In this episode of the Chief Growth Officer Podcast, Scott Thomson, former police chief of Camden, New Jersey shares his unique perspective on what it takes to move a policing organization through phases of innovation and change, and how lessons learned can be applied to organizations of all types.
Founded in 1995, Catalyst Miami had a multi-pronged strategy to build capacity and resilience and advance social and economic mobility in low-wealth communities in Miami-Dade County. In 2017, in the midst of their strategic planning process, the organization faced a changing landscape and an important pivot point. In October of that year, Hurricane Irma avoided making a direct hit in Miami but triggered extensive evacuations and caused widespread flooding, power outages, and transportation issues that resulted in many people missing work for weeks. Tens of thousands of people living in Miami lined up outside local parks in sweltering heat, hoping to access post-disaster food stamps. This crisis highlighted the threat that climate change posed to Miami-Dade County’s low-wealth communities, the number of people combatting financial insecurity, and the need for an organization like Catalyst Miami.
As the organization was increasing in size and stature, the leadership team was reminded of the depth of the problems that Catalyst Miami was confronting, and the critical importance of seizing the moment to answer a set of challenging questions about their future. Among them: How should the organization structure partnerships and reinforce networks with other stakeholders to advance its goals? What changes needed to be made to the organizational culture and evaluation efforts? What should Catalyst Miami do to promote racial equity? How should the organization reinforce its existing efforts to help the community build resilience given the threat of climate change, reflected in part by increasingly severe storms like Hurricane Irma? Most fundamentally, how could the organization help low-wealth Miamians prepare for future storms, literally and figuratively?
A major pivot in any organization takes time and unwavering commitment. And it takes adaptive leadership to create an environment that can start and sustain transformation. In this podcase, Kirsten Lodal, founder and former CEO of LIFT shares leadership insights on the organization’s transformational journey.
The noted poet James Baldwin once said: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” In this spirit, leaders at the Health and Human Services Summit forcefully faced the persistent challenge of ensuring that every individual, every family and every community has equity in health and human services opportunities and outcomes.
The resolve in the room was palpable. In fact, 90% of Health and Human Services Summit attendees reported that improving equity in social and economic mobility is extremely valuable in achieving new outcomes, and 39% included ‘racial equity in opportunity and outcomes’ as one of the field's biggest drivers of change.
The United States is a land of opportunity – a country that prides itself on the promise that if you educate yourself and work hard, you’ll achieve prosperity. Yet what happens when policies and systems impede progress and blunt the promise for people most in need? According to analysis and insights from across the nation, this impediment to social and economic mobility is pervasive, and it’s called the “Cliff Effect.”
For Fiscal Year 2018, the state of Indiana’s Medicaid budget was a whopping $11.8 billion. Despite its investment, Indiana struggles with its health outcomes: for example, it places 44th in the nation for adult smoking, and is 7th worst in the country for its rates of infant mortality. These statistics have plagued Indiana in recent years and were recognized as a detriment to the future growth of the state.
Soon after Drew Harris was appointed the new Commissioner of An Garda Síochána in June 2018, the Justice Minister of Ireland announced a four year plan to implement recommendations from the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. Numerous scandals had beset the Garda in recent years, and the Commission had determined that the Garda was in need not just of reformation, but total transformation if it were to become the world-class police force it aspired to be. Less than a year into the job, Harris was tasked with leading this transformation.
Police Chief Medario Arrandondo of the Minneapolis Police Department will tell you that culture is like an iceberg: It hides more than it reveals. This is something that he, Deputy County Administrator Jennifer DeCubellis of Hennepin County, Minnesota, and other members of city and county leadership learned as they worked to reinvent their community’s approach to criminal justice.
Jeri Williams knows how it feels to be treated like an outsider in her own city. Williams is a born-and-raised Phoenician, and she served with the Phoenix Police Department for 22 years before leaving to become Police Chief of Oxnard, California, but when she returned to become Phoenix’s first female Police Chief in 2016, some were concerned that she might try to transform the department the way one outsider before her had attempted. Part of Williams was offended at the thought, but she also saw where the fear was coming from: The Department was $4 million over budget every month, severely understaffed, and over 50% of the staff it did have was eligible to leave. In short, the Department needed change and everyone knew it. The problem was too few were willing to take the first step.
Leadership for a Networked World’s applied research, student innovation challenge, and on-campus summit programs are an initiative of Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie, Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH), part of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. TECH is a hub for students, faculty, alumni, and government and industry leaders to learn together, collaborate, and innovate. LNW accelerates these efforts by connecting leaders across sectors and developing cutting-edge thought leadership on innovation and organizational transformation.