• What You Measure is What You Get.

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    I know enough to know that at 04.00am it gets dark out on the streets. It has done this for the last twenty odd years, to my knowledge and will probably continue for the forseeable future. At some stage in this ‘future’ I shall retire and probably won’t give a damn if it still gets dark at 04.00am. Until then I shall be out there, somewhere, lurking in the shadows because someone, somewhere will be doing stuff they shouldn’t and then, well then I will introduce myself. In the meanwhile I shall try to remain sane and remember why I joined in the first place and try to ignore all the people who piss me off by making the job more complicated than it should be.
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    Any opinions contained in posts are mine and mine alone. Many of them will not be those of any Police Force, Police Organisation or Police Service around this country. The opinions are based on many years of working within the field of practical operational Police work and reflect the desire to do things with the minimum of interference by way of duplication for the benefit of others who themselves do not do the same job. I recognise that we all perform a wide range of roles and this is essential to make the system work. If you don’t like what you see remember you are only one click on the mouse away from leaving. I accept no responsibility for the comments left by others.
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New broom, same debris.

There are changes afoot at the CTCC with a new line in branding and efforts to promote the new and revised corporate image, ideology and publicised strategies. We may even have a new logo to show how we are moving forward.

The SMT have been the first to strike and they have been re-marketed as the new and improved Force Leadership Team. I think you will agree that FLT rolls off the tongue and far more cutting edge than SMT. This is surely out with the ark. FLT sounds far more strategic and tactical but, as one person put it, it does sound a bit like a new sandwich and free drink offer from Subway.

There has been a bit of a problem with the way in which the way the old SMT got their message across to the masses. You know the ones, those who actually have to be on the streets delivering all of the goodies.

It appears that their message has not been clearly understood. As we are all part of their ‘bigger picture’ it is deemed that we need to be told, yet again, of the aims of the really big plan, what the corporate message is that they are trying to get across and we need to know what our responsibilities are.

The log jam at the top of the CTCC promotional escalator has again been caused by those who have been unfortunate enough to get some ‘lateral development’ instead of the next rung on the golden ladder. They have to be seen to be supporting and promoting the brand so they will need some useful evidence for the next time the escalator moves.

Add this to the ones who have already got their feet onto the golden ladder and who will want to be seen to be decisive, full of innovative and original ideas and all done in a way that is capable of measuring what they decide they need to measure to get the right level of success perception.

As a result the forward movers, the lateral developmenters and the wannabees all vie for that little extra in the career development stakes that will give them the tactical and strategic edge ready in time for when the escalator movement possibilities are in the pipeline. None of this career enhancing evidence is important, of course. What is important, really important,  is delivering the message of how we are hitting our mission statement aims and objectives, the Holy Grail of Policing efforts.  This is more important than retrospective decision making after a glance through the hindsight spectacles. 

At the bottom of the food chain, some of us want to do the stuff that operational officers do, in the real world, without the constant interference of those who see their progression as a means of constantly changing the rules those below them have play by.

It is always necessary, so it seems, to change things to make your mark so you can be seen to be decisive, original and possessing the ability to convince those who do not do the dirty work that your ideas are sound, will provide benefit to the organisation, hit one target or another and support one of the Force’s mission aims. If you can do that you really are holding all the best cards.

The small problem of implementation never really seems to be given as much consideration as the strategy of putting decisions into practice. Such is this thing called leadership.

As the numbers of phantom officers are moved around the imaginary battle fields it is a relatively easy task to achieve success with no effort at all. When the predicted targets are not obtained, the heads must roll and the failure of front-line officers to understand the corporate plan, to know the latest mission statement and the weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly ongoing revues show that we have hit or missed something or other.

Most of the statistical information that the desk drivers gorge their egos over is supplied by those who are least suited to waste time on providing information for other peoples benefit. They carry a large enough workload without utilising potentially productive time for the unproductive means to someone else’s goal.

This allows for someone in the new leadership ‘team’ to form their own judgements and opinions about the world within their remit by the comfort allowed by being behind a computer terminal dissecting information others have supplied for them to evaluate. From this desktop utopia they can decide who is moving forward and who is lagging behind. Although someone has to finish last, last is never good enough when the final tables are sent out to the respective notice boards.

In the old days, as they say, if a senior officer wanted to know anything he spoke to the sergeants.  They did not need the wide plethora of spreadsheets, multi-coloured pie charts and bar charts to get a finger on the pulse of who did what. The sergeants new what was going on, knew the difference between the workers and shirkers and knew who could deal with anything that took place. Nowadays the sergeants appear to be stuck in a gap between ensuring that statistical information is submitted in time for the next tactical meeting as well as promote downwards the corporate strategy that everyone except the leaders have to implement. Presumably because they are leaders now and not managers.  With our new leaders instead of managers in place, the masses are expected to follow, without questions or conscience. The masses are no longer resources but are followers. Followers of our new band of leaders.

Anyone other than a Constable with any rank is now a leader, no longer just a manager. We have junior leaders, corporate leaders, senior leaders and the senior leadership team. To go with all of these leaders, we have individual, unit, department and Force objectives, missions and targets. We are all on the same side, in the same team working towards the really big plan.

It would be nice if they kept the same kit for a few seasons instead of changing it every few months.


6 Responses

  1. I’m obviously a bear of small brain…but I’m confused!

    SMT, FLT (yes, I do want olives and cucumber with that thanks, hold the onions), leaders, managers…

    brain meltdown….

  2. There is this interesting view that many people have, that everyone wants to be ‘promoted’. That everyone is trying to shove their way up the ‘golden ladder’. I think in reality, that most people are not like that at all. If you are happy in the position you are in, stay there. The military don’t understand this either. I did 22 years , I was ‘only’ a Cpl and because of that I was retired at the 22 year point. I would have quite happily ‘waived’ any promotion rights to stay on, as would many others. This way the service would have had a huge pool of loyal and very experienced people, with no urge to stab the people ‘in front’ in the back, or step on the fingers of those behind. I think, so long as your experience and time in service are rewarded appropriately, then no problems.

  3. Having worked for a multinational corporation for 20 years (until the escape tunnel was built) I am well aware of the corporate bovine odure that is around. However, when you are making food, confectionery and dogfood it’s a bit different to policing the streets.

    Some of our best man-managers were first-line managers who didn’t want to climb the slippery pole. They actually loved their jobs and were good at them. However, they were either put out to grass or demoted, as they were not interested in promotion.

    Loyalty, from managers or the managed, seems to be a thing of the past. Those at the top have no loyalty to anyone. As they are at the top, they think they must be good so they look for people like themselves – also lacking any concept of loyalty.

  4. So it’s back to being a ‘force’ now? I thought it was a ‘service’ because force is too…. well – forceful! Personally I think they should’ve called themselves Service Leadership Team (SLT rolls off the tongue so much easier – especially if you insert a ‘U’ sound in the middle to aid pronunciation!)

  5. Does this mean they will lead rather than manage?

    Is that the alarm? Damn I was having this existential moment of blinding clarity, and visions of Soopers patrolling the sinks at 3am.

  6. Remember the Army’s motto: “There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers”. Ought to be tattoed on SMT’s foreheads. If your troops don’t perform, its your fault, not theirs.

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