I am a serving Police Inspector and systems thinker, passionate about doing the right thing in policing. I write, lecture and advise on the benefits of incorporating systems thinking principles into policing, having studied the works of W. Edwards Deming and associated authors and successfully applied their theories to operational policing.
In 2012, my article, ‘On Target? Public Sector Performance Management: Recurrent Themes, Consequences and Questions’, was published in the Oxford University Press journal, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. Later in the same year, I authored a chapter in Delivering Public Services that Work (Vol 2) (Pell / Seddon – 2012, Triarchy Press). In March 2013, my book ‘Intelligent Policing: How Systems Thinking Methods Eclipse Conventional Management Practice’ was published by Triarchy Press. The book has attracted international interest amongst police officers, systems thinkers, academics and policy makers, with copies being sold around the world.
I am currently involved in further writing, research and course design, and act as an advisor to UK police forces and other agencies. I have lectured at the Universities of Warwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Southampton, and Canterbury Christchurch, and presented at several national conferences. I am studying for a PhD at Warwick University Business School, researching how police performance management can be advanced through systems-based approaches.
I argue systems thinking can be the catalyst for exponential improvements in policing and the wider public sector. An understanding of variation and the application of evidence-based decision making, within an organizational climate that fosters trust and devolved responsibility holds the key to improved service delivery, efficiency and effectiveness. I contend that all numerical targets are arbitrary and prone to causing dysfunctional behaviour, but argue for relevant and proportionate performance measurement within a systems context. I am considered to be a subject matter expert in my field.
My blog is a light-hearted look at how systems principles relate to policing and everyday life. I hope you find it interesting, entertaining and maybe even useful…