Making the unseen seen: Improving leadership skills with artificial intelligence and automation
There is no magic button a police leader can press to change a force’s culture. To successfully drive cultural change, police leaders need to engage in a deliberate and sustained effort to positively reinforce, and highlight the behaviours their organisations want to see. It is not possible to change every attitude and behaviour so focusing on a critical few is essential.
While there is no single solution to create culture change, you might be surprised to hear that technology can play a core role. In my opinion, policing is missing a trick by not using artificial intelligence and automation to help change culture.
Police leaders are routinely talking about artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. They have started to explore it across operational areas and more frequently for automating simple high-volume repetitive tasks and processes. However, this kind of technology is equally adept at being pointed at culture change, but police forces are not yet taking full advantage of the capability.
Digital Leadership Platforms powered by AI
Digital leadership platforms are available now that use AI and could provide personalised leadership coaching across a force to build stronger workplace relationships and to create better people leaders. The platforms do this by synchronising to your email system and looking at a leader’s existing behaviour data, like their email and message traffic, and providing them with tailored leadership insights. For example, leaders can see how often they give recognition or provide feedback, whether they make too many ad-hoc meeting requests, or if they communicate or share opinions equally across their team.
Leaders can also improve collaboration and reduce burnout by inviting team members to design their ideal team norms. This could include their preferred times for meetings, brainstorms, focused work, or wellness breaks, and then a platform can measure if the team's behaviour is aligning with their preferences.
This use of technology may raise some questions about security, but it’s important to note that an employee’s privacy is completely protected. Firstly, the solution should operate on a strictly opt-in basis. Secondly, privacy-by-design can be built into the approach so no data is analysed without an employee’s consent. Finally, no personally identifiable metrics or insights should be shared with anybody else in the organisation.
Managing hybrid and remote teams requires innovative technology. Leaders have to be especially attuned to the various working styles of their team members. Platforms driven by AI can support effective leadership through continuous real-time insight and tailor-made advice. Managers using the platform have reported that their self-awareness has grown and the insights have prompted them to adapt their management approach.
AI makes the unseen seen. For example, maybe you didn’t know you were favouring someone by always responding quickly to their emails. AI powered learning, coupled with meaningful nudges and suggestions for how to improve, provides real-world intelligence and an automation solution that works.
By combining their existing human-led initiatives with powerful AI, police forces could make rapid progress in their objectives to change culture.
About the Authors:
PwC UK @pwc_uk
Muz Janoowalla (Twitter Handle: @Statman_Who)
Georgie joined techUK as the Justice and Emergency Services (JES) Programme Manager in March 2020, then becoming Head of Programme in January 2022.
Georgie leads techUK's engagement and activity across our blue light and criminal justice services, engaging with industry and stakeholders to unlock innovation, problem solve, future gaze and highlight the vital role technology plays in the delivery of critical public safety and justice services. The JES programme represents suppliers by creating a voice for those who are selling or looking to break into and navigate the blue light and criminal justice markets.
Prior to joining techUK, Georgie spent 4 and a half years managing a Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) in Westminster. She worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and London borough councils to prevent and reduce the impact of crime on the business community. Her work ranged from the impact of low-level street crime and anti-social behaviour on the borough, to critical incidents and violent crime.