What We Can Learn From a Top Police Commissioner

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Leaders leave legacies.  One of the top police commissioners was Bill Bratton who started reducing crime in Boston and then moved on to clean up the cities of Los Angeles and New York City.
Having worked with the NYC Police Academy many years ago (developing a new screening test for recruits), and later teaching them at John Jay College (a program inspired by Bill Bratton), I’ve always respected the challenges police officers face.

One of the reasons he successfully reduced crime while also improving relationships with minorities, is that he appreciated the presentation value of fine policing.

Bratton created the “broken window theory” of policing, based on an art class that gave him the opportunity to see the world differently and increase his appreciation of the environment that people live in.

James Q Wilson and George Kelling, two college professors, suggested that visible signs of even minor crime – vandalism, fare evasions, public drinking – create an atmosphere of lawlessness.  While these victimless crimes don’t carry the urgency of murder statistics, they contribute to people’s attitudes toward law and toward their own environment. He saw neighborhoods and society as a whole as the victims. Unpunished open-air drug use, aggressive panhandling and public urination causes the neighborhood to deteriorate: His goal was to improve the lives of people in neighborhoods that were victimized and give people a sense of safety and pride. While it was controversial, since it was minority communities that were most victimized by such behaviors, the statistics on other crimes did improve, and that decreased residents’ sense of frustration.

Understanding the process, helped my company, Brilliant Image, become a leader in the computer graphics service bureau industry. We understood that if presenters had a morning meeting that they worked on late into the night and the slides arrived even a few minutes late, that produced frustrations for the presenters and their clients, and that could ripple into their ability to present effectively and close important deals. As a result, we stayed open 24/7, 365, and created a double check system at 6 Am to make sure everything would be delivered on time. Our “No excuses” policy for on-time delivery every time, paralleled his “no broken windows” policy.

How are you adopting this “wider” perspective of Presentation Excellence for your customers? Share your efforts with us, so we can all win more deals with fewer frustrations!