Tag Archives: social media

Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

Tom Kelly, general manager of IDEO, the world-renowned design firm, likes to quote French novelist Marcel Proust, who famously said, “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” What goes for novelists goes for leaders searching to craft a novel strategy for their company, a new product for their customers, or a better way to organize their employees. In a world that never stops changing, great leaders never stop learning.

Today, the challenge for leaders at every level is no longer just to out-hustle, out-muscle, and out-maneuver the competition. It is to out-think the competition in ways big and small, to develop a unique point of view about the future and help your organization get there before anyone else does. Which is why a defining challenge of leadership is whether you can answer a question that is as simple as it is powerful: Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

Of course, learning new things is all about exposing yourself to new ideas. So if you want to learn faster, you’ve got to think differently about where new ideas come from. Here are a few ideas I’ve developed over the years about what turns leaders into learners — three “habits of mind” that will help you keep learning as fast as the world is changing.

First, the best leaders (and learners) have the widest field of vision.
After Steve Jobs died, I, like everyone else, read and watched as much as I could about his life and work. One of my favorite sources of insights was an old PBS documentary called “Triumph of the Nerds,” in which luminaries of Silicon Valley talked about what inspired their innovations. As Jobs talked about the original Macintosh computer, he talked less about semiconductors and software than he did about painting, music, and art.

“Ultimately it [creativity] comes down to taste,” he explained. “It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then trying to bring those things in to what you’re doing…I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”

Translation: You’re not going to learn faster (or deeper) than everyone else if you seek inspiration from the same sources as everyone else. Educators know that we learn the most when we encounter people, experiences, and ideas that are the least like us. And yet, we spend most of our time with people and in places that are the most like us — our old colleagues, our familiar offices, our reassuring neighborhoods. If you want to learn faster, look and live more broadly.

Second, and more tactically, the best source of new ideas in your field can be old ideas from unrelated fields. A few months ago, after I gave a talk about innovation to a gathering of executives from the world of food retailing, one frustrated member of the audience asked for some advice about dealing with her boss. “My boss likes to say, ‘I want a totally new idea — and three examples of where that idea has worked before.’” The audience roared in recognition of the oxymoronic absurdity of the boss’s sentiment, as did I.

But then I got to thinking…Often, it turns out, a powerful source of “totally new” ideas in one industry can be standard operating procedures from another industry — well-established practices that look downright revolutionary when you simply move them from one place to another.

For example, leaders at Lexus identified all sorts of new ideas to reshape the customer experience for luxury cars by searching for clues at brands such as Four Seasons and Apple — companies that were great at what they did, even though what they did had nothing to do with automobiles. Physicians and administrators from London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children redesigned many of their surgical procedures by studying how Ferrari’s Formula One racing team handled pit stops.

Sure, there’s always a place for R&D as research & development. But there’s also a place for R&D as rip-off and duplicate. Ideas that are routine in one industry can be revolutionary when they migrate to another industry, especially when they challenge the prevailing assumptions and conventional wisdom that have come to define so many industries.

Finally, and most personally, successful learners work hard not to be loners.
These days, the most powerful insights often come from the most unexpected places — the hidden genius locked inside your company, the collective genius of customers, suppliers, and other smart people who would be eager to teach you what they know if you simply asked for their insights. But tapping this learning resource requires a new leadership mindset — enough ambition to address tough problems, enough humility to be willing to learn from everyone you encounter. Nobody alone learns as quickly as everybody together.

We all want to be better leaders. And the best leaders, it turns out, are the most insatiable learners. How are you learning as fast as the world is changing?


William C. Taylor is cofounder of Fast Company magazine and author of Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself. Follow him on Twitter at @practicallyrad.

Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

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Blessed with new friends along the way

John Kerry has been a vital volunteer in promoting our Thibodaux Police Department’s social media strategy.
Blessed with new friends along the way

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Our HOT CAR Message went viral | Just don’t do it

The Thibodaux Police Department challenges each officer to create innovative social media messaging that relates to our citizens and demonstrates our willingness to extend ourselves to serve the city.

