas when they feel valued and inspired. And when managers and leaders tap into the skills, talents, and desires of individual employees, it sends a message that the individual and their abilities are truly valued and appreciated. This was a great topic on inspiring change via letting the employee know they are an integral part of the change, not a means of getting things done.
I agree. So many times when we want to change we are thinking about our ideas and how it would effect our vision. Too many times we lose track of those that it will have the greatest impact on, them members of our team. Having employee buy in and truly listening to them is vital if you are going to make purposeful change. We also must be willing to adapt the changes we want to make if we see they aren't useful or effective.
This was an interesting module. I agree with Tobia that change in an organization must be meaningful. Sometimes people want to change for the sake of change, but I think that can be dangerous and only work to increase distrust among staff. Not only must the change have meaning and purpose, but I think it must also be necessary. In public safety it is often times necessary to change to meet the needs of the community; however, we must be cautious that the change is not a "knee-jerk" reaction to public outcry. Sometimes it is crucial to take time to carefully consider whether we should make a change and what that change may actually mean in the long term.
You make an excellent point in your post. All too recently I have seen "changes" made due to the knee-jerk reactions to public outcry. Law enforcement is constantly changing, but as you stated these changes need to be made out of necessity. They need to be purposeful and have good reasoning. It may not be exactly what the public wants, but the leadership in the agency needs to articulate the needs for the changes as well as list the reasons and benefits. Hopefully, the public will listen to reason.
Agreed in that well thought out change may be good. Certainly not the knee jerk form of change so many newly promoted rank are famous for.
As discussed in the lecture, change is not always positive, but, neither is it always negative (Tobia, 2021). As leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that change is needed before turning things on their heads. We need not subscribe to the "Let's break it so we can fix it" mentality, which often promotes change for the sake of change. There mist be good, sound reasons before attempting to initiate change. Additionally, leaders need to expect to be challenged regarding the logic behind changes. To do so, we must listen carefully while seeking to understand the culture and protocols of any organization. Most importantly, any change must incorporate feedback and input from leaders and those also affected by the change.
Tobia, M. (2021). Leadership and change, Module 8, week 3. National Command and Staff College,
Correct assessment when stating there must be sound reasons before changing things. I would add that leaders need to state said sound reasons as well. When there is a failure to announce the legitimate reasons for considering or instituting change, it can lead to anger, confusion, or hurt feelings. Many leaders fail to announce changes, I would argue, primarily because they are not confident in the change or how to promote it. When they can tell employees the reason behind the change it give legitimacy and a much needed explanation to the nay-sayers.
During this lesson a lot was said about people who resist change. I agree that overall, change is needed. I recognize that if individuals or organizations refuse to change, they will become stagnant. On the other hand, I know individuals that are obsessed with change. Not always, but sometimes, change is not yet necessary. My Grandmother used to say, "if it's not broke, don't fix it". One of the most important elements of change is recognizing when it is appropriate and necessary.
My Department is currently undergoing quite a bit of change, but all for the better. One of the pitfalls we have had to look out for while initiating positive change is that some folks want to fix processes that are not broken- its the "Hey, let's break it so we can fix it" groupthink that sometimes finds its way into these processes. I am curious how we address such issues when our workforce sees less of each other in person and deals more so in an online manner.
Best and stay safe-
I agree with this. I think some supervisors get caught up in trying to make a name for themselves, or feel like they're not doing anything when things are running smoothly. "If it's not broke, don't fix it" is simple but effective advice.
Could not agree more. Sometimes you have to take a look at the situation and if it’s working, leave it alone. The supervisor needs to check his or her own ego.
I also agree with this. I like how you mention that if people do not accept change they will become stagnant. I also believe that people will accept change much better when it is explained and rolled out over a period of time. People will learn to respect and understand the change when it is explained to them why it is happening.
I appreciate this module reminding me that there should be a good reason to initiate change. Incorporating major changes in corrections tends to be an extremely difficult process. When introducing change inside the facility it appears to only benefit one side. If change appears to benefit the inmates, staff will moan and groan that the inmates have more rights than they do. When change appears to benefit staff, the inmates start playing manipulation games by using request forms and grievances. We have learned over time to develop change based on the needs of the facility first. We script and implement the change in a very slow way (sometimes over months). It seems to work well for both sides, and causes minimal stress for all involved.
Changes will inevitably be required in an organization over time. Some changes are made out of necessity and others as a means to make a process more efficient or better in the long term. It is important for leaders to recognize when change is needed and to know how to go about implementing a change. Leaders need to be aware there may be obstacles to implementing change and it is important to involve staff in the planning process of a change. Changes should be made with a goal in mind and in an effort to become better. I enjoyed the video at the end of the lecture that pointed out the importance of knowing the benefits and risks associated with a change and how each individual may have their own view of what is a benefit or a risk.
The ability to change as a leader is a positive trait of someone. Change is not bad and change is necessary for continued growth as an individual and as a leader. How we adapt to that change will show our maturity as a leader. There is constant change in the agency i am employed with. Some of these changes are subtle and some are relatively big. The public safety (in my case law enforcement) profession seems to be ever changing. Change is necessary and in the large picture will benefit our profession.
This lesson reinforced the importance of communicating effectively. Effective communication must be open, honest and requires compromise. Effective communication requires us to talk and listen. Within my division, I have an open door policy for subordinates to talk to me at any time. This open line of communication and availability builds trust and shows that the employee is valued. The vast majority of the time, I do more listening than talking. When there is an employee with a problem or issue I want them to voice their concern to me. Most of the time, the employee only wants to talk and be heard. Communication can bring change. Change is not always bad. How we adapt to change says a lot about the type of leader we are.
This module only reaffirms what I have discovered while trying to make department wide changes; people often resist change even if it ultimately benefits them in the end. I like the ideas presented which explain that you need to show people the benefits upfront to lessen the resistance to the change. If they understand how they and the organization benefit from the change, they are more likely to accept it and make the change go smoothly.
I agree that keeping people in the loop with regard to department-wide changes is essential. When everyone has buy-in, the changes have a much greater likelihood of success.
At face value, it seems very easy and natural to take all of the lessons talked about in this module into consideration before implementing a change, but when evaluating some of the changes I've made up until this point in my current leadership role, I've found times when I haven't. This is again a great reminder to enlist the help of those we are impacting to define what the change will look like. It doesn't necessarily mean they get to decide what change will be made, but they can certainly help determine how it is implemented which impacts how it will be received.
The message in the animated video was good but wow, I don't watch Sponge Bob or Family Guy or any other modern animation for a reason. Resistance to change is typical even for the leader wanting or needing to make the change. Leaders have to understand the reason or meaning behind the change and effectively communicate it to the people. Being a change agent is like using a blunt object to force others to bend to the will of the change. A change manager takes the time to evaluate the effects or the hurt the change will cause. Going through the CALEA process is a good learning experience for a leader who is affecting the change. We work in law enforcement and there are changes being forced upon us as we speak, let us prepare and plan to implement the changes seamlessly.
I believe working in this profession and being a leader inside of your agency you must recognize change will always have to happen. I believe change will most time be met with resistance but its our job to do all the planning to ensure everyone understands and have a voice in what is coming and why the changes are happening. I also understand with making change some ideas are going to fail just to the timing of the change, this is the burden of being a leader.
I am the guy working through the policy revision and changes for now but I see changes coming to the laws of this state that are going to place an additional burden on all of us. The last forced change in this state was the mandate that all officers will utilize the body-worn cameras, not a bad change the burden was the state refused to fund the change. We were one of the first departments in the state to implement the cameras five years before the conversations in the state capital but the law being changed forced another look at policies and procedures. Planning for what we see coming is easy enough but for some of our agencies affording the change can cause resistance.
I agree, Major Stewart! Change will always need to happen. Furthermore, change will happen with or without us. Chnage is needed more times than not. We must learn to adjust to the change.
One of the points made during the lecture that caught my attention was about inclusive leadership. Leaders need to have a vision, clear roadmap with milestones, and hold people accountable for results. As a new Sergeant, I will try to stay engaged with other officers, encouraging suggestions and debates that will lead to positive feedback. Those in supervisory positions need to listen to other’s ideas and implement those ideas when appropriate. And, if that’s the case, give credit where credit is due! This sometimes does not happen and is a huge mistake. When a leader can give credit to someone else, it shows they are putting people first and opens up communication and trust.
I agree as leaders we are only as strong as our team, and team involvement if needed if you are to survive change.
You are absolutely correct, Major Stewart! We are indeed a team, working together for a great outcome. Working together will produce a favorable outcome for everyone, always.
In order for any organization to be successful then it must be able to change and adapt to our ever changing world. In this module Chief Matt Tobia pointed out that a good leader through change is able to manage the disequilibrium to balance the process. Too much can equal failure just as too little along the way will equal not enough progress or change. Since change and being able to adapt is imperative it is important to develop that culture within the organization that is adaptable and always learning. This culture will help create a foundation that allows for more effective and efficient change within the organization as team members learn, grow, and help facilitate the necessary actions to be successful. It brings into many of the topics we have discussed in previous modules including: empowering, communication, values, and developing people.
Planning, purpose, and strategy must be included in changing an organization. Change is good, but can be bad.
With recently taking over a new leadership role within my organization. I have had many conversations with the individual whose position I took over, due to his promotion. During these conversation he's asked me what my plans were for change. I did tell him that pending anything that was urgently needed to be changed, I was going to wait to make any changes. The video did show how to observe what is important to people in the organization and use that when assigning tasks to assist with change.
I like this approach. I have seen first hand that when someone new comes up with lots of ideas and tries to make too much happen too quickly, they are met with even more resistance than they otherwise might have. Sometimes the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" approach is best unless there is an urgent need for the change or the change is of great benefit.
Law enforcement historically has always been slow to change; and often have been resentful of change. I looked back in my career and tried to remember if I ever understood the why to some of the changes that were being made and if someone even spent the time to explain the change. Most every time the "why" was never explained and higher always responded with "because it's an order ". As we come into this unique time in law enforcement were transformational change is being mandated; are we instilling a culture of continuous learning, are we inspiring with purpose (explaining the why) and being inclusive with our leadership so great thoughts can come forward. I appreciated this section on Leadership and Change; as it is inevitable we will change but how do we do it in a positive manner.
You are spot on when he stated that historically law enforcement is resistant to change, and sometimes resentful when change does take place. I have noticed that there is greater pushback from veterans officers that are nearing the end of their careers, then that of newer officers. The problem I do see is that the newer officers look up to the veteran officers as role models and see the pushback they give to change. The newer officers some of which are millennial's if you would, are always asking why. It is our responsibility as leaders or whoever may be implementing the change to take the time to explain why the changes needed. I have been guilty myself of finding myself becoming upset or even offended when asked why by newer officers. This is something that I have to work on with my new leadership position.
I got more out of the Zig Ziglar video that anything. I saw that years ago and forgot how good it was. I used it some years ago with a very negative employee who was hyper critical about everything the agency was doing (or failed to do). I took Zig's advice and met the employee at the start of the shift. I asked him to complain about everything and anything he wanted to for the next 10 mins whilst I intently listened. After his 10 mins were up, I told him I didn't want to her another negative remark for the rest of the day. I kept up this ritual each day until he ran out of things to complain about. I then transitioned to having him talk about things that he liked for 10 mins at the start of shift everyday. It worked. or at least he quit complaining around the squad. #smallvictories
I really like that idea Jed! I have a few employees I can think of that may benefit from this type of exercise. Effecting a change in attitude is difficult to do, but your example showed you cared as a supervisor and wanted to help this employee see things from a different perspective. I think I'll give this approach a go in my organization.
