The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership

The CopDoc Podcast Ep012 - Interview with Dr. Joanne Murphy, Queens University Belfast

March 15, 2021 Dr. Joanne Murphy Season 1 Episode 12
The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership
The CopDoc Podcast Ep012 - Interview with Dr. Joanne Murphy, Queens University Belfast
The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership
The CopDoc Podcast Ep012 - Interview with Dr. Joanne Murphy, Queens University Belfast
Mar 15, 2021 Season 1 Episode 12
Dr. Joanne Murphy

We interviewed Dr. Joanne Murphy, a professor at Queens University Belfast. Joanne has done work on organizational change and transformation in Northern Ireland.  In 2001, the Royal Ulster Constabulary transitioned to a new agency, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).  Dr. Murphy has conducted research and participated in facilitation sessions with senior leadership from the PSNI.  We talked about the transformation, the events in America that bring disrepute to policing, and leadership.  

Show Notes Transcript

We interviewed Dr. Joanne Murphy, a professor at Queens University Belfast. Joanne has done work on organizational change and transformation in Northern Ireland.  In 2001, the Royal Ulster Constabulary transitioned to a new agency, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).  Dr. Murphy has conducted research and participated in facilitation sessions with senior leadership from the PSNI.  We talked about the transformation, the events in America that bring disrepute to policing, and leadership.  

[00:00:00.053] - Steve Morreale

Hello, everybody, this is Steve Morreale, and you're listening to The CopDoc Podcast, I'm coming to you from Boston and I have the honor of talking to Dr. Joanne Murphy, who is right now in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I want to welcome you this morning, Joanne, and I'd like you to introduce yourself to the audience.


[00:00:14.423] - Joanne Murphy

Hi, Steve. Fantastic to be here. It's lovely to talk to you. And I have the privilege of speaking to you in the afternoon. And I'm very conscious that it's really early in the morning where you are. So well done with that. And as you said, my name's John Murphy. I'm a reader in leadership and organizational change in the Queen's University, Belfast, and I'm the co-director of our new Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Organization. And I suppose one of the reasons why we're talking today is that I've done a great deal of work and continue to do work regarding organisational change and leadership within policing in Ireland and further afield.


[00:00:46.283] - Steve Morreale

Well, thank you. I think it's ironic that in our world today you reached out to me when I had put out a little teaser that I was starting The CopDoc Podcast and you were one of the first out of country responses. And then I jumped on the phone with you shortly thereafter. And I appreciate what we've been able to do. You've pushed me towards members of the police service of Northern Ireland. And I'll be talking with one of those high rankers there pretty soon.


[00:01:10.983] - Steve Morreale

Let's talk about how you got involved in policing and you've written books. And tell me about what your trajectory, what brought you to the police world. Yeah.


[00:01:20.513] - Joanne Murphy

So because I sit in a management school, in a business school, people are always a bit sort of, oh, you do policing. You know, it's not that common, although it's you know, it's not it's not invisible either. So I got into this area of work principally because I had an interest actually in conflict. And for anyone who knows about Northern Ireland, that the policing and security is a hugely significant and has always been a hugely significant part of the conflict in these islands and Ireland and the conflict that we've lived through.





[00:01:49.193] - Joanne Murphy

So as someone who was interested in conflicts, I worked for a while in the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. And in that I've gone to see how significant institutional and organisational change was for organisations seeking to adapt to hopefully what was becoming at that point. And this was in the nineteen nineties as we came towards the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement that happened in 1998, but organisations that were beginning to move towards what was hopefully a more peaceful time.


[00:02:17.273] - Joanne Murphy

And I was really privileged at that point to work with organisations like the Orange Order and The Apprentice Boys and the Gaelic Athletic Association, and also in quite a tense, gentle way that that what was then the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the place within Northern Ireland. At the same time, I was I began to be very interested in organisational change, in leadership, and I'd already done a primary degree in political science. I had a Masters as well. But I was really interested in looking in more depth at processes of organisational change and particularly processes of change that were closely connected to wider political processes.


[00:02:53.543] - Joanne Murphy

And I was I was incredibly fortunate in that I was sitting in an environment where I had the perfect case study on the perfect case study was the organisational change process that saw the Royal Ulster can stop overcome the PSNI. And as we know, that was an incredibly difficult and incredibly emotional and also an incredibly taling and arduous process structure. And so for me, that was a wonderful day to do. I was very fortunate to do my PhD in the School of Business and Trinity College, Dublin, which, you know, Trinity College, you know, is just a wonderful, privileged place to be.


