Category Archives: The Cultural Revolution

Crucibles of Leadership (part 1)

What makes a leader

As lifelong students of leadership, we are fascinated with the notion of what makes a leader. Why is it that certain people seem to naturally inspire confidence, loyalty, and hard work, while others (who may have just as much vision and smarts) stumble, again and again? It’s a timeless question, and there’s no simple answer.

But we have come to believe it has something to do with the different ways that people deal with adversity. Indeed, our recent research has led us to conclude that one of the most reliable indicators and predictors of true leadership is an individual’s ability to find meaning in negative events and to learn from even the most trying circumstances.

Put another way, the skills required to conquer adversity and emerge stronger and more committed than ever are the same ones that make for extraordinary leaders.The skills required to conquer adversity and emerge stronger and more committed than ever are the same ones that make for extraordinary leaders.

Take Sidney Harman. Thirty-four years ago, the then-48-year-old businessman was holding down two executive positions. He was the chief executive of Harman Kardon (now Harman International), the audio components company he had cofounded, and he was serving as president of Friends World College, now Friends World Program, an experimental Quaker school on Long Island whose essential philosophy is that students, not their teachers, are responsible for their education.

Juggling the two jobs, Harman was living what he calls a “bifurcated life,” changing clothes in his car and eating lunch as he drove between Harman Kardon offices and plants and the Friends World campus. One day while at the college, he was told his company’s factory in Bolivar, Tennessee, was having a crisis.

He immediately rushed to the Bolivar factory, a facility that was, as Harman now recalls, “raw, ugly, and, in many ways, demeaning.” The problem, he found, had erupted in the polish and buff department, where a crew of a dozen workers, mostly African-Americans, did the dull, hard work of polishing mirrors and other parts, often under unhealthy conditions. The men on the night shift were supposed to get a coffee break at 10 pm.

When the buzzer that announced the workers’ break went on the fritz, management arbitrarily decided to postpone the break for ten minutes, when another buzzer was scheduled to sound. But one worker, “an old black man with an almost biblical name, Noah B. Cross,” had “an epiphany,” as Harman describes it. “He said, literally, to his fellow workers, ‘I don’t work for no buzzer. The buzzer works for me. It’s my job to tell me when it’s ten o’clock. I got me a watch. I’m not waiting another ten minutes. I’m going on my coffee break.’ And all 12 guys took their coffee break, and, of course, all hell broke loose.”

The worker’s principled rebellion—his refusal to be cowed by management’s senseless rule—was, in turn, a revelation to Harman: “The technology is there to serve the men, not the reverse,” he remembers realizing. “I suddenly had this awakening that everything I was doing at the college had appropriate applications in business.”

In the ensuing years, Harman revamped the factory and its workings, turning it into a kind of campus—offering classes on the premises, including piano lessons, and encouraging the workers to take most of the responsibility for running their workplace. Further, he created an environment where dissent was not only tolerated but also encouraged. The plant’s lively independent newspaper, the Bolivar Mirror, gave workers a creative and emotional outlet—and they enthusiastically skewered Harman in its pages.

Harman had, unexpectedly, become a pioneer of participative management, a movement that continues to influence the shape of workplaces around the world. The concept wasn’t a grand idea conceived in the CEO’s office and imposed on the plant, Harman says. It grew organically out of his going down to Bolivar to, in his words, “put out this fire.” Harman’s transformation was, above all, a creative one.

He had connected two seemingly unrelated ideas and created a radically different approach to management that recognized both the economic and humane benefits of a more collegial workplace. Harman went on to accomplish far more during his career. In addition to founding Harman International, he served as the deputy secretary of commerce under Jimmy Carter. But he always looked back on the incident in Bolivar as the formative event in his professional life, the moment he came into his own as a leader.

The details of Harman’s story are unique, but their significance is not. In interviewing more than 40 top leaders in business and the public sector over the past three years, we were surprised to find that all of them—young and old—were able to point to intense, often traumatic, always unplanned experiences that had transformed them and had become the sources of their distinctive leadership abilities.

