Spitballing


Spitballing is a term for throwing out ideas for consideration at a business meeting in advance of detailed development.

I invite you to check out the spitballing menu on this page and respond when something strikes you as provocative or something you agree or disagreee with.

Robert F. Lunney

Somebodies and Nobodies

A friend and colleague retired as Chief of Police in a mid-West U.S. city.  He became a police consultant and travelled often.  One night he returned from a trip and took a seat in the shuttle bus to the airport parking lot.  One other man joined him and after a searching look, said, “Didn’t you used to be somebody?”  My friend replied, “Yes, and someday I hope to be somebody again.”  Interesting question: If you are not a somebody, does this make you a nobody?  And who gets Read more [...]

Quants vs Turks

OR “The Cowboys and the Farmers Should Be Friends.” In year 2000 management guru Frederick Hertzberg authored what became a Harvard Business Review classic entitled “The Wise Old Turk,” a title lifted from the novel, Zorba the Greek.  The topic was organizational development and the wise old Turk was a pseudonym for the long-serving employee; the cultural sage who has seen many changes in his organization, and through experience and intuition knows the problems and likely outcomes all Read more [...]

No. 2 Peas

My service with the RCMP lasted just beyond 21 years, and during that time I was deeply imbued with the culture of the “Queen’s Cowboys.” My indoctrination began in the early 1950’s when only single men were recruited and members were prohibited from marriage for the first five years. In training and in many of the larger points single men lived in barracks and where numbers permitted, the Force maintained a military style mess serving three meals per day. The cost was deducted from our meagre Read more [...]

Organizational Character

During my term as Chief of Police for the Region of Peel I had many reasons to be proud of the accomplishments of members of the service, often related to success with police operations. At other times it was satisfaction with attaining an organizational goal. For all our success and awards, in my view our most inspiring achievement was development of a Statement of Organizational Character, because its purpose was to recognize and elevate the status of every sworn officer and member of police staff Read more [...]

Hiring, Retention and Police Research

If policing had an official tee shirt, it would read, “Be Suspicious.”  One of the first things a rookie officer learns is that many occurrences are not as they first appear and that the initial account of a story is often flawed by inconclusive information, the absence of direct observation, misperception, conflict of interest or downright intent to mislead.  It follows that the officer learns to suspend judgment until more facts are known and tested. As experience is gained this quality becomes Read more [...]

Peel’s Principles Today

Conceived by British statesman Sir Robert Peel in 1829, nine principles of policing have served as the cornerstone of police practice in countries with governance systems derived from the United Kingdom. Re-stated, they are: Peel’s Nine Principles of Policing To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and by severity of legal punishment. To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public Read more [...]

Bar Fight

Police officers meeting socially or on the job will, at some point exchange war stories to establish credentials or to pass on some experience that may be helpful in dealing with a set of circumstances. One of my favourites was related to me by a former Calgary police officer who was one of three officers responding to a dangerous bar fight in that city. The Sergeant met a two-person patrol outside the bar and led them in, wooden batons at the ready. Backed to the wall and brandishing a broken beer Read more [...]