Stacey Moreau is the director of the Leadership Development Centre at the Canadian Police College. The CPC recently conducted a needs analysis of national training standards focused on modernizing the approach to leadership development. In a recent Blue Line: The Podcast, Moreau joined editor Brieanna Charlebois to review its findings and discuss the future of leadership development in Canadian policing. The following is an excerpt from the podcast.
Q: What are the biggest issues in the leadership development sector?
The CPC is undergoing a modernization of all our courses. Within the context we’re living in right now, with so much uncertainty, leadership development has really evolved and people are seeing leadership development as much more of a necessity. The recognition of the impact good leadership has on an organization has been pushed front and center now.
Q: What were the biggest takeaways from the CPC’s needs analysis of current national training standards?
It was a very robust analysis. We hired an independent researcher to do a literature review and worked with a professor from Carleton University, who conducted over 25 interviews with police chiefs to see where there are gaps within policing leadership development. We also conducted interviews about six months after they took a course to see how the programs influenced their behavior and the organization.
There were two main takeaways. First, there is a recognition of the need for leadership development at all levels. It’s about really focusing on leadership development and not management training, though there is a need for that as well. The second piece is the focus on interpersonal awareness. When you think about leadership, you think of the three C’s: character, competencies and commitment. We tend really focus on competencies but the other two that typically don’t get as much attention but are becoming a bigger focus now. The character piece is becoming increasingly important. Competency focuses on what leaders can do, while character focuses on what leaders will do in different situations. In policing, the character piece is so important because we need to have leadership at all levels. The commitment piece speaks to both the individual and organizational piece. It’s becoming important because organizationally, a culture has to want to grow. It’s vital for organizations to look at themselves to see if they’re doing everything they can to support a strong and capable leadership.
Q: What feedback did you receive from law enforcement leaders and what does CPC plan to do to address it?
Four main things came out of it: return on investment, continuous learning, interpersonal awareness and the importance of partnerships. For the first one—return on investment—at the CPC, we’re looking at how organizations can get involved in mentoring and how the CPC can support them in that mentoring relationship. We’re looking at it from an organizational capacity, not just the individual capacity. Right now, we’re exploring the development of a research and knowledge center so when somebody needs something, they can actually go at the moment when they need to find some resources, at which point we might be able to support them in their learning and leadership development. The second one is a continuous learning. Not everyone needs a year-long course. It depends on the individual and sometimes people just want to develop a specific area. So, we’re going to continue the longer courses going forward but complement that by offering other workshops on specific competencies. The third is the interpersonal awareness piece and that’s about how we can support people in developing certain aspects of their character, strengthening certain areas and help them identify their strengths and areas they need to work on to ensure you’re creating a team environment where everyone’s strengths complement each other. The fourth piece focused on partnerships, which will really allow for great sharing of information and possibly create new and innovative ideas.
This episode of Blue Line Podcast was sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University. To listen to the full podcast, visit blueline.ca/podcast.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity.
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