“A good process can lead to good outcomes, but it doesn’t guarantee them.” -Seth Godin
We have said it before, but it bears repeating – we think that the folks in law enforcement are some of the best, most dedicated individuals on the planet. Those that we are blessed to interact with are professionals committed to serving the public.
We have also been asked to review policy and procedure manuals from many agencies across this country. By and large law enforcement policy manuals are solid. Most of the policies represent best practices and are based on current court rulings.
And the training – the training for most agencies is top notch. The trainers are incredible and genuinely care about the people in their departments.
So, with all of these positive things working for the good, how come bad things still happen? With all of the precautions, all of the preparation, how can there be anything less than the desired outcomes?
Because outcomes cannot be guaranteed. Our people are human. With humans come human performance limitations. Not only that, but we do not control the actions of the other person involved in law enforcement encounters.
Leaders recognize this. They recognize that the outcome is not the true measure of whether their people did the right thing. It is the process that must be examined. Leaders should not hold people accountable for outcomes that are largely outside of the control of the involved officer. Processes should be subject to continuous improvement – because that is what is right. But that doesn’t guarantee the outcome.