We came to call the experiences that shape leaders “crucibles,” after the vessels medieval alchemists used in their attempts to turn base metals into gold. For the leaders we interviewed, the crucible experience was a trial and a test, a point of deep self-reflection that forced them to question who they were and what mattered to them. It required them to examine their values, question their assumptions, hone their judgment. And, invariably, they emerged from the crucible stronger and more sure of themselves and their purpose—changed in some fundamental way.

Leadership crucibles can take many forms. Some are violent, life-threatening events. Others are more prosaic episodes of self-doubt. But whatever the crucible’s nature, the people we spoke with were able, like Harman, to create a narrative around it, a story of how they were challenged, met the challenge, and became better leaders. As we studied these stories, we found that they not only told us how individual leaders are shaped but also pointed to some characteristics that seem common to all leaders—characteristics that were formed, or at least exposed, in the crucible.

Crucibles of Leadership (part 1)

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Mission Possible: TPD Accepts the ALS Ice Water Challenge

I’ve been challenged by numerous fantastically caring people over the last several weeks. We sat in a light-hearted brainstorming session this week to create a response video. Within 15 minutes the imaginative group of officers took a simple idea and ran with it.

More pleasing to me as their Chief of Police was that everyone dropped their guard to join in. Even if it meant making fun of themselves. It was for a cause greater than anyone of us.

In this era of selectively contentious judgement of policing organizations, it’s a blessing to watch the walls come down between the community and us. Even if it means good intentioned kidding.

Enjoy the video – you’ll not see another like it, and most importantly, be inspired to do something for someone other than those within your circles. Take a chance, get to know your world.

Please share the word and this post.

Thanks,

Scott

Mission Possible: TPD Accepts the ALS Ice Water Challenge

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A Police Officer On Lessons From Ferguson

Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann poses for a photograph in his office in Washington, Thursday, March 21, 2013. (Alex Brandon/AP)

A veteran police officer says both the shooting of Michael Brown and the aftermath in Ferguson point to the need for conversation about police and community in the U.S.

Jim Bueermann is president of the Police Foundation, a nonpartisan and nonprofit group that supports innovation and improvement in policing. Bueerman worked for the police department in Redlands, California, for 33 years, serving in every position, including as chief of police.

Bueermann tells Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer that policing is a joint activity in which the community is a necessary partner, and police departments need to reflect the communities they serve.

He warns against prejudging in the Michael Brown case, saying that even unarmed civilians can be dangerous and that the public should wait for a full investigation of what happened.

But, Bueermann says once the shooting happened, officials should have been much more transparent about the case.

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A Police Officer On Lessons From Ferguson

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Use of Force is the Core of the Police Role

rearnakedchoke

     Use of Force is the Core of the Police Role

David C. Couper

AUGUST 1, 2014 BY IMPROVINGPOLICE

Sociologist Egon Bittner (1921-2011) once described the core of the police role as “the non-negotiated use of force.”

He was “spot on” with this observation.

Now if the use of force is our core, which I happen to also believe it is, then why don’t we pay more attention to why, when and how we are trained to use it? After all, when the public judges us as not using force properly trouble is close behind.

A good example is the arrest and “choke hold” by the NYPD officers after he was seen illegally selling cigarettes on the street. That end result was that the man died and, not surprisingly, strong public outcry. (For more, CLICK HERE).

I suggest that police need to take a deeper look at how force is used, the research surrounding various uses of force, and including the control of crowds. How police use force matters in a society committed to freedom and the preservation of life.

Police in a democracy should be well-trained and controlled in their use of force and be able to justify the use of force in every circumstance.

Last January, Ron Martinelli, a former police officer with more than 22 years of street experience wrote an important article about a necessary police restraining technique – lateral vascular control.

Martinelli is a multi-certified use-of-force instructor and forensic criminologist with a PhD. He is nationally recognized for his research on the subject of psychophysiology and stress-induced responses.

In the past, this technique has been confused with the “arm-bar-across-the-windpipe technique” that cuts off a person’s ability to breathe and induces a panic response — literally a choke hold. However, Martinelli talks about the lateral vascular restraint or “carotid control.” ‘A technique, incidentally, that I used over a hundred times as a street cop and as a Judo competitor, teacher, and police self-defense instructor.