I've heard the saying, "the only thing a cop hates more than change is something different" a thousand times. I know its not true because so many new people put in for different assignments every couple of years (promotions included). What people hate is change just for the sake of change or change without understanding why. The animated portion of the module was a little annoying in its presentation, but the message was good in explaining change is excepted when it has a purpose, the purpose and direction are clear, and it is well planned in a way that is best for the majority. Plus, almost everyone is diagnosed with attention disorders these days, so you kind of need to have some change to at least keep things interesting.
In law enforcement, we often forget how important the "why" is. We are used to issuing orders and expecting to hear a "Yes, Sir!" and nothing else. But if we want our peoples to buy-in to a change, it's much easier and productive to give the "why" on the front end. The "why" allows them to see the need for change up front, to see that it necessary.
Something that hit close to home for me was the lecture about negative colleagues how a job is just a job and they want to take their money and go home. They don't put in any extra effort and often bring a negative attitude along with them. That will often bring down a lot of other employees that take pride in their agency and want to be better and learn more. Ignoring negativity can only last so long before it starts to directly effect other people that have to deal with routinely. Those negative employees can often be the most challenging individuals to lead but it is possible. Getting buy-in from those negative individuals will be difficulty but it's necessary to help change the culture of the organization.
Throughout the lesson the underlying theme that resonated was the need for self-reflection or awareness. Too often resistance to any change endeavor starts with oneself, even if you are the individual promoting the change initiative. Too often it’s the simple things like saying this will not work as everyone hates change, poisons the task. As stated by Ziglar, people want the attention that goes with the problem. Until individuals understand their role in the ability or inability to effect positive change in an organization, attempts will always fail. Creating the mechanisms to reduce the perceived threat of the change initiative starts at the top and is the true test for the leadership.
I'm guilty of coming in and pushing fast change without considering the disequilibrium. Sometimes we get so entrenched in our desires or what we think is right and just expect those effects to keep up. This module helped me understand too fast and too slow of change and that we as leaders need to be good change agents.
The cartoon video really made me think about change and why people are resistant. Taking these lessons of what motivates someone to want to follow or change is the key. Basically, we need to have a big enough carrot to entice the person or group to buy-in, see the value, and move with us. We need to keep in mind that we will never gain 100% buy-in on any one change item. Like the lecturer said if we find that sweet spot in our speed and methods our change will be successful. We need not change for change's sake but for good.
Change is always tough for many people. I like one of the statements and I think it fits the situation well, "Resistance to change is the action taken by individuals and groups when they perceive that the change is a threat to them" (Tobia, 2017). Change can be scary and unknown. Many people view change as bad because they are comfortable in doing things the way they always have and it sound like work to change them. I think the animated video did a great job of showing how to show that the change will benefit those involved. What's it it for me? is a common question people have. Change can be hard work, why are we doing this change and how will it help me. If you are able to answer these questions, change is much easier.
It's funny how many times in my career I've asked, "why do we do that?" The common answer, "I don't know" or "it's how we've always done it." Comfort is something we all enjoy but often times the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, we just need to get a ladder, climb it, and have a look.
Throughout history, there are many cases of change that happened for the good or betterment. Someone needs the courage to stand up and suggest or challenge the status quo.
Ha: "it's how we've always done it." I think that was something they taught in the academy before we came along because I've heard it a lot. Fortunately I had a sergeant early on who absolutely hated that saying. He was rough around the edges and seemed like one of those old unchangeable types until you got to know him. He also didn't mind changing something if we came to him with a plan, or could show why something we were doing wasn't the best way. Even though we were all a little scared of him back then, we all still talk about how much we appreciated him in hindsight.
Really enjoyed the segment by Jim Hemerling. His presentation was easy to follow and very simple but yet effective. Very simple concept of "Put people first." What an idea!?!?! I think when we as a society come around to this way of thinking is when we will see some true change. Also, if we follow Hemerling's 5 strategic steps we should be able to create some of the best work environments in the industry and create models for others to follow. One other key concept to this way of thinking is that if you are a new supervisor or leader within an organization that you take the time to learn and understand the organization before starting to make changes. Being in L.E. I know this weighs heavily on the minds of officers when a new Sheriff of Chief is sworn into office.
A new sheriff in town, scary! One of the best pieces of advice I've heard in the course and elsewhere, don't just come in a shake things up. Simmer, I call it. Then study, listen, evaluate, then make the necessary changes. Empowering forward-thinking is huge too.
I found this module to be very interesting in that it completely shifted my understanding of how disequilibrium can yield positive results. By definition, the word provides for a negative connotation: unstable, imbalanced, etc. but in reality is serves to cause stress which is the catalyst for change. Change is necessary for sustainability in any organization. The keys to success with change is to know how much to apply. This is where I think organizations fall short- they want too much too fast, and failure after failure loses the morale of the people.
Change is never ending and our organizations will continue to change and we will have to accept that. I think this lesson brought several new avenues to make them easier and more adaptable to staff and the organization. One thing that I like that was brought up is we need to start by putting people first. I think we focus on the task or change at hand and not how it will affect the people doing the job.
The job has changed once or twice in my 23 years. Pun intended.
We focus on the negative as humans too much. There is way more positive out there in our world or change than negative. We just have to focus on that. Changes will happen, look at the last 6 months in the world.
Quite a fitting topic for our current times. Change is certainly happening at a rapid pace all around us. I appreciated the discussion at first about how people generally are enthusiastic about change that they bring about personally but aren't excited when change occurs within an organization. RPD is currently going through alot of changes right now. We're changing personnel, assignments, facilities, and processes. I don't think that all the change currently going on has been adequately explained to staff on why the change is needed, and how it will benefit them. On the other hand, some of the change has been communicated well. We will be changing our patch and badge. Officers tend to identify greatly with those two items for obvious reasons. I believe this change will be a success because the reason the change was necessary was communicated and staff was involved as much as possible.
I do agree that resistance to change is difficult and it takes time to affect the change. I am sure many departments are experiencing the budget struggles that COVID-19 had created for police departments across the nation. It has forced many of our leaders, me included to come up with new strategies related to the ability to provide non mandated training for our officers. Many of us are looking for ways to provide training to our specialty units on duty time, to not incur compensation, and not affect minimum staffing at the same time. Some of the solutions that we have come up with are specialty unit leaders spent a portion of time going thru work group schedules and staffing to catch parts of their teams on their workday and provide training. Another solution has been to split the officers from different shifts who are on those specialty units and send the supervisor to them on work time to provide training. As you can guess there are grumblings about the ability to change how we have always done things. My goal is to make sure that even during difficult times our people still understand the importance of the specialty units and our ability to train. I tell them remember our purpose. I have even looked at my officers during training and asked them if they had some better ideas that I was willing to listen. Unfortunately, I get crickets from the group. There is disequilibrium provided in this situation and I am trying to inspire through purpose. The funny thing is if we continued to train this way for 5 years many people will forget or accept it. My question would be during this discussion, how do you get people to accept change when you are trying to apply the strategies talked about and make it a positive experience. We all know cops carry a little cynicism with them!
Cops certainly can be cynical. I too get frustrated about how Officers dig in their heels and refuse to accept change. I will try to introduce topics of change in group discussions to elicit responses but don't get any. Then, after the discussion is over, the griping and complaining begin about things points of concern that people fail to introduce at the time of the dscussion.
I liked how this module not only suggested that good leaders need to embrace change, but also acknowledged the importance of carefully assessing the need for the change. In other words, changing just for the sake of appearances isn't ideal. The assessment of the change includes many considerations: how will the change make the organization better, how will staff deal with the change, is this the right time for this change, do we have the budget for the change, and among many that need to be considered. This process is part of being a "change manager". Change is much easier to get on board with if the expectations are clearly communicated in advance. Staff need to know more than the "what" of the change. They also need to know the when, how, and why.
This module played well off the last module, effective communication. I think that is what you're saying here- communicate the basis for change, the how we will change, and the expected outcome of the change to the people, and the people will more inclined to adopt the change. I think this also fosters an overall feeling of gratitude, which as Mr. Zigler stated, is the healthiest emotion of all.
Delegation of tasks and authority is big in gaining buy-in. In my agency, we've created various mini-committees comprised of all our bargaining groups to address things such as policy modifications, training, mental health topics, and mentorship program. When the people have equity in the change, the larger group will jump on way more than a top-down approach.
As leaders, we must embrace change. Realizing, of course, that not all change will succeed or be accepted. I appreciate the idea that if half say we're moving too quickly and half say we're moving too slowly, then we are probably doing it right. It is certainly true that it takes a long time to institutionalize change, but it can happen!
I enjoyed the Zig Ziglar video portion of this unit the most. He made a great point that people who come to you with a problem might not want a solution and the eyes are the windows to the soul. Both great points. Much like when someone says they are ok but you can see that they are not. We need to get better at working the problem and not just providing someone a platform for attention seeking. This encourages leaders to know when someone needs gratitude and when someone needs guidance.
I would agree with you Chris, most people that have problems or go to others with their problems most often are not looking for an answer they just want to gripe and complain. I think as a society we have allowed this to happen more than we want to admit. I like your assessment of "working the problem and not providing a platform for attention, this allowing leaders to see the difference between people seeking gratitude or guidance."
I agree that Zig Ziglar's video did a good job of explaining and making a point that a leader must be aware of an individual's motivations. It helps to understand the nature of complaints, gripes, and how it relates to actual problems. The solution is hard enough to find at times and the video helped illustrate the power of attitude within a set situation.
Change is challenging and we are always knee deep in several aspects of change. Whether that be planning change, deciding what change is most appropriate, trying to manage problems associated with a current change or convincing those around us that the change that was just made is appropriate. It can become so chaotic!
I liked the 5 initiatives for changes presented by Jim Hemerling during his Ted Talk.
1. Inspire through purpose
2. Go all in
3. Enable people with the capabilities they need to succeed
4. Instill a culture of continuous learning
5. Inclusive Leadership is crucial in putting people first.
I look forward to evaluating my next work related change against these 5 initiatives.
I also noted these five imperatives. They were each well thought out and very practical. Changes can be challenging and showing people the purpose is the first step. I also found that his comments about change taking time and we must go all in is also key. Overall, each of these 5 items are very important to focus on during change, but also at other times in our career as well. I do not see anything on this list that should only be used during change.
Leadership and Change definitely fits with public service. We are always changing and right now feels is a time of great change across the nation. I thought it was interesting (and very true) that personal change is often viewed as positive but changes at work are viewed negatively. That made me stop and think for a few minutes and I kind of chuckled as I thought about personal changes I have made/attempted over the years as well as changes in my organization. I think the reason behind seeing personal changes as positive is because we are the one's making the decision. We know the pros and cons, we've weighed out different options and we are the ones making the plan for the change. We don't have as much influence in changes at work so it can be easy to view them as negative.
The presenter in the TED talk made some great points when he was talking about putting people first. I'm going to have to try some of things he mentioned and see how they work.
I have seen the Zig Ziggler clip before but each time I see it I have enjoyed the story of the lady that wanted his help dealing with people at work. After Ziggler's suggestions he see's the woman again and she tells him how much the people at work have changed, I chuckle every time I see this clip. I am sure each of us has worked with somebody like this before. They are not able to identify themselves as the problem. I also love his term "Stinking Thinking"
Jim Hemerling in the TED talk made a good point about how people view self-transformation as a positive and organizational changes are negative. I liked the steps he mentioned and putting people first. There seems to be a recurring theme, leadership is about the people. I currently have a plan in the works to change something but now I need to rethink if this idea is even needed and maybe collaborate with others.