[00:03:24.443] - Joanne Murphy

And so that's how I got into this. I have written quite a bit since, as you said, I did a book on policing Place and Change, which takes an organisational perspective because I think that a lot of policing work is for very, very good reasons coming from more criminological orientation. But I firmly believe that in order to build peace and in order to move organisations into a better place, you have to look at the organisational and as well that that's absolutely critical.


[00:03:52.043] - Joanne Murphy

And I think we say that particularly in policing in Northern Ireland.




[00:03:54.923] - Steve Morreale

Well, having talked about something similar with someone from the RCMP, it seems to me that police are trained to deal with insurrection, crime, with keeping the peace in neighbourhoods, and they are certainly not always adept at making broad change in the organisation. And very often I think they need outsiders to help to guide them. And it sounds like that was one of the places you were looking at, which I find interesting. Just before we came on, I was saying that you used the term peace and you also used in both in Ireland and UK.


[00:04:26.483] - Steve Morreale

You used the term human rights an awful lot. We don't in the United States, we use constitutional rights. And when you say peace and you talk about peace in the United States in policing until January 6th when our capital was attacked, that I don't think we thought that one of our jobs was, in essence, trying to keep the peace and trying to keep disparate factions apart so that they would not converge and cause chaos and damage and death. And so I'd like you to.


[00:04:54.893] - Steve Morreale

You were watching. in Northern Ireland, seeing what you saw. It must have made you. Scratch your head saying this is the United States, that's our capital, because it's certainly the way I thought. So what did that conjure in your mind where there's some similarity?


[00:05:08.683] - Joanne Murphy

Well, you know, I was watching it with my husband and my 15 year old son, who is really interested in American politics and actually was the person that drew it to our attention because he was he was following the political situation very closely. And, you know, I mean, like a lot of people, it was like watching a movie. It was an extraordinary thing to say. It was something that I don't think any of us ever thought we would see in our lifetime and not something that we expected to see within a country which was such a long, strong tradition of democratic ideals in America.


[00:05:40.833] - Joanne Murphy

It was the kind of thing you see where the deep structures of democracy just aren't as developed in other parts of the world. Knowing, I have to say, coming from Northern Ireland and having lived through the troubles in Northern Ireland, the scenes were eerily reminiscent of some of the things that we have seen here before and extraordinarily worrying. And that presents enormous challenges for policing and security and, of course, politics. So it was I mean, it was an extraordinary event.



[00:06:06.073] - Joanne Murphy

I think you have to really feel for the police officers caught up in some of the footage, which is the same sense is terrifying. And clearly, some of those individuals showed immense bravery, but also extraordinarily adaptive leadership and being able to read a situation and move very quickly to protect others who were potentially at risk. So, I mean, you will know better than me that it was something that none of us ever expected to see, but does raise enormous issues about the fragility of democracy and the significance of policing as a as a force for good as well.


[00:06:39.493] - Steve Morreale

Thank you.


[00:06:39.853] - Steve Morreale

Because that perspective is really important and not something we hear an awful lot about, because you're looking at it from the outside with some admiration at times and thinking, my goodness, if it happens there, what's going on, what's going on in our world? It's what I began to think of for sure. So as we talk about the transition, the transformation of the RUC into the PSNI, watching it from the inside, but watching as it happened, it must have taken some time.


[00:07:03.523] - Steve Morreale

There must have been some resistance that had to be overcome even within the organisation for that change. What is it that you saw? How did it take shape? What were the things that the leaders had to do to try to move from the old guard to a new guard with resistance from both the outside and the inside?


[00:07:20.773] - Joanne Murphy

Yeah, and I think that's a really important point. I think we speak about a process of change like that. We are talking about something with enormous external environmental impact. And so I suppose the first thing to say is that it is it's really important that we don't underestimate just how difficult that process of change was for the organisation to even contemplate, never mind undertake what I always say to people in relation to the RNC to pace and process, was to draw their attention to something that happened a number of years before.