Here are some excerpts from Martinelli’s article and why police leaders should consider it and then properly train their officers in its use:

Reconsidering Carotid Control

“Law enforcement is experiencing a dramatic increase in citizen contacts and critical incidents involving violently resistive and or otherwise dangerous subjects who are under the influence of street stimulants and designer drugs such as ‘bath salts.’ Officers are also encountering more emotionally disturbed persons (EDPs) who are presenting with decompensating, agitated, and chaotic behavior who are experiencing serious medical emergencies such as an ‘agitated chaotic event’ and/or agitated-excited delirium…

“Frequently, such encounters result in multiple applications of an electronic control weapon (ECW), OC spray, impact weapons, and officer swarms to physically control and restrain resisting subjects who classically demonstrate superhuman strength…

“Millennial generation officers and even veteran officers who are often hesitant to go hands-on with an agitated or actively resistant subject often go right to the application of an ECW. However, for a variety of reasons, ECWs are historically only 60% effective in the field…

“Officers who then resort to multiple applications of a ‘drive-stun’ make a serious tactical error against pain-resistant EDPs, agitated-chaotics, or drug-influenced subjects, who feel no pain from the device. Those officers find themselves in close proximity to an actively resistant subject, and they cannot use their impact weapons for obvious reasons. So what can these officers do next when seconds matter?

“They should consider the carotid restraint control hold.

“The carotid restraint control hold gives officers a viable method for controlling subjects when other force options may not be justified, effective, or available.

Quick and Effective

“The carotid restraint is a valuable force option that does not rely upon pain compliance, blunt force trauma, or multiple applications of electronic energy (referred to as ‘load’) from electronic weapons. When applied by a competent end-user, the hold is quick and highly effective and is absent of any evidence of traumatic injury…

“Carotid restraint is very effective in controlling EDPs and subjects experiencing an agitated-chaotic event or presenting with excited delirium because the hold generates a painless unconscious state in 7 to 10 seconds. The ability to quickly and efficiently render an agitated-chaotic subject unconscious significantly minimizes the risk of in-custody death that often results from prolonged struggles…

Respiratory vs. Vascular Holds

“There are two types of neck restraint holds: respiratory and vascular.

“A respiratory neck restraint uses direct mechanical compression or pressure over the anterior (front) structures of the neck. This pressure causes asphyxiation by compressing the trachea and restricting the person’s ability to breathe. This type of hold should never be used by law enforcement unless lethal force is justified (my emphasis).

“In contrast, a vascular neck restraint (VNR) employs bilateral compression of the carotid arteries and jugular veins at the sides of the neck, which results in diminished cerebral cortex circulation. This abrupt reduction of blood significantly affects the ability of the cerebral cortex to remain in an ‘awake state’ and leads to unconsciousness.

“It is very important for end-user officers, law enforcement administrators, and the media to understand that when applying a vascular neck restraint, NO significant frontal pressure or compression is applied to the delicate structures of the front of the neck (my emphasis). If properly applied, the restrained subject should be free of unreasonable pressure to the front and rear of the neck, which might cause secondary injuries or death. Equally important is that the subject also retains the ability to breathe.

“The carotid restraint control hold is a vascular neck restraint. Sloppy or uninformed terminology and casual references by any individual to vascular neck restraints as a choke hold, a strangle hold, a neck hold, or ‘choking the subject out,’ serves only to confuse the goal of the restraint, the physiology behind it, and the desired outcome(my emphasis). The vascular neck restraint should always be referred to as a ‘vascular neck restraint’ or specifically as a ‘carotid restraint control hold.’ Don’t call it anything else…

“Initial certification training of end-user officers, mandated periodic update training, and updated policies and procedures are paramount for agencies authorizing this very practical, much needed and unique use-of-force option.”

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You can read the entire article HERE in which it also goes further into current medical research about LVC.

Martinelli can be contacted HERE.

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Every police agency needs to review their policies with regard to the use of force, how they are training their officers in using its various and varying degrees, and share this information with their community.

That’s what professional police do.