I have seen a shift in our organization toward a "people first" philosophy. This is an important part of having all staff accept change and see the reason for it. Law Enforcement is a people business through and through. The wellness of our officers, the cooperation of those in our custody, and the trust from the citizens depend on putting people first.
This reminded me to observe the effects of change on a wider view when talking about change to others. When approaching officers with a concept that involves change it is imperative that we as leaders try and view how that change will affect them. The previous module discussing effective communication flows right into this one. When talking with officers about change, we should use effective communication and remind ourselves not to begin a sentence with “No” “But” or “However”.
It is can be a challenging path when implementing change, specifically when it comes to how much to implement and when. I like how the module discussed the pitfalls of not managing disequilibrium appropriately, too much = failure, too little = little to no effect. It drove the message home that being an effective leader involves tact, timing, and communication.
I think the most important part of this module is Zig Ziglar’s message about attitude. His video is a bit outdated and he initially comes across as a fast talking snake oil salesman, but his message is spot on. We have all worked with toxic colleagues that have nothing positive to say about the organization. And yet, they show up each day to collect their paycheck and share their miserable attitude with their colleagues on a daily basis. I think if we can change the culture of the department and be grateful for the opportunities that we have in front of us, I think we, as an organization, can accomplish anything. Changing attitudes is going to take some strong leadership, but it is possible.
I agree Chad. Much of change revolves around attitude. Being grateful for the opportunities we have is important, and its imperative that we not loose sight or forget about those. We have all been to trainings around the country where you here what other officers have for opportunities, pay, advancement, etc…it makes me appreciate where I work.
I agree with you about the message of attitude. Someone's bad attitude unfortunately can spread like a wildfire and create a toxic work environment. I had such an experience with a person that has since retired and thank goodness they did. They were impossible to address and never took responsibility for their own behavior and attitude. I do like his exercise of having them write down what they like about their job and going from there. I intend to use that on someone.
I agree attitude can be a major issue. Cops can be cynical and some of that may be related to the daily grind of police work. Zig makes and excellent point though that negative attitude is a choice. Officers may have to do some service self-reflection get themselves out the negative funk, but I think a good supervisor recognizes those officers and addresses them. I think ideas like mandating officers to not just complain but think of ideas to bring to the table can make major cultural change at a department over the long run not just with attitude but also critical thinking. Also having a supervisor with a consistent positive attitude can help move the change along faster.
Agreed. Cynicism and a negative attitude can be persuasive in our environment. Many times, I have officers that sometimes just need to vent and having that outlet is beneficial. On the other side if an officer is just constantly complaining they should be taksed with offering constructive solutions. I agree that this can bring about positive cultural change within a department.
There were several areas of Jim Hemerling's Ted talk that I really liked. I made notes of the "5 Strategic Imperatives" in his talk. When thinking about them I found that I was already doing some, but needed to make sure I was doing others. For instance, in the areas of the job that I teach and instruct, I'm seeking out those who I can plan to take over for me. I'm working to build them now so that when I move on, they are ready to take on my roles. In that way I feel like I'm trying to hit the first imperative he spoke about, "Inspire through purpose: Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow." However, I haven't had a roadmap or held them accountable for results like he talks about in the 5th imperative.
What stood out for me in this lecture is that planning is the key to long term success. Too often we jump into projects without taking the time to identify all possible obstacles. It is also common to proceed with a plan without informing all stakeholders or including them in the planning process. According to our lecture, change is stressful, but it can be managed if people get to participate and contribute in the process. To reduce stress, we have to consider the impact on the employees. I also think it is beneficial to discuss the plan with someone who is not personally involved in the process to find out if all possible variables are covered.
I think you are correct on this Maja. I think one of the biggest mistakes that an organization can make is not involving the stake holders in on the change. This leaves these people with the impression that their opinions are not appreciated.
I learned that peace officers hate to be stagnant but also resist change. While our profession requires constant change with new laws, senate bills, updated policies, we as leaders have to realize that change happens for our people constantly. I learned that positive transformation and putting people first make change easier. Change is difficult. The teachings contained in this lesson were not foreign to me. As a patrol officer, I hated change when we were not included and the leaders just made a change without explaining the pros and cons. As a first-line supervisor, my duty is to properly communicate change to my subordinates and positively transmit that information. Most people resist change because of the unknown. They later adapt and enjoy the change. Seasoned and newly hired officers will respond to change differently, therefore the approach of delivering the change has to be tailored to that specific group. In order to successfully apply change, leaders must maintain balance and consider the disequilibrium. Change has to be slow. Essentially, leaders have to learn to accept the push back when implanting change or when their ideas are criticized. It is not a personal attack but rather a way for the affected individuals to express their opinions. It is also important for leaders not to change things quickly or make the changes unreasonable. It is imperative for leaders to understand this if they want their teams to positively embrace the change.
If change is delivered positively and members are included in the process, leaders would be more successful at implementing it. It is important to remember that regardless of how good a change could be, people are comfortable in their positions. A leader needs to have an open mind and accept that a different approach needs to be implemented. As leaders, perhaps it would be a good idea to obtain feedback from subordinates before setting an organization change. At the end of the day, people are the most important part of an organization. Considering them before implementing changes will positively create a cultural change.
Eduardo, I have noticed that other supervisors at my agency tend to tell those who are resisting a new directive; "Well the chief said that's what we need to do, so just accept it and get it done." I hate that. I like to tell them what the directive is and why we are going to start doing it. I even tell them the obstacles or difficulty I see, but explain what the goal is and why it's going into place. I also add in the positives that I see relating to the effects of the directives.
I learned that peace officers hate to stagnant but also resist change. While our profession requires constant change with new laws, senate bills, updated policies, we as leaders have to realize that change happens for our people constantly. I learned that positive transformation and putting people first make change easier. Change is difficult. This teachings contained in this lesson were not foreign to me. As a patrol officer, I hated change when we were not included and the leaders just made a change without explaining the pros and cons. As a first-line supervisor, my duty is to properly communicate change to my subordinates and positive transmit that information. Most people resist change because of the unknown. They later adapt and enjoy the change. Seasoned and newly hired officers will respond to change different, therefore the approach of delivering the change has to be tailored to that specific group. In order to successfully apply change, leaders must maintain balance and considered the disequilibrium. Change has to be slow. Essentially, leaders have to learn to accept push back when implanting change or when their ideas are criticized. It is not a personal attack but rather a way for affected individuals to express their opinions. It is also important for leaders not to change things or make the changes unreasonable. It is imperative for leaders to understand this if they want their teams to positively embrace the change.
If change is delivered positively and members are included in the process, leaders would be more successful at implanting it. It is important to remember that regardless of how good change could be, people are comfortable in their positions. A leader needs to have an open mind and accept that a different approach needs to be implemented. As leaders, perhaps it would be a good idea to obtain feedback from subordinates before setting an organization change. At the end of the day, people are the most important part of an organization. Considering them before implementing changes will positively create a cultural change.
I don't think our profession is all that different from the cultures within other professions, people are resistant to change because it's unfamiliar, requires effort, new learning and your bucket may increase in the volume of responsibility that you carry. we may not be immediately comfortable with our environment if a change is implemented. All of these things results in stress, which, according to the lecture is why change is difficult and why people are so resistant to the change. One of the key take aways from this lecture for me was to be successful in effecting change, we must learn about what motivates those who we are asking to make the change and find out what might be standing in the way of change to be successful. The reward has to outweigh the risk.
The concept of “what’s in it for me” was definitely eye opening, but certainly makes sense. I’ve often been puzzled when people resist change that in the end will benefit them. After watching this lecture, I realize that I need to work on identifying risk factors from the employee’s point of view and develop a strategy to address these risks in the overall plan.
Maja, in addition to identifying the risk factors, we can put an emphasis on the rewards of the change. I think by identifying the risks our subordinates and coworkers will notice that we are at least looking at those and understand them. But, by adding in and putting an emphasis as to what the goals are, it helps them understand why the changes are taking place and can help them see the rewards of working toward those changes. I think that is part of laying out the roadmap for them to see. What do you think?
One key difference between law enforcement and other professions is that we are all type A personalities. We all want to take charge, be the lead and direct. With our personality traits it becomes more challenging to take feedback from others especially if we do not agree with the change. I know for me personally you need to demonstrate or prove to me why the change is important. Once you have my buy in, change is easy.
In this module on Leadership and Change, I agree that change can be hard but important. It's important though to keep in mind that change for change sake isn't necessarily good change. There needs to be reason for the change and a goal. Another good take away from this module was managing the speed and amount of change. I have seen this in my own agency. Over the past couple of years we have seen a number of substantial changes. At times the changes seem to come fast and furious. Although changes can be good. At times, you need to allow changes to sink in before moving on to more change. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming and you can lose the perceived of value from the people who are affected by the change.
Great points about agency change. This stresses the point that agencies need to make sure changes are made out of need and not just to "shake thinks up". Agencies that make changes without fully understanding the agency and the needs are destine to fail.
Often times people look at change as being scary. Primarily because it is different and will often take them out of their comfort zone. This lesson speaks to finding a balance of change to keep the department moving forward, but also being able to show the value and reason for making the change. I really liked how the lesson talked about including many different people within the department. This works great when trying to ensure there is buy in, and taking this even a step further, when you have people in the department included in developing the change, they will also be active in talking about the reason why. When people understand the why they are more likely to move forward with the risk. Change does not always have to be a bad thing, or a hard thing. Especially if you are to plan for it and explain the whole process.
I agree with you. When making change it is important to allow people from all levels of the organization to provide feedback. Even if the feedback isn't adopted, people have greater buy in to the change when they feel as though they have been part of the process. Also, in our organizations we have a lot of talented people who have a lot to bring to the table. Engaging them can only help the process.
I agree, including others in the decision making process of the change is able to get buy in. I know I personally accept the change much more if I'm included in the process. I may not always agree with the final outcome but at least I had a voice in the conversation.
Certainly there will always be people that are going to be unhappy regardless of what the change is. You can't always make people happy even if the change is for their betterment.
Now more than ever, Jim Hemerling’s statement that we’re in an era of “always on transformation” rings true. Communities are speaking out demanding change, transparency and the end to brutality. Typical agencies will struggle with this. Tobia builds on this premise when he says that transformational agencies that are “adaptive tend to view these changes positively” and that those agencies that “cling to the past get run over”. More succinctly and in today’s terms, those stuck in the past will not have a job. Tobia relates several important concepts to keep in mind. The first is that for change to take place, there needs to be a purpose and good reason. Without this its hard to get buy-in. Second is there will be set backs. I see this as remembering that sometimes the trip is worth more than arriving at the destination. Last and probably most important is you cannot effect change until you can change yourself. If you cannot follow the tenants of change or you don’t believe its worth the trouble, no one else will either. Learning from mistakes, promoting the agencies victories and open communication will drive positive change in an organization
The only thing that is consistent, especially in public safety, is change. Learning how to be a great change agent is invaluable and I learned some great lessons in this module. Jim Hemerling’s five tools for effecting positive transformation was inspiring and I do hope that good leaders continue to share this message. Inspiring with a purpose, instilling a culture of continuous learning and being inclusive can all parlay into the cute animated story about change. The portion where the manager wanting to make changes really had to learn to accept challenges and the perception that people are not willing to change is not true. Leaders have to examine all perspectives, particularly those that aren’t their own, to appreciate how the change they want may affect those around them. And sometimes change doesn’t necessarily mean an upfront savings, but the investment in people with the right initiatives will save even more money over time. If we instill a culture of continual learning, then we can give those people that will ultimately affect the change the knowledge, skills and abilities to make it happen.