[00:07:47.503] - Joanne Murphy

And that was the fundamental review that the RUC did themselves in 1996. So there was quite a bit of internal thinking and planning and consideration given to what was happening externally in terms of security environment. There's no doubt about that. Now, it is also true to say that the fundamental review didn't deal with the really difficult, hard issues of symbolism of Neom composition. Those were not there. And I think while the organisation itself certainly was able to contemplate some actually of the human rights focused work that needed done, I don't think that without external intervention, they would have been able to contemplate or to follow through on the name change, the symbolic changes, some of the compositional changes that were there.


[00:08:31.423] - Joanne Murphy

I think that that was where external validation and external impetus became very important. Again, it's very important to understand exactly what you're talking about. An organisation with almost three hundred people killed, three hundred officers killed, many of those officers with the name of the organisation on their headstone at their grave, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the name and the crest on their heads, don't contemplate taking that name away. Incredibly difficult. Now, of course, there was lots of choreography and lots of political gymnastics in terms of incorporating the RUC into the new title deeds of the organisation.


[00:09:05.503] - Joanne Murphy

And we can talk further about that if necessary. But that is a difficult thing to do in terms of the leadership of the organisation. I mean, I say this very interesting in Northern Ireland because everything in Northern Ireland obviously is politically skewed. And very often one side of the house in Northern Ireland have criticised my work for being too hard on the police in Northern Ireland. On the other side, criticize it for not being hard enough, because I tend to say that the leadership of the organisation at that time where were extraordinary in relation to what they were able to do.


[00:09:33.373] - Joanne Murphy

So if you look at the chief constables of that time, if you look at the leadership of people like Sironi Flanagan, people like him, or those were leaders who really understood the task ahead, I had both the authenticity and the authority to drive through what was an extraordinary process change. I don't think that the process is necessarily yet completed, even though we're a long way down the road. Yeah, so I think that the organisation we're incredibly fortunate at the time when.


[00:09:59.803] - Joanne Murphy

They had leaders who were able to articulate a vision for change, but also had the authority and the authenticity to drive through that change in an environment where there was undoubtedly very considerable resistance for very particular reasons, political resistance externally, but also resistance from those internally. When I speak to people, they speak about how hurt they were at the process, how they felt that that change was undermining the contribution of those who had served loyally and with credit within the RTC itself.


[00:10:30.993] - Joanne Murphy

I entirely understand all of those arguments. I think you have to put them beside the arguments for those who were who were campaigning for reform. And you have to look at some of the material that we knew then and no sense in relation to things like collusion with loyalist paramilitaries and some really, really bad behaviours. So this is a huge picture that we need to look at, but undoubtedly a very significant achievement to move the organization as far as they were able to and one in which leadership was absolutely critical.



Well, I want to talk about leadership in some depth, but it strikes me when you talk about composition, the composition of the new PSNI, what does that mean?



So it's very important to understand that at the beginning of the change process, the persona of the RUC, as it was then the Royal Ulster Constabulary was, was almost entirely Protestant in its makeup. So Northern Ireland is a divided society. There are two main communities, the Catholic community, which is generally regarded as nationalist Protestant community, which is generally regarded as unionist. And there's been a long history since then, before the partition of Ireland in nineteen twenty two of antagonism and outright violence between those communities.


[00:11:38.773] - Joanne Murphy

And this is a very long-running conflict we're talking about here. And that is a very, very brief summation of it. But it is important to understand that at the time of the change, I think the level of Catholic representation was eight or nine percent. I'd need to check that. But it was something along those lines. And therefore the organisation was by far was majority, by far the majority Protestant. That created all sorts of issues in terms of representation and whether communities felt that they were being they were being treated fairly and equitably by the police themselves.


[00:12:09.653] - Joanne Murphy

Now, again, other commentators would say, well, Catholics, if they joined the police, were particular targets of Republican paramilitaries, provisional IRA. Absolutely true. So, again, it's a complicated picture. But one of the things one of the most significant things that happened during the change process was what was known as voluntary severance. So officers, when they had reached a certain level of level of service, they were able to retire. I have to say retire on what were at the time extremely generous conditions, voluntary severance within the RUC cost in total one billion pounds billion with a B.


[00:12:42.463] - Joanne Murphy

 So now this was before I also upset the financial crisis. So there was a lot more cash around than there may have been a few years later, which is an important point to me. But money at that point was not an issue so that allied officers who took the voluntary sovereign risk to leave and many people have spoken unused these terms to leave with dignity. And that was very important. And there's actually a lesson in that in terms of organisational change.


