FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

The Law Officer's Pocket Manual - Bloomberg BNA
This handy 4" x 6" spiral-bound manual offers examples showing how rules are...

Columns : In My Sights

The Quest for Organizational Change

Effecting even a small shift in bureaucratic policy takes persistence and positive thinking of mythic proportions.

September 01, 2008  |  by Dave Smith - Also by this author

Long ago and far away in the land known as "The Valley of the Sun" two trainers sat in their office watching the quarterly training video. As the program ended the two proclaimed that it lacked something of which they felt themselves quite full of…humor. Yes, they were certain if they could but put a little of it in the training video it would greatly improve it.

So, filled with their great certainty and confidence, they rushed forth to the Palace of Management and outlined in detail their brilliant scheme. "No!" proclaimed the Nomen of the House of Administration. "We do not find humor particularly funny and, besides, that would be a change and we do not stand for that!" Taken aback, our heroes regrouped. What would they do? They needed to seek the "Wise One."

Thus their odyssey began. Searching the great Halls of Bureaucracy asking after the Wise One they soon grew weary, their hope of ever solving the puzzle of change fading. It was just then that they came upon the Wise One sitting in the armory admiring a weapon of great design and power. "Give us, Oh Wise One, a weapon such as you hold, but of the mind and so powerful that we might make change upon the Bureaucracy, and make the learning greater from the video of training," they exclaimed.

"You are as children," smiled the Wise One, his stripes shining ever brighter from his collar. "A bureaucracy is as a gentle pond, its surface smooth and mirror-like if properly preserved by the Nomen. Suddenly, you two come upon it with your idea held in your hand as a great stone and you wish to cast it upon the water without thought as to what will happen next.

"The stone will create a great splash and a ripple will go forth in all directions, striking the Shore of the Administration, the Sand Castle of Finance, the Edge of Operations, and the Writings in the Sand of Policy. You only see your stone's splash but not its ripple. The Nomen see only ripple…"

"But what shall we do, Oh Learned One?" cried our heroes.

"First, you shall learn the language of the House of Administration, saying that you do not bring a stone, but a mere pebble that shall hardly create a ripple at all. You will explain that the 'Sacred Budget' will not be disturbed by your mere grain of sand, and that the 'Great Book of Policy' shall withstand but a minor revision."

"They will embrace our idea!" cheered our silly trainers.

"Nonsense!" shouted the Wise One, glaring at them. "Then you will begin to use the most powerful tool of all…'The Power of Positive Annoyance.' You will take your staff work from Noman to Noman and present it as a humble addition to the 'Great Plan.' You must always speak of the good, for if you turn your words to the Darkside and you use 'The Power of Negative Annoyance' you will soon discover the phenomenon of 'Career Setback.'"

So armed, our intrepid trainers put all of their staff work in place and marched forth from rejection to rejection until they came upon the Chieftain of the POST. He looked upon their idea and pronounced it "good." And so it came to pass that on the ninth month of the birth of their idea the humor was added to the video and it was judged good by many and poor by some and a disgrace by a few.

And so it was on the tenth month of the birth of their brilliant idea that had come to pass that they discovered the most powerful weapon of the Nomen…the committee.


Dave Smith is the creator of "Buck Savage" and a retired law enforcement officer from Arizona. Currently, he is the lead instructor for Calibre Press' "Street Survival" seminar.

Request more info about this product / service / company

Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

David Moore S-55 @ 9/22/2008 9:17 PM

Excellent wisdom here on follow-up and regrouping!!...Now if only someone can master how to deal with the barking spider's in the back of the unit, be all set!! Great stress relief and needed humor- like that picture of a car following a flatbed with two port-a-potty under a too low bridge for clearance, this is where following to closely is a bad idea.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Stories

Two Tools for Field Communications
Two models may help your field conversations, depending on who you're talking to....
Paying the Price
The migrant caravan brings us multi-faceted problems and costs, and the substantial...

Police Magazine