This was a very familiar theme. Understanding change and why change is difficult. This seems to be pretty common in our organization. Often times the comment is made from command staff that "people just don't like change." I am very in line with when Matt Tobia made the comment that change causes stress. I have always believed that people don't like change because they get comfortable with their day to day duties and for that reason they don't want to change. Part of the reluctance is because they do not know how the change is going to affect them. I do believe that change needs to be more gradual than sudden. That way it gives you time as the leader to adapt with the change and take care of the why's or the reluctance to change as it occurs. If you can gradual cause change then it will not be as stressful and there is a better chance the change will occur.
I think another way to look at this is in our world things are constantly changing. We need to adapt to every situation, often times very quickly. Our instant decisions can be the difference in saving a life. All that being said, when we live in constant change or chaos we don't want to give up the small things we can continue to control. I think the key takeaway for me, is when possible, give our people the power to influence or be a part of the change as it is happening.
I agree, change is best implemented gradually vs suddenly. Our entire county just switched to a different RMS and it was done basically over night. This has caused a LOT of stress and anxiety throughout my department.
At the beginning of this module, Jim Hemerling said it best. "You need to go all in!" Change is difficult and may be frustrating at times, but if you don't put forth the effort and accept the change, fighting change could be a negative experience to the whole department. It's having the willingness and adapting to the change that makes you stick out from the rest. One of the strategies Matthew Tobia discussed was to, "Take the time to learn and understand the organization before undertaking change." We need to be willing to expect change, both good and bad, and consider that there may be a valid thoughtful reason behind the change. I thought the quote from Tobia said it best. "There will be set backs; remain focused on the end game." I also enjoyed Zig Ziglar's approach when he stated that if people refuse to take step #1, they will never take step #2. That quote stands for many things in life, not just forming to change, but taking the initiative for the betterment of yourself and the way you teach others.
I agree with this and that if you are going to change you need to be "all in." If you do not understand what the change is, and communicate the change to your command staff so you have buy in before implementing the change I believe the change may fail or it will look like you do not have support for the change. If you do not have support or the "all in" attitude the change will not occur.
Mitchell’s comment about the instructors statement “take time to learn and understand the organization before undertaking change” is so important and yet is still ignored by many new leaders. While it might be glaringly obvious that someone taking charge of a new agency should do this, it is important to remember that new leaders inside a department need to do this as well. For example, as a sergeant, you knew your team.. but now your the Lieutenant and are responsible for 3 teams. Your organizational view and knowledge base needs to grow to meet the parameters of your new responsibility. In these situations, a skillful and self aware leader quickly realizes what they know and what they need to learn. Most leaders think they see the big picture and make decisions affecting whole departments when in fact they are making decisions based only on a glimpse of one small piece of the puzzle.
In part, there is a challenge to members of the organization when their sphere of influence changes. This shift in focus, especially as one moves up the ladder, is going from the tactical to the strategic, or planning and coordinating side. The organization can and will look different, which needs an understanding when the individual faces a change endeavor. Being open to looking at the subject at hand with various lenses may support one’s buy-in to the change initiative. Experience combined with a real organizational understanding makes a huge difference in one’s success as a change agent.
This module touched on the main subject of today’s conversation “Change”. As a supervisor I too have seen things change from when I began my career. I feared that change may cause a significant problem but as time advanced, I watched things evolve into a great movement. Now I gaze at things differently. So as a leader I encourage my subordinates to embrace change and we as a team will weather it together.
As law enforcement leaders, we are responsible for driving positive change within our agencies. That means that we should continuously question the way things are being done and searching for a better, safer, and more effective way of doing them. One of the most dangerous police work phrases: "Because we've always done it this way." My answer to that statement is, "Just because you have always done it that way doesn't mean that it ever worked. Police officers are human, after all, and humans by nature are resistant to change.
Leadership and change begins with you, the leader. Including your subordinates in the ideas and concepts of change help ease the motion of change. At my agency administration decided to upgrade to a “better” data software system. I could not believe all of the resistance I heard from the officers due to them complaining about the data system we currently used. A subordinate under me and I met with the shift personnel, some as a group and others one on one. We allowed them to express their concerns and also what their expectations were of the new system. This allowed them to “buy in” to the change. They played an effective role in building the sections conducive to their job duties.
Once the roll out of the new system took place most officers embraced the change and actively participated in correcting some of the glitches. As time went on the system has enhanced performance and productivity because everyone took part in the change.
Jessica, I agree. "Buy-in" is an important component of effecting change. Someone feeling that they had input into the process will mostly always be more acceptable to the change being implemented.
I often use the phrase "Cops don't like change and they don't like the way things are." At my agency, I am currently a Lieutenant in the Patrol division and in charge of a Patrol-shift. i am constantly looking for ways to make my shift and the division better. The resistance to change and try new things was surprising. i think people get comfortable doing things a certain way and don't want to change even if the new way is better. Once you implement the change and they realize its better for them, they wonder why it didn't happen much sooner. People are creatures of habit.
One of the things I learned in this profession is that no one likes change. Officers like things a certain way and when that gets disrupted or changed, there is usually immediate push back. I've found myself in that same boat throughout my career. For me, the push back came from a lack of understanding why that change needed to happen. I don't think it was communicated effectively enough why the change needed to occur and what the benefit of that change was. This module provided great insight on how to overcome some of the hurdles to those resisting change. Moving forward I will embrace those ideas and use them to help overcome resistance to change. As a leader, when change comes from the top down it is our responsibility to embrace it and show through our actions and attitude to others that the change can be positive.
Initiating a change can be the most difficult a leader has to do. People who are settled in their ways or see no benefit to the difference can be challenging to convince how beneficial the change can be. We must ensure that the change is for the betterment of the department and not merely a way to reinvent the wheel. The positive side of change will be diminished when it is seen as just another new rank trying to make their mark. Change for change's sake is never acceptable, and the outcomes most always seem detrimental to those it affects.
I agree that change for the sake of change is not acceptable. Change should be for the betterment of the department. Change is often difficult especially if it creates more work for someone. For example, when our department started having deputies enter all the NIBRS data information themselves. There was immediate push back because it created more work for them on the front end and was not easily understood. It took some time but everyone has embraced it and has a much better understanding of why we do it and how it works.
Lt. Flavin, this was the first thing I thought about during the discussion of the module, so I thought I had to respond to your discussion. Entering the NIBRS data information was a difficult transition that was initially frowned upon by numerous individuals, including myself. However, once everyone got to understanding it, and realizing the importance of it, it became easier for everyone and less frustration was present. It goes with any style of change. Change can be bad, or it can be good. Like you said, it's how you embrace it and focus on learning the new styles rather than complaining and not wanting to put forth the effort.
Jeffery, this is a great point indeed about new rank trying to make their mark. When I became a new supervisor on shift I had to observe and distinguish what changes needed to be made. As I shaped and addressed the plan of change, for my team. Some of my subordinates were on board and some were not. As time permitted we evolved together change was taking its form and my team and I was reaping the benefits of a stronger and much healthier change.
I couldn't agree more. So much personally driven change is incorporated and I see it happen when there is a new promotion and, particularly, when there is a new appointment of chief or election of sheriff. I suppose it's nice when someone thinks they can do it better but I think they make immediate errors by changing so much and so quickly. They are stressed about making an impression but more importantly about proving they can do the job. But who says the job of being a boss has to be done alone? No matter if you're Sheriff or Corporal, you have to build a team. I just wish you weren't right that the outcomes are most always detrimental.
The points that I found most helpful from this module were the Change Strategies. One of them was to identify and involve those who will be affected. Again, as I have said in previous postings, its important to get the "buy in" from the group. However, that strategy also brings attention to those affected who may be against it- and that they also need to be included. This is because and related to another one of the mentioned strategies- Expect challenges. Instead of taking challenges or objections personally (as mentioned in the module) we need to listen carefully. There often is valuable information in opposing points of view, and we can either find ways to overcome them, utilize them to make our plan better, or sometimes even see the error in our plan. As leaders, we have to be open to opposing points of view if they lead to open discussions and positive change for the organization. Finally, I am still a big fan of quotes (they tend to stick with me) and ones that stood out here were "Not everyone who brings you a problem is looking for a solution" and "You're not going to change anybody until you change you". Both are important points to remember to keep ourselves in check.
Great points in this module. Bring people in that the change is going to effect. Discuss the change and at the same time you can find those individuals risk vs reward. I doing so you get the buy in that is needed to make sure their needs are met and fully understand and they want the change.
In this module, I was reminded of the positive influence of change. It is important for me to continue to utilize the strategies when implementing change. Often decisions are made and only the formal leaders are involved. When everyone is on included at all level, we create buy in.
I totally agree with you Ravenel. We have all undertaken change in our lives. When major change takes place, it can feel discomforting for all involved. As long as this change is needed, and set up in a positive way, everyone will benefit at the end. Leaders of organizations would be foolish not to include their administrators, midlevel supervisors, and the new guy/girl. Every individual on the team should have some type of involvement, as it will improve the overall project.
In our field of law enforcement, change is always going to happen. We know that changes in laws are going to impact the way we do our jobs. These are changes that we expect and accept. Wholesale changes brought on by a new administration, or even new technology is where we experience problems. In our department the changes were so dramatic because the entire command structure of the department changed at one time. Our command structure consists of the Chief and District Commander and they both retired in the same week. So when the new Chief and Captain came into office we were slammed with a change of philosophy and mindset that we were not prepared for. This caused anxiety within the department. Most of the changes were positive and long overdue. However the changes were brought on so fast and were so dramatic that a lot of our officers couldn't properly deal with it. Therefore, they became resistant to the changes. I think the key to managing change is the initial "buy in". The entire success of change rests on effective communication.
Hilary Ziglar's video was inspiring when he said: "Change Begins with You." If you want to change, be the change. I think this ties into what we learned in earlier modules when Erik Therwanger said, "Ductus Exemplo, lead by example." More often than not, change is instituted without any communication. I will have to keep in mind when I want a variation on my shift, to communicate why this change is good, and the benefits of the change.
I think you make both a good point and use a good example. If we are building on previous modules, than this absolutely fits as an example of Leading by Example. When change is instituted without any communication, you have already lost a lot of the potential "buy in" that would have come by involving people in the process. Those of us currently in leadership positions (regardless of what that rank or structure looks like) have an opportunity to start change within our own work groups and do so in a way that sets us up for future change and success as well.
You are correct in your assessment. I too believe these are intertwined. We must remember that we are the leaders and that any suggested change will also affect not only us but everyone under our command. Properly communicating what the change is about and then leading by example helps others see how effective the change can be, thus adding the bonus of buy-in by everyone.
An organization that resists change most likely will not succeed. I do agree that change for the sake of change is also detrimental. A new rank just trying to make their mark on the agency, without a well thought out plan or purpose for the change, can be the downfall of an agency, or at least a division. There should always a be a good reason for change.
A primary part of my current job is completely rebuilding our policy & procedure manual for our corrections Bureau. Needless to say, a lot of the existing policies were out of date and not up to par with current standards. As we began the process of updating our policies and modifying certain procedures, we faced opposition almost every step of the way by a small, but influential group of veteran deputies. As we began to implement some of the new procedures, that small group of deputies resisted the changes based on “old school” principles. In their minds, things were fine the way they were and they didn’t agree with some of the new requirements.
Over time, we were able to achieve our mission, but it took a lot more effort than we originally thought it would. While watching this training module, I realized that our biggest mistake was not including some of our veteran staff members in our plans to initiate the new changes. We should have understood that “they” (the veteran deputies) were the ones affected the most by the new changes, and we should have made sure that they were a part of the process.
I completely agree Lt. Lyons, inclusion is a huge step in building a trusting relationship with coworkers and subordinates. The more included they feel the more accepting they are to change. Once I lived it with my own agency I became a stronger leader.