[00:13:06.613] - Joanne Murphy

People really don't want to be part of a new organisation. They don't want it to embrace a new culture. They don't want to do things differently or better to create a writ to allow them to go. And I think the case study of the PSNI illustrates that better than most. That's great.


[00:13:19.513] - Steve Morreale

There are a couple of things that are so much different between Northern Ireland, Ireland, UK and the United States. And one of the things that I observed when I was in Ireland and working with the Garda was the intense political oversight and independent oversight, which is similar to what goes on in Northern Ireland. We don't necessarily have that. And of course, you have a singular organisation or the country one policing organisation, as opposed to 17000 police organisations, the United States.


[00:13:46.903] - Steve Morreale

Our standards are skewed all over the place. But nonetheless, it sounds to me like what you were saying is that there was a struggle in some camps about police legitimacy. Do we believe that PSNI or RUC is our police when they're not like us? It's almost a question of diversity. Oh, absolutely.


[00:14:04.693] - Joanne Murphy

It absolutely is. Yeah, no, you're absolutely right.


[00:14:07.993] - Steve Morreale

So one of the things I was reading most recently is that while there was an attempt to gather or to recruit more Catholics, that they have not necessarily met their goals. Can you talk about that? Is that accurate?


[00:14:21.553] - Joanne Murphy

Yeah, I mean, that's certainly increasingly the case. So Catholic recruitment was very successful at the beginning. I should say that the US and I moved post voluntary Savarin to a process of 50 50 recruitment, which meant 50 percent Catholic and 50 percent other night. It didn't necessarily mean 50 percent Protestant, it meant 50 percent other. So that was a real bone of contention within the Protestant and Unionist community for a long time. And 50 50 recruitment is no longer in operation.


[00:14:49.633] - Joanne Murphy

There have been calls and I think what you're getting to your calls to bring it back and the reason why there are calls to bring it back is the Catholic recruitment is dropping. And again, there are I think there's quite a bit of debate about. Why that is, I think there is certainly, of course, significantly a dissident threat to dissident Republican threat, which is targeting Catholics who join the organization, and there have been some tragic cases of Catholics killed and very, very seriously injured as well as other members of the organization have been, too.


[00:15:16.583] - Joanne Murphy

But anecdotally, it certainly looks like there is a targeting of Catholics in particular. There also appear to be ongoing legacy issues in terms of culture that may impact recruitment and particularly retention. People may join and think, actually, maybe this isn't the kind of organization I thought it was. Maybe I don't want to be here. And that is much more that is really serious. Really, really serious. So in order for change is a constant thing. You don't just get to the point where you've done the change and everything is fine, as we all know in organizational terms.


[00:15:48.083] - Joanne Murphy

But, you know, there is probably still, I would say, a job of work in terms of cultural change, which has not yet been completed. And the way some of the structural changes were, and we all know the cultural change is the hardest thing. And that's what we're beginning to see. And we've seen incidents over the past number of years which would give rise to concern on culture within the organization.


[00:16:10.523] - Steve Morreale

So Queens University - any role that they play with PSNI in terms of helping to develop training or to accredit training for college credit, how does it work?


[00:16:21.413] - Joanne Murphy

Well, the person I work with, both universities in Northern Ireland, the University of Ulster and ourselves in terms of recruitment and training, and the University of Ulster would have a role in terms of the training of student officers. We have recently won a tender to do some work with more senior officers, which is fantastic. And one of the things I think that we really welcome is the fact that some of that work, which the PSNI may have gone outside Northern Ireland for previously, that sort of leadership development work is not we're able to do that within Northern Ireland, and that's really important.


[00:16:54.383] - Joanne Murphy

So we're delighted in Queens to be working closely with the PSNI and we hope to continue to do that.


[00:16:59.183] - Steve Morreale

Let's talk about that. So yourself being a leadership group and an organisational group, that's my term.


[00:17:04.373] - Joanne Murphy

You did. Yeah, thanks for that.


[00:17:06.453] - Steve Morreale

But I have to think I'd have to think and hope that you're a thinker, that you whether you believe it or not, our thought leader. And so you're leading discussions with people, whether that's in class or that is at the police academy, you have access or will have access to senior leaders. What are the conversations? What are the focus of conversations? How do you develop a leader? How do you change a mindset?


[00:17:30.783] - Steve Morreale

What are the things you talk about in in those rooms?


