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A Tale of Two Kings

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 16th November 2014 at 15:40 - Posted in Police Blogs

At bedtime, Stick Child’s Daddy often reads his son a story from his favourite story book, “Medieval Stories from Stick Kingdom with an Inevitable Systems Thinking Moral”. One recent story they particularly enjoyed was called “A Tale of Two Kings”, which went a bit like this… Once upon a time, many years ago, the King of Stick Kingdom decided to commission artwork to decorate his palace, so he secured the services of the greatest artist in the land – Stick...
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Stick Child and The Fraggles

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 12th November 2014 at 16:49 - Posted in Police Blogs

Recently, Stick Child was watching the television channel ‘Stick Gold’, when he came across an episode of the 1980s children’s show, Fraggle Rock. If you’re about the same age as Stick Child’s Daddy, you may well remember it too. Fraggle Rock was inhabited by Fraggles; colourful, furry little creatures, who spent most of their time playing games and exploring their environment. Their favourite food was radishes, and if they touched their heads together before they went...
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Top of the Table

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 27th October 2014 at 19:49 - Posted in Police Blogs

When the Chair of the House of Commons Education Committee asked Michael Gove (Secretary of State of Education at the time) about comparative performance measurement between schools, this happened: Chair: If “good” requires pupil performance to exceed the national average, and if all schools must be good, how is this mathematically possible? Michael Gove: By getting better all the time. (Full transcript here) Now, sniggers to one size, there’s a few important points here. The first...
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It’s Criminal

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 10th October 2014 at 17:52 - Posted in Police Blogs

I’ve been meaning to get around to writing about the issue of using crime figures as an indicator of police performance for a while now. Aside from the risk of mis-recording crime due to target-driven performance management, I believe there is a fundamental argument against judging police performance by using crime figures. It boils down to this: Crime rates are not the definer of effective police performance; they merely provide information about criminal activity. What do I mean by this? Well,...
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Find The Treasure

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 27th September 2014 at 10:27 - Posted in Police Blogs

“It’s just the starting point for asking questions”. That’s what I often hear people say about this sort of thing. (Look at all the pretty colours). Well, it’s not. And the questions are usually the wrong questions, asked of the wrong people, leading to the wrong answers about the wrong things, causing us to look in the wrong places for stuff that isn’t there, whilst missing the right things. It’s a bit like this – let’s say Stick Child goes...
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The Real Thing

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 26th September 2014 at 18:09 - Posted in Police Blogs

Have a look at these three handguns… (Glock 17s to be precise): One is real. One fires plastic balls. One fires blanks. Which is which though? Can you tell which is the real one? Even upon handling them in real life, it would take someone who knows what they’re doing to establish which is which. But then imagine if you had any of the above pointed at you in a dark street. It’s practically impossible to make a snap judgment about which is real in the heat of the moment. I wouldn’t...
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Stick Child’s Kitchen Nightmares

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 19th September 2014 at 9:38 - Posted in Police Blogs

One evening Stick Child was awake a bit later than usual and saw part of a programme about a TV chef who goes into failing restaurants and helps them get back on track. Being as Stick Child is only 9 years old, his Daddy quickly changed channels as the TV chef launched into a tirade consisting of language so colourful it would have made Stick Caligula blush. Anyway, that night Stick Child had a dream that went a bit like this…. Stick Chef began to take a look around… He didn’t...
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Method in the Madness?

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 09th September 2014 at 20:11 - Posted in Police Blogs

Deming was fond of saying, “By what method?” In other words, if you want to see performance improvements you need to have an actual method for achieving them. This means understanding the system and improving system conditions to help the workers deliver excellent performance. As we saw in the previous blog, no amount of inspirational leadership (or sheer hard work) can achieve this if system conditions constrain the workforce. Taking the example of response times for the emergency services,...
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Leadership is Not Enough

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 06th September 2014 at 13:15 - Posted in Police Blogs

Much is made of the importance of leadership, and I don’t disagree. However, what’s often overlooked is the importance of system conditions. Deming talked about this when he pointed out most troubles and possibilities for improvement come from the system. Think about it like this… Imagine yourself as the world’s most inspirational leader. Here you are (in stick person form), trying to carry out your task of standing these skittles upright. Unfortunately, they keep tipping...
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A Better Way

Written by RSS Poster inspguilfoyle on the 28th August 2014 at 20:24 - Posted in Police Blogs

One day during the school holidays, Stick Child’s daddy took him to an outdoor adventure park, where people climb through the trees using various ropes, nets, rickety bridges, zip wires and other things. Stick Child’s daddy thought he’d be pretty good at it, as he’d been on similar obstacle courses when he was much younger… It soon became apparent, however, that he was a lot slower than his boy, moving with all the grace and finesse of a large land mammal, tangling...
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