One of the concepts that I feel that we could improve on as an agency when introducing change is to consider and discuss with others how this change will benefit them and the consequences if we don't move forward in this particular direction. One aspect of this is when we, as an agency send out policy changes to our personnel.
As Administrative Staff we sometimes discuss it right before or after we email out the new policy. We instruct our Commanders to discuss this change with their departments to help prepare them for the new policy. Many times this is done in a rushed fashion with not enough explanation. In some cases, the new policy or procedure is perceived as a threat by many and is countered with distrust and skepticism, even when the policy was created for their protection. In this cases where we failed to effective communicate our purpose, it takes much time to overcome resistance and building credibility again.
Change is difficult to achieve in law enforcement. Officers are confident people who do not like to be wrong. Officers master their job description and are use to doing things one way, "There way." When change is brought in, it gives the fear to the unknown. Unsure territory that may cause doubt or make them have to ask questions, but they do not want to ask the questions do to fear of looking foolish. I think that it is a good idea to bring everyone in on the change so that they can see the benefits that it may bring. They can also voice their opinion or may have a suggestion to better the new changed plan.
I agree with you, Beau. The adage of "Police officers don't like the way things are, but they don't want change" still rings true today. I believe change can be a good thing when appropriately instituted, and all involved are in on the decision making. Bringing about change and not communicating the reason for the change can very detrimental to any agency.
I agree with you. When we fail to communicate our reason for change it can be detrimental.
I agree that change can be difficult, but have found that including everyone on discussions that the change is going to affect will ease the process. I am a big proponent for change to better my agency. One of my favorite quotes that I use quite often is
The most dangerous phrase in the language is, "we've always done it this way".
O yes the dreaded "we've always done it this way". but can never explain the why.
This has to be the most famous quote I've ever heard about change... "Cops bitch when things change but complain when they remain the same." This is very true. Cops resist change, but one thing that is never discussed, as it was in this module, is how much change and ways to do it.
I agree and think that the way to make the change is essential. Often we are given a new change that has to be made and told this is the latest change, sign it and return it. If they would explain the changes and why it would give a better perspective to express the change to our officers and how it is better for them and the department.
Many people like the status quo, even if it is painful. Many courses today will say that the most dangerous phrase is; It's the way we have always done it. These same courses tell us to disregard that. There is another phrase that goes, If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Too many times change is due to new leadership or a promotion, not due to need. Because officers have seen this, so many times they naturally resist change that is in their best interest.
As the lecture pointed out, you cannot expect change overnight and you should only make needed changes. Mandates from the courts and legislatures are changes that we have to make, by law, and we implement as best as we can with guidance. Good change has brought many advantages to our field from equipment to policies and procedures. We should not be afraid of change, but we have to know the speed and correct way to implement. Some officer resisted putting computers in the cars, and some still cover the webcam with electrical tape.
As the lecture states, we must manage the change and sometimes, take a stand to slow down or resist if it is counter productive for the agency and our citizenry. At other times we must push change at break neck speeds, if it is for the safety of the officers or the public.
This lecture is definitely one that shows how change causes friction within any agency when supervisors, leaders, policies, or large changes are made to current staff and the "masses" don't agree. The opposite is also possible too, people within the agency are waiting for change to occur to "boost" production, efficiency, morale, etc. It's the same theory when a team acquires a new coach or outstanding "leader" and things just fall into place when positive changes are made. Again conversely, like the last video, when things are going well and someone tries to "reinvent the wheel" instead of greasing it, things can sour quickly. Chief Tobia gives good insight on how to "keep the plane" straight" even in danger from change.
It is true that most people do not like change. I think this is even more true in the law enforcement community. I don't particulary like change but know that as a leader it is important. Being an effective change manager involves really understanding the reason for the change and how it will positively or negatively effect all team members.
What i learned is a peace officer do not like change, even if the change will make their life easier. My department recently went through a change of computer systems, went from the armms system to the zuercher system. Department meeting was held to inform about the upcoming change and the look of discuss on the faces of everyone wasn't good. So we came up with an idea to send a department head from every department to a seminar to sit in on a demonstration of the zuercher system. Zuercher system was so overwhelming and extremely helpful with our day to day operations. The department heads gave examples of how the system works and how easy/fast information is in front of you and seeing the excitement in our faces, department was sold on the system. To overcome the change we had to work as a team to get everyone on board, instead of just the It department taking on this task.
Throughout my career, i have experienced numerous changes, some were for the better, and some were not. Some of the changes have been new administrations, new division heads, and even a completely new department. Now, as a leader, I have to consider how the change will be interpreted and accepted by others. This address provided plenty of insight on ways to consider implementing the necessary changes. The message of not taking push back personal, especially on a professional level, is an important lesson to learn. Just because we are leaders doesn't mean that we will always have the correct answer. I also agreed with the statement that gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions; often employees can feel buried by the pressures of the job.
This module gives me reason to stop and think before attempting any change. They're factors I've really never gave any true thought of. the buy in of the change and my understanding the stress of change on the group.
Learning about managing change was very helpful and I really took to heart the topic of "do not engage when personally being attacked". I see many leaders struggle with this including myself and plan to correct this. Also, the part of not allowing people to change or move faster than they can was informing. I see many times of over exertion that we as leaders should prevent before hand. No sense in allowing some to set themselves up for failure or potential harm.
In module 8, learning about disequilibrium was very rewarding, because it can benefit and good stress to help your organization. I know that I can't take my personal things into effect when being attacked. I believe that is something all leaders would benefit learning from. Learning how to separate your personal feelings.
To be successful in our job we must embrace change. Things in the world are constantly changing and if we don't change we will be left behind which will affect the quality of our work output. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that most law enforcement officers are easiest people to deal with when it comes to change. It takes a strong leader to influence those under their command to work toward and accept change for the betterment of the department and the citizens we serve.
I agree with your response, I know that as a leader on my shift I know that if I had to go through the fire I know that my shift will follow me, because I make sure to influence them in the right way and lead them to more rewarding things.
While change in our profession is inevitable, it is our duty as leaders to effectively communicate (throwing it back a lesson) the impending change to our subordinates and gather feedback and possible minor suggestions at ways to make that transition go smoother. When people feel that they have a voice in the planning of the change they tend have an easier time buying into and seeing the change as being in their best interest. We also learned that it helps to not only look at the change from one point of view and to consider how the change will affect your team as a whole.
Keeping the whole team in mind and how the change will effect each of them is so important. I also like your point that when people have a voice in the change they are more likely to adopt the change.
I agree that everyone has to be looked at in change. That change that I see as small, might be someone else's entire job or focus. We have to take all into account good and bad.
Always pay attention to your people and get opinions before making any major change. This always lessens the resistance when the change takes place and you have a better understanding of how they feel. You can make a more informed decision when you gather opinions from others and do your research.
Agreed, I like when someone actually puts thought into a change and asks for opinion. At least if they still go with the change, you feel like you had a voice.
Agreed, taking in people's experience and understanding how change may impact worker's "job" duties may cause complications in the end. If change is necessary, which in today LEO world is usually in ebbs and flow, implementing these changes may take an outsider's perspective if previous things haven't been successful. Making "guided" choices definitively will cause your people you work with gravitate towards you and "buy in" when they see the positive rewards.
Change is never easy. As change happens in an organization it is harder on the people who don't agree with the change or the change didn't go their way. It is important as leaders that we help the people under us understand the change. I liked how the module explained that if the organization sees that changes are going to occur, the change is to be more easily accepted. It is sometimes hard to keep the people under us completely in the loop about changes that may take place due to them not being part of the decision making process.
You are definitely correct that it is hard to keep everyone in the loop. Currently I have 72 people under my command and their is just not enough time to meet with each of them individually, especially with the demands of the patrol division. You have to trust and rely on the rank below you to make sure they are getting the message down to those below them and that they are giving the correct message. Hopefully, by the end of this course we will all be better at being leaders.
I agree that it is important to keep your rank informed but I feel it is also important as leaders to deliver the initial message ourselves too. For example, if you ever played the game of telephone as a child, where one person whispers a message in one person's ear and then they whisper the message to the next person. Many times by the the time the message reaches the last person it is very different from the original message. When a message keeps going from one person to the next you run the risk of it being unintentionally distorted.
I feel it is important to keep your leaders informed of the purpose, goal and plan for your change but to be effective it helps for you to still deliver it to your intended audience. You can do so carefully in print or in person, just ensure your purpose and vision are clearly stated.
I think if a change is going to be made, we have the technology to pass on the reasons and the logic for whatever change may occur, even if they're not part of the decision making. I think this would help the people under our command accept it much easier.
This lecture has to help me to understand that change starts me as a leader. As a leader, I can introduce change, but it doesn't mean it will be successful. I feel if we plan better as leaders, there will be a better chance the organization will accept change.
Yes as leaders we can introduce change, but i think if we involved respected peers throughout the organization. Change won't be as hard to accept and has a better chance to be successful.
I think that as a leader, I listen well to others; however, in this lecture, one comment that caught my attention was when an employee is objecting professionally pay attention to what they are saying. My key takes away is that sometimes the people that complain the most, are just complaining, whereas some are trying to stop a mistake from being made. It is making sure we listen and evaluate what they are bringing to our attention.
I have done the disequilibrium pitfall, mine engine failure was short, but inevitably brought the fire and flames out. It is imperative as leaders that we sit back and watch, evaluate, and then decide what we need to change or improve on.
In the module, Zig Zigler stated "The healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude". What an impactful discovery this is for me! It can be an easy thing to feel weighed down with "the job" and its myriad of responsibilities and the seemingly constant need to defend oneself to the public, those with which you supervise, and of course those you answer to. Because this module focused on leadership and change, I believe that maybe one of the best and most effective changes I caution immediately implement within my scope of authority is to begin displaying the attitude of gratitude. Smiling is contagious and makes one feel better inside. People also seem to be drawn to those that are happy and outwardly display happiness. As pointed out, I to can make a list and review this list whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated or at my wits end. I can be this agent of change for a more rewarding work environment.
I thought the list idea was really good as well. There are many reasons why we love and do this job. The list can easily make us forget why we were upset in the first place.
Some of the takeaways I had from this module were that I needed to remember that when someone questions my ideas, or even the motives behind my ideas, it is not a personal attack on me, but there is a great probability that I did not consider all of the aspects of the new policy. I need to take a step back from the problem and try to see it from the perspective of the people, who are now beholden to any of the ideas or policies I wish to institute.
Second, I need to give people time to absorb the concepts I am giving to them. Sometimes too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing. I need to be cognizant in the introduction of policy that we can only go as fast as our slowest performer, but I also do not want to slow the rest of the team down, if they are fully capable of running with the idea. I need to make certain there is a proper balance.
This module reminded me introspection and letting go egos will be the keys to success.
The final video in this module I found the most interesting because its a reminder that just because one person values something does not mean that everyone will. Understanding how to evaluate the values and fears of others will help to build value in your goals to the group and building that value will increase acceptance and buy in.
I agree, but as long as we as leaders make fair decisions to better the agency, I feel the ones who resist change, will eventually understand why it was done.
I agree they will eventually understand. But, depending on the person, they could spread poison to affect other employees until they figure it out.
This is so true. I have lived this through our department. Often times the status que is so deep and engrained that the thought of any change seems impossible for some officers to accept. They are so negative and resistent that it infects everyone and everything.
I agree that we have to take into consideration other individual’s thoughts because our views may not be aligned with what they’re thinking. I have found that seeking input from the team first allows me to determine how to approach a topic if it will impact them, knowing that “resistance” is possible with change.
