Since the look and feel of Emergent Learning disciplines varies widely
to match an organization’s needs and culture, the best way to understand
them is through examples of real-world challenges and solutions:
In 1995, Boston's new police commissioner, Paul Evans, was determined
to lead the department back to its roots in neighborhood policing, after
the introduction of the 911 system had led to too strong a focus on response
time, and too little focus on understanding and fighting crime trends.
To build greater local accountability throughout the police department,
he set up a team to manage the change and adapt a statistics-based method
of crime analysis created in New York City, COMPSTAT, to the unique culture
and needs of Boston's police force. They named their practice the "Crime
Analysis Meeting," or CAM. As with all Emergent Learning disciplines,
it has evolved over the years based on the evolving needs of the force.
The CAM, the most visible part of the discipline, is a biweekly three-hour
structured forum. Districts rotate, which puts them "up front"
about every two months. The district captain and his lieutenants report
out against the "Part One" crime data in their district (homicides,
burglaries, domestic violence and other major crimes). Using a standard
format, they present the current data and share their analysis of trends
in their jurisdiction, along with their recent actions and near future
plans to impact those trends. Questions are posed by all present, including
the superintendent, commissioner and their peers from the other districts.
Because the CAM makes District captains’ level of effectiveness
and knowledge of their jurisdiction highly visible, they are naturally
motivated to innovate or adopt successful practices from other districts
and to build relationships with many organizations in their communities.
Seven years and running, the CAM keeps the entire organization focused
on proactively impacting crime and fosters collaboration across organizational
boundaries. Some districts have begun "mini-CAMs" focused on
the work of Sergeants and their beat teams within the district itself.