Black Country news and blogs Monday 19 June 2017
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Inspector Guilfoyle

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Where Are The Stick People? 

29 Jul 16

It’s been quite a few months since I last published a blog post and I’m often asked what’s happened to Stick Child and his friends.

The Professionals 

22 Nov 15

Imagine a police force that handed out firearms to its officers without training them.

Chain Reaction 

14 Oct 15

No, nothing to do with an old Diana Ross track, but the title of a presentation I gave at the UK’s first ever TEDx policing event in Leeds yesterday – #OldBillRebuilt, ably organised by Gareth Stubbs.

Freeze Frame 

11 Sep 15

Watching the TV programme ‘The Force’ last night (which follows the work of officers from Greater Manchester Police), I thought of yet another analogy to help explain why binary comparisons are rubbish.

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Short Circuit 

10 May 15

This is Stick Boss.

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Maths Class 

4 May 15

Here’s Stick Teacher.

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25 Apr 15

Whilst flicking through TV channels recently, I came across a consumer advice programme, where the reporter was researching the effectiveness of self-administered ‘detox’ products.

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Comfort Blanket 

17 Apr 15

When Stick Child was a bit younger, he had a little comfort blanket.

The Wrong Conversation 

28 Mar 15

Stick Child has been getting increasingly irritated by the slack methods some adults use to present information about really important stuff, such as how long it takes for patients to be seen in Accident and Emergency (AE) departments.

Avoidable Harm 

6 Dec 14

I recently had a conversation on Twitter about a national campaign called ‘Sign up to Safety’, which aims to reduce avoidable harm in the NHS.

A Tale of Two Kings 

16 Nov 14

At bedtime, Stick Child’s Daddy often reads his son a story from his favourite story book, “Medieval Stories from Stick Kingdom with an Inevitable Systems Thinking Moral”.

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Stick Child and The Fraggles 

12 Nov 14

Recently, Stick Child was watching the television channel ‘Stick Gold’, when he came across an episode of the 1980s children’s show, Fraggle Rock .

Top of the Table 

27 Oct 14

When the Chair of the House of Commons Education Committee asked Michael Gove (Secretary of State of Education at the time) about comparative performance measurement between schools, this happened:
Chair: If “good” requires pupil…

It’s Criminal 

10 Oct 14

I’ve been meaning to get around to writing about the issue of using crime figures as an indicator of police performance for a while now.

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Find The Treasure 

27 Sep 14

“It’s just the starting point for asking questions”.

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The Real Thing 

26 Sep 14

Have a look at these three handguns… (Glock 17s to be precise): One is real.

Stick Child’s Kitchen Nightmares 

19 Sep 14

One evening Stick Child was awake a bit later than usual and saw part of a programme about a TV chef who goes into failing restaurants and helps them get back on track.

Method in the Madness? 

9 Sep 14

Deming was fond of saying, “By what method?”
In other words, if you want to see performance improvements you need to have an actual method for achieving them.

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Leadership is Not Enough 

6 Sep 14

Much is made of the importance of leadership, and I don’t disagree.

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A Better Way 

28 Aug 14

One day during the school holidays, Stick Child’s daddy took him to an outdoor adventure park, where people climb through the trees using various ropes, nets, rickety bridges, zip wires and other things.


16 Aug 14

If you use this…
“Total recorded crime this month (2,325 offences) shows an increase of 64 offences compared to last month (+2.8%), and an increase of 97 offences compared to the same period last year (+4.4%).

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Face the Facts 

11 Aug 14

We like actual evidence, don’t we? Then don’t be like the guy on the right…

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Three Different Things 

7 Jun 14

I almost called this blog post ‘Spot the Difference 2′ because it follows on from this old post.


22 May 14

Remember all that recent Incontrovertible Evidence suggesting targets cause dysfunctional behaviour in policing? (Yes, I can feel your shock and surprise).

Why Binary Comparisons are Really Silly 

5 May 14

Imagine having a rich resource of useful information at your fingertips, but then deliberately ignoring most of it for no logical reason whatsoever… No, I don’t understand either.

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Weak Excuses for Using Binary Comparisons 

2 May 14

Due to the popularity of my last ‘poster’ blog, here’s another… You can download a pdf of the poster here:  Weak excuses for using binary comparisons .

Get Help Now! 

11 Apr 14

After all the heavy news coverage of recent days about the adverse impact of numerical targets within policing (e.

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Incontrovertible Evidence 

9 Apr 14

Today, on the 9th April 2014, the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) published their report into allegations of police mis-recording of crime statistics.

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Stick Child says… 

28 Mar 14

Today, the 28th March 2014, is the first anniversary of the publication of my book, Intelligent Policing .

The Weather Man 

20 Mar 14

Sometimes when Stick Child and his friends are out playing, they see an old man walking his dog.

Stick Child’s Guessing Game 

22 Feb 14

Stick Child and his friends sometimes play a game where they take turns to throw dice and everyone tries to guess the number that will come up.

Straight Lines 

19 Feb 14

The other day, Stick Child was playing with his next-door neighbour, Stick Friend.

Stick Child Tries to Buy Milk 

3 Feb 14

Stick Child is a healthy little chappie and he loves a nice cold drink of milk at break time.

Stick Child’s Guide to Systems Thinking 

1 Feb 14

“What is systems thinking?”
This is a question I’ve heard quite a lot recently.

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Stick Child’s School Project 

23 Jan 14

Over the last few weeks, our little friend Stick Child has been doing a really interesting school project about a thing called variation .

Stick Child and the Flat Tyre 

19 Jan 14

Here’s the problem – you have a flat tyre! So, let’s look at a couple of options for resolving this issue…
Option 1
One approach might be to inflate the tyre, then check the air pressure on a regular basis to see if…

Understanding Targets (For the Under 10s) 

16 Jan 14

This is Stick Child.

Why ‘Year-To-Date’ is Rubbish 

5 Jan 14

‘Year-to-date’ figures are often used in performance frameworks, both in the public and private sectors.

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The Tunnel 

31 Dec 13

A teacher once angrily called me one of “the three most stupidest boys in the school”.

The Railway Children 

21 Dec 13

Recently, I had the opportunity to have a look around a railway network control room.

Angry Driver 

29 Nov 13

Do you anyone with this approach to performance management? Actually, it doesn’t work.

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Take The Targets Test! 

15 Nov 13

Quiz time! Have a go at the challenge below.

How To Win Any Argument 

7 Nov 13

There is a technique which some people seem to think is capable of winning any argument – even when faced with a compelling and well-evidenced line of reasoning.

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My Trip to America – A Systems Thinker’s Diary 

1 Nov 13

I’ve just got back from America, and because I don’t have the ability to switch off the systems thinking part of my brain, I kept noticing ‘systemsy’ stuff whilst I was there, so I thought I’d share a few observations …

Right Measures, Measured Right 

12 Oct 13

…is a phrase I often use when talking about measuring stuff in performance systems.

‘Tis Not The Season… 

22 Sep 13

***Warning – if you are a small child do not read all the way to the end of this post***
Well it must be that festive time of year again as all things Christmassy are starting to appear everywhere around me.


25 Aug 13

These imposing monolithic structures, silhouetted against the moody twilight sky, are silos.

The People vs The System 

15 Aug 13

In the red corner:
“Our people are our greatest asset”.

The Six Greatest Myths of All Time 

9 Aug 13

In no particular order… 1.

How To Spoil A Perfectly Good Car 

8 Aug 13

This beast is the legendary Scoobmeister.

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