I agree. I always seek input from my team and value it prior to making a change. I like to hear how they feel about it but also they could have another idea or a smoother way to help the transition.
There is an old saying first told to me by my first shift sergeant " There are two things cops hate, Change and the failure to change!" I didn't pay this much attention until recently as our Dept has been under one Sheriff since 1996. With his retirement change was inevitable and I was tasked with implementing some of it. Well at the beginning it was like the end of the world was coming. Without consciously knowing what I was doing I involved the unofficial leaders and got them on board with the plan. It would have been easier had I looked at it from the perceived threat perspective and done a better job communicating.
I think we have all been given the task of "getting it done", but had no exact start location. Your intuitive reaction to involve not only the actual but unofficial leaders was spot on. Sometimes the boots on the ground can give us a better perspective of the changes needed. For those of us who were out of the trenches for a little while, their knowledge can go a long way.
Change can be exciting for those who like a challenge. However, if a person views the change as unnecessary or feels the change will create more work or may question their previous efforts, they become defensive without finding out what the change actually is. I had the challenge of changing the focus and culture of my training Academy at the direction of my Sheriff. After years if not decades of instructors who took tried to implement their version of "military training" in the police academy, I was tasked with "taking the military" out of the Academy. After attending a class on the concept and being assured that is was not the discipline that was in question, I could see where the police academy is not a 3 month long, 24/7, high pressure training targeted at 18 year old kids who have to learn to react and follow orders. Police Academies often have older, often times much older, mature cadets who do have life experiences. While traditional mentality is law enforcement is a paramilitary organization, the truth is law enforcement is civilian. Military mindset must be complete the mission and eliminate (i.e. kill) resistance. Law Enforcement is normally centered on the concept of "Serve and Protect."
I tried to explain that cadets would still be expected to have respect and understand chain of command. Instead of teaching Cadets to "hug the wall" and "don't look at me, stare straight ahead," I wanted them to step slightly to the side, extend a handshake (pre-COVID 19), and mention the weather or start a short conversation. Law Enforcement refers to the community as civilians like they are not. There is often an us versus them mentality. This is counter productive to the concepts of community involvement, communication, and partnership. The ADULTS we are training have to make adult decisions when they walk out of our Academy. Treating them like kids does not prepare them to be adults. They have to be given the opportunities to grow, fail, and gain experience.
As I was attempting to explain to my staff the concept of what we wanted to change one of my staff blew up and verbally attacked me personally before demanding a meeting with my supervisor to complain that I was not a fit leader. The employee was told they could request a transfer if they wanted, but that the changes would be implemented. After some time the employee calmed down and eventually bought in to the changes and helped to institute many of our updated policies. The incident was a sharp reminder that many people do fear change and fight it.
Change is almost never accepted in any business. The way we as leaders implement change is the key from changing bad stress to good stress. I agree with what was learned in the video that too much change can be harmful. Approximately one year ago we changed the work schedule for all detectives in my department. Initially it was not accepted at all. Half of the detectives somewhat liked it and half did not like it. We as supervisors met with the detectives two weeks into the change and asked them to come with a schedule that we all could live with. They came up with a new schedule and everyone was happy. If we do not change as a department we will be left behind with the times.
I like this idea of including the members of the team, that it will affect the most, in on the planning and ultimately implementation of the required change. When it is something that you have personally worked on it is much easier to accept the change as for the better, rather than being forced into a plan that someone who it will minimally affect has come up with.
With respect to leadership and change, I am reminded of a big change that recently took place within my organization. My Sheriff's Office recently changed the reporting software used to generate and complete reports. There was obvious stress and a generally negative attitude towards this change. However, leaders in my organization were able identify and involve the people who would be affected by the change, by instituting regular training sessions with all our personnel. Each division leader was also identified for a train the trainer course and would be responsible for training and being most familiar with the new software. This allowed for a smoother transition from the old software to the new. With the department being more prepared for the eventual "go live" date of the new software, it helped change the attitude of the department and people were more accepting of the change.
The foresight to plan and make the division leaders part of the training staff was a great move on the part of your agency. I have seen where technology we have today is not familiar to some of the senior staff. This can create some confusion when the leadership has to request help to run basic reports or understand things like the approval flow charts. Even when the technology is beneficial, the training plan and implementation have to be taken in steps. Hats off to your organization.
As you pointed out, I believe that change, especially substantial change as you cited, is easier to adjust to when time if provided to become proficient before the real begin date. This allows for all shareholders to ease into this change at there own pace and in there own way. Also, by having the leaders train the trainers, this further allows for buy-in and acceptance instead of a forced and rigid allowance as opposed to blind obedience with feelings of resentment.
When implementing change, Leaders will often get push back from officers who see the change in a negative light. Most times, it is just because the Officers are uncomfortable with the change. In our profession, change is inevitable, and the sooner we understand this, the better we will be. It seems like every five years; we can look back and see change. I recalled years ago; we began to utilize a new data system department-wide, I witnessed the negative comments and the push back by some older officers inside and outside our Agency. Today, some of these same officers are praising the system, and these neighboring Agencies utilize it.
you are correct bout change being inevitable in our profession and when changes is introduced some officers push back. Change is uncomfortable and sometimes it can put a dent into someones ego when they find out that they are not as proficient as they once believed. Self reflection can be difficult to accept but once an officer accepts that the changes will make them better and their jobs easier, they usually push full speed ahead.
Change is the ugly word that provokes panic in the masses. While change is inevitable in our line of work, it causes some of the highest stresses on subordinates. They can handle some of the most dangerous assignments we can give, but changing their duties can cause much more anxiety.
Including subordinates in some minor changes to the extent that you can and maintain efficient operations can increase buy in during more substantial operational changes.
This session was interesting on how to implement ways to have members of the organization buy into change. It goes to say that most individuals can adapt to change when they’re in control, but when it’s outside of their wheelhouse, it's not favorable to them. I believe it’s imperative that when you begin to seek out the change that you have to communicate with others and to find those that can support the idea.
Having allies help spread positive messages about your change can be helpful.
Having allies helped me tremendously. On the other side is the naysayers. I enjoyed Zig Zigglers Lecter on how to deal with the perpetual celebrity whinners.
Most people in fact look more favorable on change that they can control. I agree that being able to seek out those who can support your idea is important. That's one of the main points I took away from this module. Being able to identify and involve those who the change will effect as well as identifying the informal and formal leaders and include them in the discussion of change.
I agree that if members of our departments are not involved in the change process it throws them into a panic. Not all change is bad we just have to include the ones being effected by the change in the decision .
This was a very interesting lecture for me. The term change usually elicits panic, stress, and push back when mentioned. This goes for small change all the way up to the most monumental and groundbreaking changes. One of the most despised statements that I hear on a regular basis is “that is the way we have always done it.” However, law enforcement is an evolving profession. If we do not change and strictly rely on old techniques used in the past, we will most likely fail. As effective leaders we must learn to approach implementing change in different ways. Studying the way the change will affect those involved in its implementation was a strong point that I never considered before this lecture.
Change is going to happen. Whether it’s with personnel, structure, working hours, pay et cetera, it’s going to happen. Being able to make adjustments to it will be a testament to the motivation and loyalty of your department or division. There are many things that can cause change. In this day and age, I think the biggest change is technology. It comes and goes so fast it’s hard to keep up with it. By the time you become comfortable with a technological change, it becomes out dated. It is important to keep numerous leaders trained on evolving technology. The more you have the easier the transition and then it may only be a matter of updating or upgrading.
I was reading through a few discussions and seen yours, which brought back an old memory. I remember when in-car camera systems were coming online, and a lot of the older veterans were absolutely against the technology. It took a while for those to adjust, but they eventually acknowledged that the cameras served a purpose as bad as they hated to say it.
I believe that if we do not get on board with the change, we will be left behind. The Agencies that are leaders in our profession have bought into the idea of change, whether it is technological or cultural. These Agencies are always at the forefront of Law Enforcement due to their ability to change.
So many times in an organization when a new leader comes aboard the members of the team begin to resist the change before even hearing the plan. I believe with communication and an open mindset the members may listen to the plan. As the leader we must inspire and develop the members of the team to make the organization work.
I agree and believe it's typically out of fear. As leaders or junior leaders it is our job to maintain motivation within our respected division or department. It may be important to calm nerves and fears by talking with your subordinates and expressing those fears. Bottom line is, a new leader has to make there mark. When that superior communicates the change, it is a leaders job get the answers that subordinates will be asking.
Their, not there.
“I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system”
As police officers, we traditionally dislike change a great deal, all while complaining that things are staying the same. I really connected with Zig Ziglar and his story about the woman who complained about work and when she was told she was on the verge of being fired, she was amazed to hear it. I agree with him that our world has lost it's sense of gratitude. As a leader we have to be careful with change, too much and you will fail, not enough and it won't make a difference. With that being said I decided to give back some authority to one of our ranks during an event that our agency provided security. It was rough at first, but I could see a sense of pride and an positivity in the response to being given freedom to make decisions at that level without worry. That was effecting a change.
I believe most people are reluctant to change because of the unknown. Allowing people to be involved in the change, gives them the opportunity to see that change is not always bad. When we changed to a new software, the buy in was, the old system was obsolete, while new system allowed us to modify what we can do whit it. Each division had an input into what they wanted in the system.
I agree Rocco, I think to some extent everyone was resistant to some extent with changing our Report Management System. I think the way it was done with input from all divisions helped ease the transition and is making the change easier.
Couldn't agree more with getting people more involved with the change and accepting input will make it easier for them.
During this lesson, JIm Hemerling said it best. We must "inspire through purpose." Change causes an imbalance and stress in others. Zig Ziglar said, "People who won't take step number one will never take step number two." I learned change is difficult for many individuals. It should be planned, coordinated and communicated. During the change process, leaders should exemplify professionalism and remain confidant. Leaders face challenges when they are in the process of changing something. On the other hand others embrace change and believe change is good. Leaders must plan in order to be successful. Leaders should recognize the efforts of others as well. How do you perceive change?
Zig Zigler made some good points. I agree some people want attention and people who are the problem don’t realize they are. I also found it interesting he said the healthiest of all human emotion is gratitude. I plan to use change from “Fault Finder” to “Good Finder”. This entire module gave some great information.
I agree with these comments and I found it interesting that Zig Ziglar said gratitude is the healthies of all human emotion. It struck a cord with me that I have probably not looked at others and thought hmmmm...maybe they are just ungrateful.
People generally don’t like and tend to resist change. However, change, if implemented correctly and done slowly over time, can be positive and enhance an agency’s success. I recall a time I was put in charge of division I had not previously worked in. Going in, I made a lot of changes quicker than expected, which caused some issues. I quickly learned that making small changes over time was much more effective and received as opposed to making a lot of changes in a short amount of time.
Change can be difficult. We have all seen resistance to change. I’m sure we have all participated in that resistance as well.
Tobia makes an excellent point when he talks about getting others involved in the change. He stresses that we must be change managers, rather than change agents. I agree completely with the addition that we must then get our personnel to be the change agents. Get those informal leaders excited about the idea and acceptance spreads from there.
I agree. Talking with employees and asking them for input on things that need to be changed makes it personal for them. They become involved and take ownership when the change is made. They will also be the voice of reason to co-workers who may have negative thoughts or make negative statements about the change that is implemented.
We have found success in Communications when getting other involved. We've started getting committee's for major changes that include, leaders and line personnel.
I agree for success the leader must instill a culture of continuous education for the members to learn and be creative. The leader should also plot out a clear vision with a clear road map and it's milestones.A leader need to have directive .