[00:17:33.593] - Joanne Murphy

Well, one of the things that it's really important to say here is that place leaders are extraordinarily capacities in my experience. They are really, really good at what they do. And they really understand leadership. They really get it. So how much we can as academics and practitioners, how much we can teach them, I don't really know, because my experience has been and this has always been my experience, my academic experience of engaging police officers from many jurisdictions is that they really think deeply about issues of leadership, very important to them.


[00:18:06.563] - Joanne Murphy

So whenever we engage with people, it's important that we have a role which challenges. So whether we challenge people in relation to their leadership and their own leadership development or whether we challenge them in terms of organisational development and those processes, whether that's culture, whether that's resilience, whether that these types of organisational attributes that we know were incredibly significant, particularly at the moment in the kind of environment we're in, in relation to the pandemic or whether we provide a sounding board for them to talk to us about the sort of challenges they have.


[00:18:37.913] - Joanne Murphy

So it's very much I certainly see these as coproduced outcomes. We say to people, well, the research, we tend to say this, this and this, and they talk us through the kind of challenges they see in leadership terms and for most organisations are organisations. The challenge is very often about managing people. Challenge is very often about articulating their own leadership, about having confidence in their own decisions, about looking to see what's out there in terms of the work that they do and also being able to give them access to some other thought leaders.


[00:19:08.003] - Joanne Murphy

So one of the things that we do, we're very focused on is to put in place things like masterclass sessions with we're extraordinarily fortunate in Queensland that we have a fantastic network of individuals from lots of other disciplines and from other sectors. We have some extraordinary on repressors. We have people pressies practice that we're connected to and those people are able to give leaders from the place, but from other organisations as well. A really interesting perspective on leading in other contexts.


[00:19:35.243] - Joanne Murphy

And that I think I wouldn't like to think that we simply rely on ourselves and our academic expertise. We want to be able to connect leaders to other people around the university and who you're setting between the university and wider society. And I think that's one of the things that we do best and whether that's Brexit or whether that resilience or whether that managing the wider environment, whether that giving people an insight into political change, that's that's. Going on political processes, having that network is critical.


[00:20:02.853] - Steve Morreale

So it would seem to me that while you're putting people in front of police leaders, you're posing questions. You're making them think, you're asking them to reflect. You're asking them to consider where they are now, where they could be in a safe environment. That's my best guess. Yes, absolutely. And it strikes me that PSNI is relatively new organization, that it's still going through some growing pains. And I understand that we've seen transitions here in the United States.


[00:20:28.293] - Joanne Murphy

And I remember when the Mass State Police incorporated a number of other smaller organizations into the mass state police. It was always, well, you're one of them. You're not one of us. You didn't go to our academies, that kind of stuff. That takes a little bit of time. Exactly what you said takes a little bit of time for the culture to either change or for people to kind of move along. Here's what I'm hearing when we talk about leadership.


[00:20:49.473] - Steve Morreale

And I'm going to ask you in terms of your perspective, what exactly are some of the important elements of leadership? What would you say?


[00:20:56.733] - Joanne Murphy

I mean, that's a really interesting question, because leadership is a huge area and leadership has changed enormously in terms of how we think about leadership over time. So people often talk about leadership traits, leadership qualities. I tend to think less about leadership qualities than about the ability to develop leadership practices over time in a way that is authentic. So we talk to people a great deal about adaptive leadership, about thinking about what their leadership means, how they can bring the best of themselves to their leadership practice, and how they can incorporate learning.


[00:21:29.583] - Joanne Murphy

There's lots of different leadership ideas out there, and people talk endlessly about transformational leadership and transactional leadership and authentic leadership and servant leadership and all these other things. And so you can take your pick of whatever model works for you. And some models do genuinely speak to individuals more than others. And that's fine. The really important thing is to be able to reflect on your leadership, to understand that it's something which is always in development and that your leadership practice changes day today.


[00:21:57.873] - Joanne Murphy

So what we try to do is to give people the best of what's out there and to say to them, think about this, think about what matters to you, think about what matters to the people you're trying to lead. And then also think about leadership through the organization. Leadership doesn't reside in a leader. We all know within all the organizations we've been in, the people very often at the bottom of the organization demonstrate just as much, sometimes more leadership than those at the top.


[00:22:21.573] - Joanne Murphy

And that's incredibly important. Now, what's at the top matters. Undoubtedly, it tends to get in front of us is to who are interested in organizations. It tends to cascade down. But we have to begin to see leadership as something which occurs at all levels and can occur at all levels. So when we talk about leadership and I talk about leadership, I tend to talk about that.


