Monetizing’ un-used, under-used, or ineffectively applied intangible assets emanating from policing and public safety entities is doable…providing operational familiarity with intangible assets is present!
The strategies proposed would not be merely poorly disguised rationale…for continuing to utilize (motor vehicle-driver) traffic citations or other ‘exploitative’ and potentially discriminatory practices as a reliant – supplemental source of operating revenue going to municipality coffers.
To be sure, there are police and public safety departments…irrespective of their nuanced operating cultures, that quite naturally (willingly, professionally) adhere to national mission statement standards that largely emanate from conventional – time honored ‘protect and serve’ models. Unfortunately, the ugly and often exploitative practices of some policing tactics have embedded as cultures’, surfacing to the necessary – warranted, but largely heretofore, blind and hearing-impaired scrutiny of the broader public in cities such as Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore, and numerous others, even university campuses in the U.S. over the past three years. U.S. citizens have witnessed the rudderless ambiguity of such presumptive branding that in some instances manifested as irreconcilably disconnected from its municipal residents – consumers.
The ‘protect and serve’ models have their origins in an earlier period of social unrest that lead to police reformation…which commenced in the mid-1960’s following the deeply rooted racial disparities and tensions embedded in numerous cities throughout the U.S. in the summers’ of the 1960’s. It’s certainly not rocket science to draw comparisons to the much more recent events variously beginning in Ferguson, Missouri. To characterize them otherwise, is, in my view, assurance of generational repetition.
The objective here is to not ‘naval gaze’…about the actions of a few and translate their unprincipled – unlawful actions as being applicable to the majority. Instead, the objective of this post is to translate the intangible assets routinely produced – delivered by police departments to generate value to citizens, communities, and neighborhoods on many levels. In most instances the assets, intangible as they are, can be individually or collectively ‘monetized’ as internal pride and external responsibility – attractivity for infrastructure investments.
Intangible assets are…collections – collaborations of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital and intellectual property. It’s also an economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, profitability, and sustainability today, lie in – evolve directly from intangible (non-physical) assets, not tangible (physical) assets. Hence, the U.S. economy, not unlike the economies of numerous other developed countries, are becoming increasingly intangible asset intensive, dependent, and driven by…
• …unique knowhow a company (its employees) possess, and the special value that comes from understanding how, when, and under what circumstances to apply it best. (McKinsey & Company)
• …economic and competitive advantages and benefits embedded in companies’ IC (intellectual capital), i.e., knowhow, experience, etc., and its SC (structural capital), i.e., processes, procedures, and practices that set its products, services, and/or systems apart from its competitors to create efficiencies and value that build/enhance/sustain RC (relationship capital) with existing and prospective clients. (Michael D. Moberly)
• …internally developed narratives for articulating and differentiating products operating methods, processes, services, and best practices that create competitive advantages and build value in environments where deployed. (Michael D. Moberly)
• … distinctive and/or unique blends of business activities, processes, know how, and customer/client relationships that companies can exploit to differentiate themselves and create value. (Michael Porter, Harvard Business School)
Let’s not delude ourselves...that numerous police departments’ brand, which has surfaced in such public and vulgar ways, particularly since August, 2014, is not subject to ‘re-branding’. Citizens in those most affected cities are far to realistic and savvy to believe that. Time and constructive action, attitude, and behavior are the predicates to effective and meaningful (culture) re-branding.
What I mean by ‘monetizing’ police culture…yes, I am an advocate of exploring strategies for ‘monetizing’ communities’ intangible assets produced by normative cultures, but, such initiatives have two key components, i.e., they require…
• leadership and foresight to recognize the intangible economic – competitive advantage benefits that will accrue to communities that execute well defined and normative (public service and public safety) cultures, and
• understanding about how to effectively exploit those assets for their value-add features, i.e., community-neighborhood reputation, goodwill, image, and existing and prospective user attractivity, etc.