The Core of the Police Role

 

 

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Breaking the Blue Line | Launch a revolution

Thibodaux PD takes new approach to law enforcement, sees positive results

Report by NBC33: Samantha Morgan

THIBODAUX, LA (NBC33)  — Law enforcement is all too often placed in the role of being reactionary. However, the Thibodaux Police Department has implemented a new proactive method that’s gaining positive results for the department as well as the community.

“We’re working smarter, not harder,” David Melancon, Thibodaux Police Department, explained. “We take a data-led approach, and through this approach we’re seeing great results.”

Two years ago, Chief Scott Silverii took over the Thibodaux Police Department. Utilizing the DDACTS (Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety) is one of the many policy changes he has made.

“The traditional way of law enforcement is very reactive. You ride around and wait for a call. We operate off of an intelligence paradigm,” Chief Silverii explained. “We place officers in the right place at the right time. We’ve become very proactive in the way we approach law enforcement.”

Officers are given real-time data and statistics to determine where their efforts are most needed. Although the city has a low level of violent criminal offences, crimes of opportunity and those considered to cause social harm are the primary focus.

“Those are crimes that prevent a person from having comfort in our person or property,” Melancon explained. “We deal with a lot of property crimes, domestic cases, fighting, thefts, and so on.”

Among those crimes considered to cause social harm are DWI offenses.

Mardi Gras Season

Mardi Gras Season

“We consider that to be one of the most serious in-progress crimes,” Melancon said. “When you have people who are behind the wheel driving drunk, they have the potential of killing an entire family – all because that person drove under the influence. If you really want to reduce social harm and want people to feel safe, DWI enforcement is the place to start.

The DDACTS system has dramatically improved the statistics in the area for alcohol related traffic offenses.

This year the Thibodaux Police Department has made over 200 DWI arrests, and there has not been a single alcohol-related crash in the city.

In 2010, the year before the new system was implemented, the department only made 22 arrests for the entire year. That same year there were 16 alcohol-related crashes with injury.

“This isn’t an accident,” Chief Silverii said. “This isn’t a coincidence. This is very orchestrated.”

Along with a reduction of traffic crashes, the Thibodaux Police Department has seen a reduction in other offences such as property crimes and crimes against persons.

“It’s not about harassing the public, it’s about being proactive,” Chief Silverii explained. “Every time those blue lights come on, it has an awesome deterrent effect. Whether you’re stopping a drunk driver, or making a traffic stop, seeing those lights might deter a person from committing a criminal act in the area.”

Being active in the community extends beyond the physical, however. Chief Silverii is also pushing the use of social media to increase transparency with the public.

“I think the public is tired of just listening,” he said. “By reciprocating communications, it ingrains us into the community we serve.”

KD map 2

Example of Kernal Density Map

He is also working to develop a mobile app that members of the community can use to report crime.

“Traditionally, only 41 percent of crimes are reported,” Chief Silverii noted. “The old way of just calling 911 has gone to the wayside. I’m pushing to offer an app. The younger generation is more accustom to texting, and we want to remove any barrier that would prevent them from reporting crime.”

Chief Silverii has more plans that will help move Thibodaux toward its goal of being the safest community in the nation. For now, the changes that have already been made are making a great impact.

“We’ve seen a reduction in social crimes. Officer productivity has increased. “It’s a cultural revolution. It’s breaking the thin blue line and going about a new way of business.”

Join us: Breaking the Blue Line | Launch a revolution

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The love / hate relationship between cops and their dispatchers

Let’s be honest, there is no better example of a “love-hate relationship” than the daily interaction between street cops and their dispatchers. When things are going well, we love each other; when they’re not, tempers flare, attitudes take a nosedive and we temporarily hate each other.

Having spent time on both sides of the dispatch center, I’d like to make just a few suggestions for making life easier—and safer—for each other.

Police Officers

 Mind Your Manners

When you key up that microphone, be mindful of your tone of voice; if you wouldn’t talk to your mother, your spouse, or your neighbor in that rude, sarcastic, exasperated tone, then why would you talk that way to your dispatcher?

This is where the “Golden Rule” becomes especially important. That call-taker is going to be your lifeline at some point, so talk to her in the same manner that you’d like her to talk back to you when you’re under stress.