Change is something most people don’t like. A lot of people are creature of habits. We recently changed the support staff uniforms at our agency. The company we used was pretty low in quality and we had a lot of complaints. We put a committee together in order to get some companies and product samples. We had to present it to our Sheriff for approval also. We knew not everyone was going to be happy even though most people were unhappy with the old uniforms. So we had meetings with all Support staff and mandated feedback. We gave them all the information we had and even provided samples of what we would be changing too. We received 97% satisfaction back on the staff liking the new uniforms. I am sure if we did not have those meetings, it would have worked out very differently.
Change is typically met with some form of resistance; however, everyone experiences change throughout life and have overcome those changes. We recently experienced a change in our agency with our everyday software system. When we were first told about the change, nearly everyone was opposed to the new software because no one thought the current system was faulty. Our agency had several employees that we're able to run a trial and error with the program and were also allowed to make suggestions and submit changes themselves. I believe in doing so; it made the transition easier for most. Now the new system is performing well, and everyone is overcoming that change.
I agree, Clint. The software change threw a lot of people into panic mode, but, as you pointed out, giving several people from all departments input on its implementation and some parts of it was essential to minimizing the resistance.
I agree, there was a lot of resistance to the change even though the old system had issues. I believe most people were content with staying with what they knew rather the face the unknown with the new system.
We often call no change as the "status quo," or put another way, the mess we're in. You don't grow if you don't stretch, and with growth comes change.
In Zig Ziglar video he talks about an encounter with a lady that wanted to change the entire organization but really needed to make a change with in herself. He referred to her way of thinking as stinking thinking. As i think about it i now several people that within the department that has this way of thinking. He also stated that you will never effect change in someone unless you are will to change yourself.
Very much enjoyed the Zig video segment as well. Especially the part about gratitude.
The subject of change is always a hot topic at my agency. I recall a proposed change in job duties and structure that was proposed by a leader in our department. It would streamline the department and provide much need assistance to a over worked employee. The change was pitched to the sheriff, and he agreed. The sheriff immediately called and meeting with the concern parties and enacted the change. During the meeting it was obvious that one of the employees became very upset. After the meeting the employee met with the administration and stressed concerns about the change, and was dead set against it. Long story short the change never occurred. After reviewing this lesson I now know why the change failed. There was no planning of the change, the views of all the parties involved were not considered, and I believe the biggest issue was that the change was not discussed with the involved parties, prior to it being enacted.
This is often the case in many agencies. The leaders seldom include the people that the change affect prior to initiating the change.
I agree. The leader often make changes within a section with checking with the team to see how it will effect the team and if the change will make the work proficient.
Change is an inevitable part of life and gets a bad wrap. I tend to forget all the positive changes that happen daily and focus on the negative. It is important to change my attitude and become optimistic. I am a work in progress. The statement made during the video: "keep in mind there may be a valid reason a certain course of action is being resisted" is so true. Communication and information sharing from the top leaders down + upward communication is essential in avoiding miscommunication.
I found the term "disequilibrium" confusing and difficult to interpret.
When implementing change you it is important that you look at how the changes is going to affect the all people in the department and get feeding back from people working in the department. After completing this lecture i realize how in important it is to involve everyone in the changes and keep them well informed of the changes being made. Communication is the key to have change be successful.
I agree. We have to look at the totality of everything. Communication is very vital. I also believe that the entire team should be acknowledged for their efforts and praise the one who put in the effort more so than the one who achieved the goal.
I agree with you Colby. By involving people in implementing change, you get buy in from others. Communication is key and having identified your "positive message deliverer's" is paramount to your success.
I couldn't agree more! Getting input from those affected by the change is a great step. However, at least some of the input received must be utilized and involved in the change made. I have at times in my career been consulted for ideas or thoughts on a potential change that may be coming. Many times, a group of us provided feedback that was listened to at the time. However when the change came, there was nothing in the change even remotely reflecting the input we provided. While making change will not always result in everyone being happy, it makes it an even larger hurdle to overcome when input is requested but not utilized in the final product or change.
Change is a difficult thing for most people to except. I agree with the lecture in that some will perceive change as a threat to them personally. Those who a resistant to change tend to get others to jump on the bandwagon. This can cause issues within the department because the rumors begin. I believe that changes to any organization should be explained to all of ranks so that they understand it's not a bad thing but will only improve the department.
Chasity, yes, other officers who are resistant to a change can be like a cancer. They will try to affect the mindset of others to share their disgust in whatever change is happening.
For many years my agency refused to change the way we did things from the top down. It was not until the last few years, and after the departure of many senior command staff members who retired, that we were able to start changing things. Change has always been hard despite the ever-changing laws that directly affect us. When our current chief came in, he had big ideas and implemented a lot of good changes to the department, the problem was they were too many and to fast. It affected morale and created a lot of pushback. After the dust settled, the changes have catapulted our agency forward and officers are more amenable to change. These changes created opportunities for officers and command staff. They now officers are the ones that bring ideas for change to the table and the command supports them for the most part. change has provided a lot of growth, learning opportunities and freedom for officers to be creative and innovative.
Great discussion Magda. I see the same thing with the agency I'm in. Prior chiefs have had stricter rules and policies, or things were done in an older fashion. There was no objecting to changing weather, good or bad. The current chief has tried to implement change faster because he believes the "old way" of doing things is in the past, and we must move forward. Some staff and senior officers don't want to change because that's not how things have been done.
I for one fit in the middle for change. My agency is going through a change in leadership at the present time, which I support and feel good about. The problem when we make changes is that we fail to explain the "why." Fewer subordinates would resist the change if they knew why and the benefits of the change.
I agree that explaining "why" through effective communication would help solve much of the conflict and drama within our organization. Officers want to be included in decision making even if their ideas are not used. Gaining "buy-in" through the continual flow of information would be beneficial.
Lance, you are correct. I think that is the biggest mistake that is made. Decisions are made at the top about things changing and never trickled down as to the reason why. Goes back to effective communication.
I too agree with this. Communication is essential in this profession, but even more so when implementing change. There's nothing worse than getting a Monday morning email about a change in a policy or procedure without much for explanation. Letting the men and women who will be on the front lines know what the goals of the change will be may help the transition.
This lecture in reference to leadership and change was very informative. I enjoyed the explanation of Disequilibrium had how too much change can throw off the balance of the organization. I learned there needs to be a good reason for the implementation of change and as leaders we need to seek the buy-in of formal and informal leaders within the organization. We must ensure we have a well thought out plan to answer the “why” from those who have critical concerns. Also, recognize that we need to recognize and reward the effort of those who have participated in the change even is success was not achieved. Change must be managed and fostered with the in game in mind.
I agree with your assessment. My division lives in perpetual turmoil of change and turnover. With POST academy becoming longer and longer and usually two academies a year it is very hard to keep a fully staffed jail. But in response to this the shifts typically become like an extended family and become closer through the adversity. And most of this is thanks to explaining why to the team members and giving an outlook of what the changes will bring for the agency as well as the individual.
This video was very insightful pertaining to change and how leaders can be change managers. There are many steps to make a successful organization change. People fear change and what the change can bring about. Change can be good, because it can lead to growth and learning. Change will stretch you out of your comfort zone and help to eliminate barriers that you have set up around yourself.
Before changes are implemented or discussed strategies are vitally important to work out before change is to take place. Our department is going through a significant challenge of changing our CAD system through one purchased over a year ago. This change will affect multiple departments within our organization from Patrol, jail operation, dispatch and record management to name a few. Several personnel have been working on bringing this new software on line and have been met with multiple obstacles that require additional changes to the software. Our “go live” date has been changed 3 times in the past year and we are currently on a March deadline this time. With this, we are re-engaging the departments for training and familiarization of the program again which is met with scrutiny since we have pushed the program 3 times in the past year. This is where our leadership needs to step up and be positive for this change and not be negative due to prior setbacks.
I agree with you, You must a plan before you start to implement change.
My department is going through a similar situation: we recently implemented a Mobile Data Information System for our fleet. The company representative gave our officers an hour of training, and we were set loose to begin use. However, we had no actual policy governing its use. We were given some operational guidelines, but each officer, dispatcher, supervisor, and command level officer's opinion of how the system should be used differed. After a short while, people just stopped using it for fear of getting in trouble. Ultimately, the leadership team recognized the problems, held a meeting with key personnel, and a policy is now in the works.
Some changes are good because it benefited everyone such as a being able to dress casual on certain days, while others who enjoyed wearing the work related clothing did not prefer to dress down. People have their set cultures and don't like to deviate away from it.
Whenever I take over a new group of people I always fell into the habit of taking a minute, sitting back and seeing how things were done. I would start that first meeting with," Look we are going to have a feeling out period where we get to learn each other." As I saw the need for adjustments I would make them gradually, but include the group and tell them the reasons why. I would also include their input in my decision. I have been fortunate that I haven't been handed a position yet where I saw the need drastic changes.
Absolutely can relate on your practice of “change if needed”. A majority of effective leaders I worked for operated on the same concept because one that comes in with a “chip on their shoulder and I’m boss” attitude doesn’t usually get much buy in for any changes that needed to take place. It’s all part of team work when something needs to be changed and I think your practicing that mentality and mindset which sets you above the rest.
i agree with you. Gradual change is much easier if it can be done that way. It's always good to observe a group of people and how they work before makes changes that could be unnecessary.
Change is probably the most difficult thing I have encountered as a supervisor. We have been doing things the same way since I was a rookie. The slightest change seems to make huge waves that want to capsize the whole operation. Trying to get the team on board with small changes that would better the whole project in the long run seems insurmountable at times. Not that the way we have been doing things is the wrong way, there are different more efficient ways of accomplishing the same task. This, Change, is something I battle day in and day out.
Once we are comfortable with something, we do not want to get uncomfortable. It is human nature. Growth requires getting out of our comfort zone. That is easier said than done.
You are correct, we all do get into our comfort zones and become resist to change. We believe if it is not broke why fix it. However, we been set in our ways for so long that we won't realize its broke because we are more willing to accept the status quo. As service organizations, we have to stay up with changes in law, use of force, and other issues like recruitment and retention measures. An organization must welcome change or they will become ineffective for the needs of its community
I agree that it is human nature to get in our comfort zone and coast. One way we have tried to combat that issue in our agency is to enact the motto" if we are standing still, then we are falling behind". Implementing this motto has changed the culture of our agency to become more accessible to change.
I have had the same types of experiences. Getting everyone to recognize the value in the changes almost seems impossible at times. It is physically and emotionally exhausting trying to get others to see the "big picture". Especially when the opposition cant provide a rational explanation as to why they are against the proposed changes.
Though it’s only been a short time since I took on the role as a Sergeant, I quickly realized how big of a change it was. It will take some time to get back in a comfort zone, but it’s a good kind of stress. For years, I was in a comfortable position and I knew my role well. Now, this change brings new challenges but it will ultimately allow for growth and to find new strengths.
This is a very interesting topic and a big issue at my department. Coming up through the ranks, I would hear all the time, "This is how we have always done it." It used to bother me so much because our old administration was not amenable to any change. I used to always question them and ask them, well we used to ride horses and write things down on paper but not we have cars and computers. The harsh reality is they didn't want to put in the effort to make change. They were ok with status quo, basically flying underneath the radar until their time to retire came up. I know personally, I do not want to lead like that. There are policies within our organization that need to be changed. I've started implementing the change with the assistance of the police officers association. Working collaboratively with the POA, it has made the change much more easy of a transition and with far less resistance.
Henry, you are so right about the comment "this is how we have always done." I laughed at that because I think that the same at every agency. When you ask a question and that's the reply, a change might be needed. I feel when you do something you should have a purpose and understand why your doing it.
