The Learning Organization

Leadership 101: The Learning Organization

Mike Masterson being sworn in again as Boise’s Chief of Police

Chief Mike Masterson of Boise, Idaho applies some sound leadership principles in the following communication with his officers. He combines the importance of real-time, effective street policing with rewarding good behaviors and that which he would like his officers to do and to share with others.


“Good afternoon,

“I frequently attend briefings to hear about the calls you handle and the incredible stories of your courage, quick thinking and sound judgement you exercise in handling these matters.  I’m also pleased to see other specialty officers attend briefings to share their expertise so others may learn. 

“That is the essence of a learning organization.  [The Boise Police Department] excels in this area.  Learning organizations mean “organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.”

“The critical components of being a learning organization involve teams, transfer of knowledge and increased efficiency and improved performance. ..”

[Chief Masterson, back from retirement for an interim period while a new chief is selected), then highlights a number of officers and civilian personnel who shared their learning with others in the organization with the goal of improving the delivery of police services.]

When we begin to understand the power of, and create, an actual learning police organization, we will see increased effectiveness along with an increasing level of trust between police and the community.

I suggest you read more about the concept of a “learning organization” first proposed by Peter Senge a number of years ago. Couple this idea with Procedural Justice and you will be surprised by what police can accomplish and how they are trusted and respected.

Here’s to good, community-oriented, respectful policing – the glue which holds together a free society!

Here’s some links on creating a Learning Organization:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.