This selfless demonstration by Public Information Officer Detective David Melancon illustrates our vision of service. Way to Geaux


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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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5 great ways to destroy your police career on social media

If you’re on the hunt for creative way to toss away that great career in law enforcement, I’ve got the answer for you: Be irresponsible and reckless in our use of social media

Dr. Richard Weinblatt

Weinblatt’s Tips

with Dr. Richard Weinblatt

You’ve survived years of schooling and training, along with a few good years of law enforcement service.

If you’re on the hunt for creative way to toss away that great career in law enforcement, I’ve got the answer for you: Be irresponsible and reckless in your use of social media.

Yes, you too can flush all that prestige and the honor of wearing the badge — not to mention the little issue of being able to afford to shelter and feed you and your family — just by a few well-placed posts on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, or other social media account.

If you want out of that police department or sheriff’s department job, I can almost guarantee that following the below steps will ensure that you can enjoy a life of leisure as a gainfully unemployed former law enforcement officer.

This is also good advice for those pre-service individuals seeking to destroy their career before it even gets off the ground. Quite conveniently for you, many hiring law enforcement agencies look closely at prospective hires’ social media sites in a bid to ascertain character and suitability for a judgment-oriented career in public safety.

The below examples will certainly make your need to exercise good judgment abundantly clear.

1. Contravene Confidentiality
As a law enforcement professional, you are trusted by your employer and have a duty to protect the confidentiality of information you obtain while serving your community. If you are bent on destroying that confidentiality, then by all means, do post pictures of victims of gruesome vehicle crashes on Instagram and release that detailed confidential source information in 140 descriptive characters on Twitters.

2. Bash your Boss
Be a die-hard First Amendment Free Speecher and air your feelings about your sergeant or lieutenant on your zero-privacy-settings Facebook page. Bash your boss by name. Use a picture. That’s sure to win him or her over to your point of view. Go even further and draw obscene objects on their posted picture.

3. Pornographic Pictures
While you’re on your combustible career crash, be sure to ride the wave of pornographic pictures that are all the rage on Instagram and Tumblr. Better yet, be sure to have parts of your official uniform visible hanging off of you with special attention to your department’s insignia (patch or badge – your choice) or your marked unit clearly visible in the photo. Throw in a departmentally owned weapon or two to get more bang for your buck.

4. Drugs and Alcohol
So, maybe you’re not the type to flaunt your nude or semi naked body on social media. Another variation would be the open use of your favorite illicit drug in Facebook pictures. Be sure your face is visible as you use your chosen method of ingesting that drug and go that extra mile of identifying yourself as a law enforcer.

If drugs aren’t your thing, take heart as drinking can also leave your career in ruins. Drunken behavior is always noticed by law enforcement agency chief executives, so be outrageous in your actions. Heck, have some underage folks drinking with you in the picture for some real impact. For the icing on the cake, leave that evidence tag attached from when you swiped it with the agency’s tag clearly displayed in the photo.

5. Racist Rants
Tired of being politically correct? Then go to the opposite end of the spectrum and put all sorts of racist, sexist, and homophobic rants on your Twitter. Let your inner misogynist be public. The Twitter rants approach has done wonders for Alec Baldwin’s image and it can certainly have an effect on yours with your department. Defense attorneys particularly appreciate when they discover any prejudicial or sexist attitudes that you have on display on social media and use them in court and publicly to impeach your credibility.

Make It Count
Whatever method or methods above that you pursue in the destruction of your career, be sure to do it while on duty. Use the agency’s smartphone or computer, and have all of your social media privacy settings on open to the public. You should at least have the maligning missives go through the agency’s server. That will certainly give the administration some good grounds upon which to go after you.

In all seriousness though, contrary to the above examples of what NOT to do, responsible use of your social media is the route to go in the public safety field, as well as all other careers. Eschewing these websites altogether is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I don’t advocate going without social media — I favor controlled usage of them.

Social media is a tool much like your firearm (I’ve opened up Pandora ’s Box with that analogy). It can be used to further your law enforcement career, as well as investigative and community relations duties. It can also be used to destroy your chosen career path. You control its use and a professional approach is a win for you, your employer, and the community you represent and serve.


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Cops and Cavemen; Come out of the Cold

Chief at Rotary

First posted Law Enforcement Today; March 25, 2013 in Featured, Leadership, Posts by Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

What’s With This Person?

