Can organisations repair toxic culture? Two experts say how they would fix the Met Police

This episode is greatly enhanced by reading the newsletter that comes with it.

In today’s podcast I talk to two guests who have slightly different perspectives on how to fix the culture of the Met Police.

Dr Megan O’Neill is Associate Director at the Scottish Institute for Policing Research. She has extensively studied the police and has worked closely with them – most notably helping to revise a stop and search policy that was found to be failing. She explains the challenges of the job, and how we should think about getting buy in to reform.

Simon Holdaway is Professor emeritus of Criminology at the University of Sheffield. He joined the police after he left school and was promoted to sergeant. His study about the police has explored the culture of the profession and how themes of race could be more effectively tackled.

While the police (and the Met) might not feel adjacent to your business there are critical lessons about cultural change.

Four lessons of what good culture requires:

  • Space – good culture can’t exist when there is no slack in the system
  • Voice – workers need to feel like they are heard (Megan says this is part of ‘organisational justice’) – this makes workers feel valued
  • Values – explaining what the organisation stands for,
  • Middle management – behind any culture problem there’s the need to purge the organisation of cultural misfits – getting the middle management right is the best way to make this take hold

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