Henry, I completely understand where you are coming from. For many years “this is the way we have always done it” was what I heard. It was very frustrating when as officers and newer supervisors we could not step outside the comfort level of the department. No one wanted to the initiative to make the change and no command team member would stick their neck out to help you make the change. I was told for me to ever make the change I would have to put myself in a position where I had the authority and capability to make that change. So, I did. Fortunately for me, many of the people who would not support me have retired and we currently have a pretty good command team that is very supportive to each other and the members of the department.
I constantly work on making small changes within my organization. For the most part, I am able to accomplish making changes and having everyone on board with the change. I am fortunate enough to have people above me that are open to listening to my ideas. When looking at making changes within my organization, I try to think about everyone involved and how the change will affect them. I also refrain from trying to change an area that does not affect my personnel or me. Since a couple of my responsibilities is commanding our Information Technology Division along with an Electronics and Graphics shop, making positive change is relatively easy to do. Most of the new generation of police officers do not resist changes to technology or things that are visually appealing.
The part of the discussion that interested me the most was the resistance to change and the ways to get your employees to accept the challenge. Many time in my career I have had to pass down commands that the officers did not want. With the skills learned form this lesson I will of course explain the change, however from now on I will give the officers examples how the change will be good for them and explain how it may benefit them.
This lesson discusses everyone's favorite topic, change. Realistically, most people are afraid of change because they are happy and comfortable where they are. Those that seek change, can often find themselves in their new position or in their new set of circumstances, and they may be second-guessing their decision. As leaders, we must often be the deliverers of change, the change agents and promote change, despite our personal feelings regarding the change. The key to managing and overcoming resistance to change is to understand how it affects each person within the organization. In order to be an effective change manager, you must provide motivation to those whom are expected to change. They must understand the risks, the rewards and the reward must be valuable to them, enough to step out of their comfort zone to embrace the change.
I have been with my current department for almost 2 years (April '20) and have resisted the temptation to make changes. Yes, I have made some minor changes, i.e., weekly reporting matrix for all Part I crime, and some other minor changes. John Maxwell has an important quote that applies to change, people will not buy into the mission until they buy into the leader. In essence, we all have to take the time to allow our people to get to know us and understand why we want to move the organization in a positive/different direction. If you start by asking questions to learn the "why" we do something, it allows others to explain and express themselves so they feel like they are part of the process, which builds support and trust. One big change that we did make was done by consensus. We implemented a continuous improvement group (CIG) to bring decision making to the most appropriate level. Again, this was done by unanimous consent by all supervisors. The implementation has been slow, but there have been some same victories. For example, our policy required officers to write a report for all misd. warrant arrest. We asked "why?" and we couldn't find a good answer or reason. Hence, wer amended the policy within a week, which was seen as a win/win for everyone.
I agree that commanders should listen to subordinates when bringing up the discussion of change. As we get promoted will lose track of what the officers have to deal with and sometimes the officers have the best approach to change.
I have worked diligently over the past year to initiate change within my organization following numerous incidents. I completely agree with the course information and had to retract some very progressive ideas for change after others resisted. Status quo is just easier and comfortable for many. I have seen repetitively the need to slow down, create buy-in through collaboration, and let others champion portions of the project. There are implicit biases often and other unknown variables causing resistance, thus piece by piece, we may find a successful route.
I agree that sometimes you need to slow down, create buy-in and let go of some of the projects. All too often, when you are passionate about a project, it is difficult to let go and let someone else champion any portion. I too have championed change and found those who resisted did not see the benefit because of their own biases (technology). I found it easier to show them how it benefitted them to learn the new technology through the successes of those who embraced it.
This lecture on leadership and change brings forward some important topics that leaders must pay attention to in order to be effective. The belief may be that our human nature makes change difficult, but when you shift your perspective on implementing change and pay attention to how the change is presented, I believe leaders may find change exciting and can effectively utilize change to continue to move an organization and it's people forward. I believe most people want and strive to be better, to do more, to learn new things, and to challenge the status quo. As individuals we all have things we want to be better at, ideas we want to express, opportunities for growth and achievement.
As expressed in the lecture, leaders should not underestimate the amount of work and the power that it takes to bring about change because changes does bring disequilibrium, which is the part that involves human emotions - its the emotions we must address to ensure change is successful. Leaders can work to lessen emotional reactions to change by identifying and involving formal and informal leaders in the process. Leaders must consider what they hope to accomplish by the change and ensure that it is congruent with the organizational priorities, and consider how such change will affect the people in the organization. Being mindful of how others are affected will better prepare a leader to present change in a manner that works to remove those obstacles.
I agree with the lesson especially on the aspect of including those who are most vocal about the proposed change in the process of implementing the change. That way, they can't complain after the fact because they were part of the process. Leaders often find people who agree with them to implement the change, rather than seeking out those who disagree. In the short term, it may work but to make the change long term and reduce complaints about the change, it would seem better to use the change process to address the complaints (or complainers) so when the change is completely implemented, they have nothing left to complain about. In addition, by incorporating those who have the most criticisms, you have a group that can communicate all the criticisms effectively for the entire department allowing you to address as many of the criticisms as possible in advance.
I agree with there being a diverse group of people included in the change process. There needs to be a group to guide the change and develop the right vision and strategy for the change effort.
Kyle I like your point about including the most vocal critics about the proposed change in the implementation process. Tasking persons that disagree with you are most likely to be the most truthful during the debates regarding the implementation of the change. The goal is to implement the change to be successful over the long term. In order to do that, leaders must weigh the good and the bad of the implementation during the planning process.
During my career, I have been charged with leading several projects that brought significant change to our Department. In each of those cases, I saw that people’s resistance to change is largely due to fear, and their perception that the changes represent a threat to them. I have worked to counter this by always trying to identify at least one “WIIFM” (i.e. what’s in it for me) for each assignment in the Department, and sharing that WIIFMs with the staff in those assignments to help them focus on the positive outcomes that lie ahead. After completing this module, I now see that while finding and sharing WIIFMs is helpful, it is equally if not more important to identify the formal and informal leaders within the organization and include them in the process so others will follow their lead. Incorporating this additional strategy would undoubtedly lead to more efficient and effective project implementation.
I'm always looking for ways to make my department better and come up with a lot of ideas that will require change. I'm not talking major overhaul kind of change, but minor things that would make us more efficient. I was blown away at the beginning of my management career at the amount of pushback I would get. What I've learned is peace officers do not like change. Even if the change would make their life easier, they would prefer to keep doing it the hard way, because that's what they know. When I received personal attacks for wanting to make change, I was initially mad, but soon realized they weren't really attacks on me, they were attacks on the idea of change. A tactic I like to employ is surreptitiously recruiting change agents to promote my ideas for change. I identify employees who are vocal and respected by their peers. I then float the idea for change by them to get their thoughts. If my idea is well received, I'll then say something like, "I wonder if this is something the rest of the department would like?" Pretty soon I start receiving E-mails and people approaching me about my idea asking if this change is going to happen. It's like planting the seed of change and watching it grow.
Somebody once told me that "there are two things that people don't like; change and things staying the way they are." Your approach is impressive. The best part of it is that you are involving others in a way that makes the entire process a team effort, whether they know it or not. This in turn supports the development of strong and effective teams by building relationships, encouraging communication and demonstrating that your department is seeking continuous improvement.
i agree with you Chris, and i use the above phrase all of the time. i have found if you get other people involved with the change, they get involved and get other people involved.
I like that quote. Certainly there will always be people that are going to be unhappy regardless. In one of the videos in this module, the speaker pointed out that some people enjoy the attention of the problem. He said that often people do not actually want a solution, because then the attention would be lost.
As I listened to Zig Zigler, several faces within my agency came to mind and I thought "Wow" I think he hit the nail on the head with so many. Those who enjoy the attention of having a problem, who will not make a move to resolve the problem because they enjoy the stress of having a problem. If they or someone comes along and fixes it, they lose that identity.
Stephanie your post was spot on of my thinking while listening to Zig Zigler. I see this day in and day out throughout my department.
Brian, I think your ideas for initiating change are smart and well thought out with the way you utilize change agents to assist you.
I too have noted through the course of my career that change is a difficult sell with law enforcement officers and even professional staff. I think it does come down to creating buy-in and presenting the idea for change in a manner that appeals to showing value and is aimed at improving conditions for our personnel.
Nancy I agree that creating buy-in definitely is needed when making changes. I believe that having the group/division assist with making decisions for the change is also needed. If employees are helping make the decisions and feel they are making a difference with the change then the buy-in seems to come. I feel when making changes each person should be involved in some way shape or form.
Brian - very progressive idea and I am sure it works well. Using a team, rather than you, especially if they are informal leaders, can be very successful. I am definitely one to use collaboration often. I love and often use "planting the seed" approach.
Brian, your point is well taken! Allow others in the organization to come up with what they believe is a great idea to make the department more effective, efficient and fiscally responsible. Planting small seeds in the minds of those that you believe have talent, desire and determination will move your organization along faster than any of us could do by initiating well defined best practices. Most people will press forward when they have skin in the game.
That is well said. Having people involved with the change will keep it pushing forward to completion. The younger generation seems to be able to adapt to change much quicker than the old hands.
Spot on regarding the younger generation adapting quickly vs the older generation. I find myself somewhere in the middle. I remember the way things ran when I started, which at the time was the only foundation I had, so when comparing the culture of the Agency during that time vs now, sometimes its hard to get out of our own way to improve upon the existing foundation. Being open to change is tougher to do than say, but taking a step back and being open to new ideas is generally beneficial and rewarding.
Change is difficult in many professions, but I agree within Law Enforcement we tend to focus on the negative. I feel it’s easier to take the orders of change and complain about it rather than give it a try.
Brian, I just went through the process of switching report management systems within our agency. When doing so personnel from every division in my agency had representation in the project so that they all had a voice. From the time, that we demoed the software to the time we went live they all had input. In the process, the build team members involved in the project were encourage to gather as much feedback regarding ideas and features their peers, supervisors and subordinates wanted to see in the software. When you allow others to have a part in the change, it is easier to get everyone on board.
That was a remarkable way of planting the leadership seeds to instill change. When I was first promoted I tried making small changes and received huge push back from my officers and even from some of my peers. I was frustrated but I knew I had to be patient. I brought in some of the union reps and line officers and sought out their thoughts and ideas. Some were very open but some resisted the change. With the idea of "why fix it if it's not broken" many officers saw the change as unnecessary. Till this day, the change enhanced our operations and way of thing police business. I could relate to your post.
I appreciate your approach to this topic. I would agree that officers seem to push back at almost any suggestion of change. Sometimes it seems, just to oppose the change without any foundation for pushing back.
I really like the idea of including other in the ideas for the change. That is something that I have really been trying to work on. I like letting my officers come up with different ideas that might make things run smoother. Like you said, they often aren't anything major but sometimes different perspectives really do help and it allows buy-in to the goals that you are trying to reach. That also goes along with trusting your officers to come up with those ideas and presenting something that is beneficial for everyone. That seems to have worked well for our team so far.
I completely agree. Change can be challenging without enlisting the help of those you're trying to get to change. I've learned a similar lesson in my management career as you did, dealing with an emotionally charged union president. When forced to make a change, he would take it personally and respond irrationally. After dealing with that and ultimately changing my request to still affect the same change with his input I learned to do it ahead of time to eliminate the drama, which I found more manageable for everyone.
That is a great idea. Law Enforcement does hate change unless it is their idea. You found a great way for them to feel like it is part of their idea and embrace the change.
I have grown to not fear change, but to embrace it. The only thing I wish is that the powers at be realize that not all change will succeed. If the change is not effective in getting the desired outcome, we need to revert back to what was working before.