DAVE BAKER’S TAKE:
Pittsburgh Police Incredibly understaffed and we are at risk Of all things you hope to get when you pay your taxes is safety. Most urbanites and suburbanites take it for granted and generally do not put ourselves into unsafe situations. Safety on the streets, in our neighborhoods and throughout the course of our normal social lives in and around the city. So how is it that recent articles regarding the challenges of the lack of enough trained officers is ever a problem. To the human capital expert it is obvious that the challenge isn’t political, it’s founded in poor human capital strategic planning and the missing link to develop and implement a succession planning program to build the corps due to the significant number of boomers (aka baby boomers) who are part of the workforce and will be leaving continuously over the next 10+ years. Well managed companies and organizations (like city’s, and schools and hospitals) take care to develop and manage their most valuable asset. And that’s not just part of their annual report and empty platitudes. The best run companies and organizations have consistently developed and implemented human capital strategic initiatives that assure that they will run exceptionally well today and tomorrow and well into the future. Programs that guarantee exceptional hires to your workforce, onboarding and training programs that insure new hires know their responsibilities and how to perform them, accountability programs that are driven by objective performance based measures, leadership development to continuously improve the skills of those who manage your workforce, and succession planning – especially today – with the full knowledge that more than 25% of the current workforce is going to leave their places of employment within the next decade or so. Good people make great things happen every day. We see it everyday. And yet cities and companies and organizations continuously run themselves with the overriding philosophy that the lack of a people strategic plan will somehow carry the day. The challenge isn’t political, the challenge is people. It’s no wonder why start up companies are changing the way we do things every day. Google, Apple, Oracle and Amazon were all startups driven by people with passion and commitment – not only to their mission – but to the people who were part of the solution. This isn’t a political failure, this is a leadership failure. GE was about to tank before Jack Welch was hired as the CEO. With one human capital practice he changed the culture and turned them into one of the best run companies I the world which they still maintain today. It took huge courage to do it, but it wasn’t financial and it wasn’t product driven, it was driven by one essential human capital program that changed them forever. You want to reduce your risk and safety in our neighborhoods? Implement a people based strategic plan and stick to it. Will this happen? Unlikely. Someone’s political future will take precedent over what truly needs to be done.