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Growing Adaptive Thinking 3 Day Work Shop

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Date(s) - May. 21, 2018 - May. 23, 2018
8:00am - 4:30pm

Kent Police Dept


3-Day Workshop (Only 40 slots Open)

Program Philosophy

Law enforcement culture tends to utilize a linear, technical mindset for training, intelligence, policy, operations, and supervision.  At the same time, police officers, supervisors, and command staff continue to struggle with complications from poor decision-making and leadership.  This antiquated framework is a carryover from an industrial education model primarily designed for efficiency via cost savings and the maximization of time…for training factory workers!

The unpredictable modern law enforcement environment is far from that of an assembly line.

Why should we consider adopting a new cultural philosophy in our training, intelligence, policy, operations, and supervision?

How do we shift our thinking to accommodate those situations in which rigid rules, checklists, or flowcharts simply do not apply?

How do we effectively nurture a non-linear, adaptive mindset–at the individual, team, and organizational levels?  The random, unpredictable, dynamic, high-stakes nature of police work requires adaptability at all levels and in all situations.


This 3-day workshop has been developed specifically for growth-minded thinkers seeking to understand the relationships between so many previously unconnected topics.  In an immersive learning environment that relies on active discussion and practical exercises, students will examine:

Balancing adherence to rules & embracing creative problem-solving

Building resiliency to work through failure

Breaking silo -thinking & institutional barriers to effective communication and operations

Predict & forecast based on a mix of research h & experience

Writing policy & procedures that effectively match function with environment

Giving & receiving feedback from a variety of sources

Understanding analytic & critical thinking vs intuition & experience

Appreciating system capabilities vs environmental demands

Exploiting emotional intelligence & behavioral analysis

Mitigating the effects of stress on decision-making

Using contemporary learning research to enhance student retention

Working effectively with people who think differently than you

Using strategic thinking to navigate uncertainty

Triaging challenges and “stacking the deck” for better preparedness


Thomas Dworak

is a retired Sergeant (31 years) from a suburban Chicago police department where he was the Field Training and Evaluation Program

Coordinator and the lead Defensive Tactics/Use of Force instructor.  Thom’s knowledge of experiential learning, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, creative problem solving and decision making shaped The Adaptive FTO into a program for the changing training environment Field Training Officers and their trainees find themselves in daily. Thom facilitates training throughout the country in Field Training, Instructor Development, Leadership, Supervisory Skills, Use of Force, and Defensive Tactics through The Virtus Group, Inc. He is also a core instructor for Below 100 . Thom holds the position of adjunct faculty at the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (College of DuPage, IL) providing instruction to recruits in defensive tactics and scenario –

based training. As a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), Thom is the Instructor Development Section Editor of the ILEETA Journal.


Lou Hayes, Jr. is a Police Sergeant, currently assigned as Training Coordinator and Range Master for a suburban Chicago police department. Since 1998, he has been a full- time sworn officer, with assignments as: Patrol Officer; Field Training Officer (FTO); Detective; SWAT supervisor; Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) member; instructor; training supervisor. He co- developed The Illinois Model ™as a comprehensive and universal police problem-

solving process.

As a training consultant, Lou’s responsibilities are focused on strategic thinking, adaptability, instructional & curriculum design, and creative decision-making. His personal study includes generalism, emotional intelligence, adult learning, human performance under stress, high- reliability organizations, and complex adaptive systems. His relentless asking of challenging questions that begin with How and Why have earned him the nickname “Tactical Philosopher.”