20 July 2016

How is the police service adapting to change?

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Rhodes, the College’s professional community chair for organisational development and international, will hold a live discussion on how the police service deals with change.

The role of Professional Community Chairs is to act as the voice of members working in their area. They are here to help the College identify priorities for development within their community and faculty, and look ahead to help articulate what needs to be done to raise standards in the future.

DCC Rhodes will be holding a live discussion on police officers and transformational change in the Members' Hub on the Police OnLine Knowledge Area (POLKA) on Tuesday 26 July from 10.30-11.30am. You can post questions in advance.

To join the discussion with DCC Rhodes, users need to be signed up to the Members' Hub on POLKA. Find out how to register for POLKA here.

Read DCC Rhodes' introduction to his hot seat below...

The case for transformational change in policing is made out in almost every inspection, review, new piece of legislation or staff survey.  Structurally formalising that sentiment at the national level, February of this year saw the introduction of a dedicated Police Reform and Transformation Board, established and supported by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs' Council to provide strategic oversight and impetus to police transformation.  

In 'doing change' we often react rather than anticipate and therefore miss opportunities to shape and influence our own future - we may feel change is being 'done to us'. We should acknowledge that our general approach to change is all too often linear, short-term and top-down resulting in a tendency to focus exclusively on structures and finance rather than a fresh look at our purpose from the public's perspective.

Are we in danger of adopting a reductionist mind-set rather than a more entrepreneurial attitude to innovation, social capital growth and workforce development?  Kotter's simplified version of the typical cultural response to change is captured in his fable 'Our Iceberg is Melting'. The initial phase of 'denial' results in inertia, confusion and fear as well as missed opportunities to develop new thinking, new innovation and new behaviours.  

As both PEEL and recent staff surveys (e.g. the PSAEW PPU resilience survey) clearly illustrate, it is the strategic capability of the force to manage change that is often the most important in terms of outcomes. I would argue a key enabler in achieving that is the capability of our workforce supported by the right technology.  Technology alone cannot deliver transformation, it is staff who deliver transformation.

If our iceberg is melting how is our thinking adapting as a result? Are we determined to become the chess player or satisfied with simply being the chess piece?

I look forward to hearing your comments and questions through participating in my POLKA Hot Seat event between 10:30am and 11:30am on Tuesday 26 July in this POLKA community
If you are unable to join the Hot Seat live then please feel free to post a question now and I will respond as part of the Hot Seat event.

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