I was speaking with a Law Enforcement Agency’s Commander about an officer who just did not seem to grasp an agency’s vision. Although clearly communicated over the last several years in agency-wide meetings, in-services, e-mails, social media, and personal conversations the officer just refuses to “get on board.”

This Commander is fully committed to the city, the agency and the progressive vision of the administration. The officer, uh…..not so much. In our last conversation about this officer the Commander asked, “Why can’t the officer just see what we are building?”


I replied that he is a “laggard.” He knew me well enough to understand that there was more, much more behind that term. Enjoying the dramatic pause, I then followed with “and you are an innovator!” He was still not convinced my response addressed the adversarial officer.

The Spread of Great Ideas

How do great ideas spread, what does it take for a product to catch the public’s imagination or why do organizations adopt behaviors as acceptable? There is a term originating from the social sciences called Diffusion of Innovations.

The term seeks to explain how, why and at what rate do new ideas and technology spread through various cultures. Consider the domestic application of fire. Someone’s great, great, great…grandfather had an experience with fire in a manner positively affecting the quality of his life. This also benefited the community, thus the culture of early human groupings and prosperity.

Had that innovation been quenched by an elder for the sake of maintaining tribal traditions, where would we be today? Literally; in the dark.

Obviously this innovation was replicated by the few with a capacity for appreciating, understanding, and promoting the domestic use of fire. Even though, how did a torch in Asia Minor spread to the Pacific Northwest?


Fire, like the progressive vision of an administration, requires four elements influencing the adoption, implementation and sustainment of the vision.

1. Innovation

2. Communication channels

3. Time

4. Social systems

Relying on human capital to promote the wide-spread adoption of the new idea is critical for establishing it as a cornerstone of an administration. A Neanderthal passed that first torch, who then passed the next torch, and so on.

A Chief of Police (sometimes called a Neanderthal) shares their fire with a new vision, an organizational ideal or an operational paradigm shift. Then they wait for the agency to openly embrace the progressive public service direction. Then wait and wait.

Stop wasting your time waiting for something to happen. It won’t, and you will be like the solo caveman before the successful caveman who introduced fire to humanity.

The first one probably sat in a cave alone thinking how awesome and hot his new idea was. He never shared that flame, that fire, that passion for improving the collective culture. He probably expired in the cold after that flash extinguished.

I understood this concept as a new chief and strategically planned the introduction of my vision for organizational change. It was not wrapped around ego, but founded upon scientific principles of administration, theory, data analysis and old-fashioned accountability.


The Innovation element was the organizational reliance upon data with NHTSA’s Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS). This proven philosophy has realized significant reductions in social harms formerly plaguing communities deserving a better quality of life.

Communications Channels

The Communications Channels used agency-wide introductions, e-mails, social media, public presentations and personal conversations to share the vision with actionable items for achieving quantifiable goals and performance standards. The element of time is the most difficult, because as chiefs we want it done yesterday. It is our idea, so it must be great and accepted immediately.


Time is critical, as is timing. I always reassure my staff that I will not be out worked or out waited. If you have been on the job more than a year, you know what I mean. Time can be your friend or your enemy. In a fraternity where the primary goal becomes earning pension, they also know how to leverage “time” against your innovative ideas.

Social Systems

The final element required for achieving diffusion of innovations are Social Systems. Who do you go to lunch with regularly? How many mealtimes have you and posse in tow walked out past other officers?  As the leader of any organization it is vital that you do not allow that sense of comfort to control your actions. The perception of segregation or elitism spills water on the flame of your vision. Re-engage your team with your time and sincere attention.

Back to Officer Laggard. I explained to the Commander that an idea needs to reach a point of critical mass before becoming part of the culture. Reality is, not everyone will adopt your vision, as not everyone thought the “Flowbee” was great for cutting their own hair.

After convincing enough in your agency that the passion behind the vision produces sustainable results, they will also promote your vision and embrace it as their own. The good news is, you do not have to gain the support of every individual to obtain critical mass.