Public safety departmental cultures can be catalysts to legitimately exploit…a community and/or neighborhood’s record of consistently being a safe-secure and an otherwise attractive locale worthy of investment(s) in business, education, elevate property values, and the critical and objective symbolism framed by ‘we care what happens here’ absent reliance or practice of prejudicial or discriminatory actions.
A starting point is recognizing that in most instances, an organization’s culture is a verb, not a noun…in other words police – public service culture development and maintenance – sustainability requires consistent action, leadership, and monitoring in order for a normative (police) culture to materialize and be self-sustaining.
Public safety department cultures (good or bad) are certainly not new…they have existed for generations. In the present context however, once a departmental culture, i.e., like-minded individuals (employees) and together for reasons other than professionalism and camaraderie, problems and challenges are likely to follow!
There are myriad reasons and individualized rationales compelling…some public safety employees to seek out other like-minded individuals for emotional-attitudinal defense, mutual support, or to accommodate a felt need. Doing so, in turn, may manifest (accumulate) as favorable, positive, and personalized intangible assets, i.e., reputation, image, perceptions, affiliations, intellect, capabilities, fears, willingness, etc.
On the other hand…similar ‘culture’ circumstances may manifest as a rationale which may surface and intensify certain types-levels of prejudice and xenophobic attitudes which actualize as antagonism toward particular groups of citizens based on their race and/or ethnicity, etc.
Organizational cultures, and the sub-cultures…are often intertwined collections of intangibles embedded in individual – group sociology and psychology. The existence of which may be born out of perception or direct observation, i.e., as sets of actions or inactions, either adhering to or disregarding social norms, departmental policies, and the law!
Long before there is evidence that an organization’s culture has gone ‘off its rails’…i.e., consistent deviations from – disregard for its core mission, police leadership are (fiduciarily) obliged to take the necessary steps to re-direct that subcultures’ rationale and monitor same for assurance and compliance, i.e., ensure its return to a true state
Of course, when a (sub-) culture of negativity becomes rooted in – receives its spirit…from higher echelons of a departmental or city administration, the positive actions and interactions of individual officers can seldom be sufficient to favorably influence the whole or quickly reverse what individual ‘bad actors’ have already done.
In these instances, my counsel to receptive police officers, not unlike employees in any organization in which I am addressing intangible asset issues…is to resign yesterday and seek employment in departments with leaders who recognize the all important but often unrecognized and in-valued intangibles officers bring and deliver to each shift.
Integral to any prescription for reclamation – reversal of an already adverse subculture, is recognizing…that police officers are routinely the quintessential ‘first responders’ to community challenges, particularly where there has already been multi-generational neglect and dismissiveness which has cascaded into adjacent areas. It’s reasonable to conclude then, adverse police cultures are often products of a generation of mutual disintegration of trust which spark persistent antagonism and tension.
Ironically, circumstances like this become entrées and rationales for collaborative culture leadership…by putting in place (oversight, monitoring, and assessment) practices relative to assigning a ‘value’ to respect exhibited to a community, its citizens, and socio-racial-economic circumstances.
But, cultivating a normative organizational culture for policing and public safety…requires principled leadership, wisdom, time, and the intellectual curiosity to recognize factors that influence culture development and sustainability. There are ample (anecdotal) indicators that ‘good to great’ leaders are (a.) concerned about it, (b.) pay attention to it, (c.) endeavor to achieve it, and (d.) realize it’s important to monitor it. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all or snap-shot-in-time methodology to repair or develop a proper organizational culture which can fully mature overnight.
Seldom however, can positive organizational cultures be wholly replicated elsewhere by a competitive organization…admittedly the term competitor may appear more relevant to private – for profit sectors rather than police – public safety departments.
As an experienced intangible asset strategist and risk specialist…I am confident, city administrators would find it beneficial to explore how their public service and public safety cultures’ can materialize to produce valuable and sustainable competitive advantages.
Michael D. Moberly March 9, 2018 St. Louis firstname.lastname@example.org ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters.!