Most “911” centers are chaotic at best, and there are going to be times when you’ll have to ask for information to be repeated, or you have to repeat your own transmission; after all, no system nor human is perfect. Take a deep breath and think before you speak.

 Try To Provide Some Closure

Dispatchers spend their shift responding to crisis after crisis, but they rarely get to hear or see the outcome of their actions. This is especially important in critical incidents.

A friend of mine, a veteran 911 operator, once took a call from a handicapped woman whose apartment was on fire. The dispatcher heroically talked to the victim, keeping her calm and eventually helping her make peace with what would turn out to be her last moments on Earth. Neither the police nor fire department were able to save this woman, and the incident was traumatic for all involved, especially when we discovered that the fire victim was a relative of a police employee.

A crisis intervention team was activated, and all involved employees except for the dispatcher were invited to participate. No one even told the dispatcher that the woman had died; she had to read about it the next day in the paper. This was a simple oversight on the agency’s part, but it was devastating to that dispatcher.

Make sure that after the conclusion of each “hot” call (and even some of the funny ones) someone calls dispatch and lets them know the outcome. This gives the operators some much-needed closure, and helps make everyone feel a part of the same team.

Recognize the Stressful Nature of a Dispatcher’s Job

As cops, we think our job is stressful, which it is, but we often fail to recognize the consistently high level of stress inside that com-center. Remember, no one calls “911” when things are going well, so every single communication coming in and going out of dispatch is some sort of crisis.

A good dispatcher is highly aware that they are responsible for the clear, safe communication between you and the unknown, but 8, 10 or 12 hours of that atmosphere can get to even the most Zen-like personality. A kind word, a “thank you,” and the recognition that things can get pretty crazy, both on and off the street, can go a long way toward easing the stress in dispatch and improving dispatcher/cop relations. .

 

Dispatchers

Be Vigilant & Informed About Officer Safety & Survival

Since dispatchers are often the key to an officer’s safe and successful outcome on calls, traffic stops, and other incidents, police dispatchers should study officer safety and survival tactics with all the enthusiasm of your average rookie cop.

Attend outside training courses (such as the Street Survival seminar), read law enforcement publications (both electronic and print), and stay abreast of officer survival news and information.

Call-takers should be allowed to ride along with FTO’s and supervisors who are willing and able to provide the dispatcher with an appropriate overview of officer safety from a cop’s eye view.

Get in the habit of seeking additional information for the officers before they ask for it, such as the previous incidents at the location you’re sending them to, the criminal history of the person they currently have stopped, and any other special knowledge you may have that will help the officers stay safe.

Know Your Dispatch Area

In the age of computer-aided dispatch, in-car computers, GPS and other technology, operators tend to rely too heavily on the screen in front of them, not in their knowledge of the officers’ coverage area. Get out in the car, go on ride-alongs, read the local crime bulletins, and spend time getting to know the streets, businesses, and hot spots of your jurisdiction.

Don’t rely solely on the computer screen to recommend who should go where. Get in the habit of picturing the area where you’re sending the officers, and then do what you can to make their response safer and more productive.

Recognize that you’re here to support the cops

As a sergeant, one of the biggest complaints I hear from officers is “the dispatchers act like we’re there to support them, not the other way around.”  This is an age-old workplace dilemma:  “Whose job is more important.”  Dispatchers, we’re going to ask you to do things, call people, and answer questions that may seem absolutely frivolous or absurd to you, but they are important to us.

I once had a dispatcher who seemed aggravated every time I asked her to call inside and have a bank employee step outside during our usual rash of morning false alarms. Rather than complain to her supervisor or start a verbal “war” over the radio, I contacted her and asked if she knew why we had the employees come out to us rather than the officers going into the bank.

As I suspected, it turned out that she had never been informed about the officer safety procedures in false alarm response. Once she understood, she became absolute vigilant in her response to these and other potentially dangerous calls, and she turned out to be a great dispatcher.

Dispatchers need to recognize that their role is to support the officer on the street, to inform them, keep track of them and help them stay safe. And, remember, the “Golden Rule” I talked about works both ways.

