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Police and the Leadership Challenge

The entire police junior management team underwent several days of performance management training in September and October 2013.  Extremely fruitful sessions, which dwelt exhaustively on issues which managers might encounter in the implementation of the new performance management systems. 

Many of the issues related to the leadership challenge.  Participants dwelt extensively on possibilities of interference from superior and politicians, corruption, tribalism and nepotism, and various procedure and policy issues.  Much of the feedback was delivered by the training team directly to the police leadership in the last session of the Executive Management Board, generating heated discussion on the connection between the participants’ feelings, discussions and the successful implementation of the new performance management system.

In general, Leadership has always been a challenge for organisations, public and private sector alike.  From an indepth analysis of the current state of affairs it is clear that Police managers now need to focus on formulating and implementing organisation strategy, designing working units to deliver results, building and leading cross functional teams, and cultivating their executive presence.

The SLP has successfully created a vision – and now this vision is on its way to be implemented.  Following the extensive training project which covered over 2,000 officer in the junior management cadre, there will follow separate rounds of coaching and planning nationwide, carefully monitored by senior management teams.  In addition to developing expertise in police work, SLP now needs to learn how to lead change and manage the complexity of the organisation by integrating multiple functions.  All police managers now need to move out of their area of expertise into organisational leadership – a challenging and critical career transition.

In order to do this successfully, they have to understand their strengths and areas of development relative to leading a public organisation, be able to re-formulate the SLP organisational strategy, design and structure functional units to deliver results, envision a desirable future and transform the organisation.