The “S” Curve Chart

This is where I should have paid more attention in math and statistics courses, but here it goes. Remember the Bell curve that spared so many of us from failing grades? It’s here again to demonstrate the phases and population adoption percentages for achieving critical mass (acceptance.)

The Diffusion of Innovations “S” Curve chart

Cultural Innovators & Early Adopters

Cultural innovation, be it fire or an IPhone involve four types of people. Only a small percentage of the culture is Innovators. Only one Steve Jobs, William Bratton, or you! These innovations are embraced by the Early Adopters. These are the officers embracing the new zero tolerance for DWI enforcement, or the first in line for the IPhone 76. They will carry the flag of your vision faithfully, regardless the cost or inconvenience.

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...Early Majority

Your first big slice of the culture’s population is the Early Majority. Great news is, you are no longer the single voice preaching the powerfully positive influences of your vision.  You’ve collected other Innovators and Early Adopters to carry your banner.  You have now achieved critical mass, and your policies, practices and persona are eligible for cultural sustainment. Eligible I say, because nothing is guaranteed.

Late Majority

Rounding down the employee pool is the Late Majority who will comply because the others seem to be benefitting from it. This group will not respond to your motivational plea, only to your very specific directions for what it is you want them to accomplish.  These employees are not contrary to the agency’s objective, but they are a reality and must be included in the vision sharing.


Finally, Officer Laggard. He will only embrace your ideology when placed in personal jeopardy. Let off the pedal and they are back to a dead stop. While you may rejoice once Officer Laggard retires, resigns or finds employment in a scrapyard, it is short-lived euphoria.

There will always be a percentage, although a very small subculture of your population, as laggards.

Maintain your focus and your presence. Laggards drain your creative energies and distract you from providing your best positive mentoring attentions to those officers willing to trust the new direction.

Energy & Equity

Being successful in leadership also involves the wise expenditure of personal energy and equity investments. A sure way to fail in supervision is believing you can satisfy everyone. Don’t neglect fanning the flames of your “team” because the laggard wants to sit out in the dark.

Maybe the nocturnal wolf of unemployment will snatch him!


Learn more about this article here:

Rogers, E. M. (1960). Social change in rural society: A textbook in rural sociology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Rogers, E. M. (1962). Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.

Scott Silverii, PhD is a native of south Louisiana’s Cajun Country and serving as the Chief of Police for the City of Thibodaux, Louisiana. Spending twenty-one previous years with a CALEA accredited Sheriff’s Office allowed opportunities for serving various capacities including 12 years narcotics, 16 years SWAT and Divisional Commands. Chief Silverii earned a Master of Public Administration and a Doctorate in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans, focusing his research on aspects of culture and organizations.  A member of IACP’s prestigious Research Advisory Committee, Chief Silverii, author of “A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant” and contributor for TheBadgeGuys, is available at scottsilverii@gmail.com, @ThibodauxChief, or http://scottsilverii.com

Chief Silverii first posted this article at Law Enforcement Today; Cops and Cavemen; Come out of the Cold

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The Fishbowl | What you do in Public

Chief in Prayer

NOTE: I am posting this message received for two reasons;

1. It was sent via social media, so I trust I’m not violating a confidence by posting.

2. It is possibly the nicest message I have received, and moves me to know that our actions, as important as our words, speak volumes about who we are and what we do.

Hi, Scott. I found your sight by clicking on a twitter link tweeted by an author friend. I was curious because of your twitter name. You see, I am a novelist, but I am also a parent of a Nicholls State student. In fact, the last time my husband and I visited (we are from TX), we were sitting in the Weeping Willow cafe and two cops walked in for lunch.

Everyone in the place greeted them, addressing one as “chief.” But what impressed us most was that these two men bowed their heads and prayed before eating. I take it one of those men was you! As we come for graduation in December, we will be sad to say goodbye to the town that has meant so much to our child.

Thank you for making it a safe place for to live and learn. And thank you for being a man of public faith and integrity. God has obviously given you great favor and success. Bless you!

As public servants, it is not often we receive kind gestures of encouragement or faith. It is also true that our actions as public servants might cause others to think negatively of us.

Though it is an absolute affirmative that if you serve God first, then your community before yourself, you may be persecuted, but will always find favor in Christ.


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