Supervisors and managers

Supervisors and managers on both sides need to be willing to step in and provide opportunities for learning, team building — and yes, even some constructive “venting.” Like many workplace disagreements, the “us versus them” mentality often stems from simple misunderstandings. A veteran dispatcher can be one of a rookie officer’s best trainers if she is allowed to provide real-time feedback, and a veteran street cop can be invaluable to a new dispatcher who is trying to learn proper officer safety.

Constantly remind yourself and each other — that we truly are all on the same team —and then get in the habit of treating all of your teammates with the same courtesy and respect that you expect them to bestow upon you.

The love/hate relationship between cops and their dispatchers

 

 

About the author

Sergeant Betsy Smith has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, retiring as a patrol supervisor in a large Chicago suburb. A graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Staff and Command and a Street Survival seminar instructor for more than 9 years, Betsy is now a speaker, author and a primary PoliceOne Academy consultant. Visit Betsy’s website at www.femaleforces.com.

Contact Betsy Smith and Follow Betsy on Twitter

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6 Ways to Create A Culture Of Innovation

REWARD EMPLOYEES WITH TIME TO THINK, WHILE PROVIDING THEM WITH THE STRUCTURE THEY NEED.
WRITTEN BY Soren Kaplan

Every organization is designed to get the results it gets. Poor performance comes from a poorly designed organization. Superior results emerge when strategies, business models, structure, processes, technologies, tools, and reward systems fire on all cylinders in symphonic unison.

Savvy leaders shape the culture of their company to drive innovation. They know that it’s culture–the values, norms, unconscious messages, and subtle behaviors of leaders and employees–that often limits performance.

These invisible forces are responsible for the fact that 70% of all organizational change efforts fail. The trick? Design the interplay between the company’s explicit strategies with the ways people actually relate to one another and to the organization.

Here’s how to influence the soft stuff.

NOTE: I’ve condensed the content to highlights, but you can read the entire article here.

 

1. BE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR INNOVATION INTENT

Most corporate visions and missions sound alarmingly alike: Become the #1 provider of blah, blah, blah. These generic, broad-based goals might rev up sales teams, but they do little to spark ingenuity. Perhaps the worst thing a company can do is give “innovation marching orders” without any guide posts. That’s when the focus gets lost and teams spin their wheels.

 

2. CREATE A STRUCTURE FOR UNSTRUCTURED TIME

Innovation needs time to develop. No one ever feels like they have time to spare. People get so consumed with putting out fires and chasing short-term targets that most can’t even think about the future.

3. STEP IN, THEN STEP BACK

Providing “free” time for employees to experiment with new technologies, products, or processes can catalyze the next big thing. But too many companies–and the consultants they hire–attempt to over-engineer the innovation process. A better option: Give just enough structure and support to help people navigate uncertainty and tap into the creative process without stifling it.

 

4. MEASURE WHAT’S MEANINGFUL

Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “What’s measured improves.” Said another way, You get what you measure. For many companies, coming up with ideas often isn’t the problem. The challenge is turning them into something real that delivers an impact. So what metrics should you use?

5. GIVE “WORTHLESS” REWARDS

Recognizing success is critical, but most companies stop there. An annual innovation award is just not enough to catalyze a culture of innovation. Sure, formal rewards are good for the short term–but they don’t keep people truly engaged. The most powerful and robust type of recognition–the kind that shapes organizational values–often occurs more informally.

6. GET SYMBOLIC

Symbols represent the underlying values of an organization, and they come in many forms–values statements, awards, success stories, posters in the hallways, catch phrases, acronyms, and, yes, those wooden nickels. Those who intentionally curate the innovation symbols of their companies essentially curate their innovation cultures.


NO RUBBER STAMPS
Every company’s culture is inherently different. So when you’re cultivating innovation, you’re cultivating a unique system. Which means you have to be thoughtful about your approach. Whatever you do, it should align with the values of the company and with the company’s goals. And in each case, you have to make it easy and rewarding for the people whose roles and dynamics influence the very innovation culture you’re trying to cultivate.

 

6 Ways to Create A Culture Of Innovation

[Image: Scribbles via Shutterstock]

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