5 Steps to Achievable Police Transformation

What’s this 5 Step Approach?

As with any person at the top of an organization, you got to where you are from being the best at the tactics and the day to day actions. Now how do you become a leader, a strategist? We have the roadmap.

Successful leaders all have one thing in common, they have vision, strategy, communicate the strategy and hold others accountable. They take the time to think. And they operate with a plan.

Our approach to leadership is a simple 5 step approach: 

  1. Identify the organizational and community values, what we all have in common. 

It’s not just policing where values matter. Values determine an individual’s or organization success as well. Even further values: 

  • Help mold a culture, where standards are high and fear is low. 
  • Go beyond the urgent, ethical leaders take action with a view toward the long term, upholding the values of the culture. 
  • Guide leaders’ choices so that their every action which is watched by many, helps reinforce or improve the desired state of their organizations. 


  1. Create a strategic plan, incorporate the vision, mission, values, goals, strategies to achieve the goals and the specific accountable tactics.

One of the questions we get asked a lot is, what is a strategic plan? A strategic plan for any law enforcement agency provides, in writing, the vision, mission, values and goals of the organization over time, usually three to five years. It includes a detailed roadmap for how those visions and goals will be accomplished (tactics). A properly constructed strategic plan also provides stakeholders with the information they need to plan, budget, and pursue the priorities of the organization within the operating budget. 


  1. Ensure that everyone understands the plan, it is widely communicated and people know what they are responsible to do to achieve their tactics.

Developing good communications is a challenge for any organization but now more than ever before given the nature of our expanding virtual-centric world. Successful communication requires being able to connect intellectually as well as emotionally with a variety of people, cultures, values, and stakeholders. When building a police organization that operates optimally requires learning how to communicate with and among

  • Your officers 
  • Your superiors 
  • Members of the public 
  • City leaders 
  • Members of various media 
  • Your police union 
  • Local, state, and even national politicians 


  1. Track accountabilities and hold your team accountable to deliver on what they have committed to do.

You can’t change what you can’t measure. Data alone is worthless. Data analyzed reveals patterns. Patterns tell stories. Stories educate, teach, and prepare the way for change. Create a baseline for performance before you implement new performance requirements. In order for police departments to shift their focus to outcomes, tools that evaluate their communities’ feedback are not just desirable, but mandatory. Hold people accountable to deliver on their promises. Hold yourself accountable.


  1. Celebrate success and achievement of the plan.

Celebrating success breeds more success. We build on the good, congratulating one another in the spirit of teamwork while also continuing to encourage and support each other not only for what we have just accomplished but what we are striving to achieve next. 

Our stories and examples from Do No Harm provide clarity, reinforce and give you tools to create your own performance enhancing culture. 

1 comment

  • Good stuff!
    The Steps in your process are sound. I especially appreciate the accountability aspect.

    I suppose one of the more challenging aspects of the process is Step 1 as it relates to obtaining a representative sample of community values (validating that data) and than trying to incorporate the community values together with the police departments (or organizations) values and mission etc. i look forward to reading/learning more and seeing how your solution all comes together! The book is certainly very timely and needed!

    Jack Cort

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