[00:22:39.423] - Joanne Murphy

I don't know if that answers your question,


[00:22:40.953] - Steve Morreale

It does one of the things that I think when we're talking is to try to help leaders, new leaders, current leaders, think a bit differently, think a bit more broadly and look at leadership studies, leadership, Cases, leadership successes and failures and try to adapt them. In other words, don't just look at police leadership.


[00:23:00.813] - Joanne Murphy



[00:23:01.473] - Steve Morreale

Look at business leadership, look at academic leadership, look at health leadership, those kinds of things.


[00:23:06.963] - Steve Morreale

And how can we adapt those ideas and bring them into the culture of policing? Is that something? It sounds to me like that's one of the things I absolutely.


[00:23:15.213] - Joanne Murphy

Yeah, absolutely. And I know you're at you're an ex-cop and don't take this the wrong way. But please, in my experience, people who sit within police organizations believe that police organizations are different. But you speak to people in health organization. They think their organizations are different. Are you speak to people in political organizations. So it's very important to understand. I think, that leadership is leadership. We see good examples of leadership all over the place.


[00:23:38.493] - Joanne Murphy

The one thing that I do tend to say to people again and again and again is that leadership is about change. It's not about the status quo. It's about moving things forward and it's about driving change. Not connected to that, of course, are things like vision and things like communication, things like authenticity. One of the things that we don't talk about enough, and it's a real shame and I think we're causing us a lot of damage, is that we don't talk enough about forgiveness because leaders make mistakes.


[00:24:04.623] - Joanne Murphy

They make huge mistake. They make mistakes all the time. And there's no leaders that don't. And yet we seem to expect people to be able to go through entire careers without doing anything wrong ever, and that forces leaders themselves into positions, into defensive positions, which are really unhelpful. So broader understanding of the reality of human experience and what leadership is within it is incredibly important. People often look at leadership figures and the leadership figures that we look at are actually incredibly flawed, but we just happen to look at the bit where they were successful.


[00:24:34.413] - Joanne Murphy

Churchill is a case in point. We forget about all of the real huge mistakes, political and military, that he made pre World War Two and after World War two. And we just look at the success. So it's so so I said, you know, I'm always saying to people, remember, people make mistakes. Remember, there has to be some room for forgiveness and leaders have to be able to forgive as well, because people at all levels and organizations will make errors.


[00:24:57.243] - Joanne Murphy

And yet that is something which is rarely talked. It's something you see in very skilled leaders, very interesting. So change communication, being able to articulate a vision, being able to talk to people in a way that they understand, being able to talk to them in different and different but three different methods, because when you're leading change, people hear things in different ways. They absorb information in different ways, which is often forgotten as well. All incredibly important and not easy.


[00:25:24.173] - Joanne Murphy

That's the other thing we forget about leadership. It's really, really, really hard and it's draining for leaders.


[00:25:29.063] - Steve Morreale

Yeah, I'm glad to hear you say that, because as you're talking, by the way, I'm not offended that I used to be a police officer. I've come a long way and I and I think I have come a long way.


[00:25:37.103] - Joanne Murphy

I know, I know


[00:25:37.103] - Steve Morreale

And I look at things much differently now as an academic. But I know and love the men and women in policing. And no matter where I go, there are similarities that are palpable. You can tell and what I'm listening to you about sort of the elements of leadership you speak about. And I think there has to be some empathy and that goes to forgiving. I like what you had to say there, because we should be able to learn from our mistakes and take a look back.


[00:25:59.563] - Steve Morreale

What can we do better? And I think engaging others, not making decisions unilaterally or in a vacuum and listening is a very important skill, if you will, for leaders to speak to that from.


[00:26:11.053] - Joanne Murphy

And that's really important. And that's something that we've seen critically over the past year in relation to the pandemic. What we know is that leaders who lead well and successfully through crises have a tendency to bring people in, not shut them off. They tend to be more open to communication than the less they tend to actively look for a contrary argument. They tend to be better at sifting information and horizon scanning in terms of what's going on, because they have a better network, almost as we tend sometimes to talk about a social network of leadership, and that's about leaders who connect with all their leaders at all levels, at all levels through the organization, not just peer to peer in terms of other CEOs or other chief constables or whatever we're thinking about.


[00:26:51.563] - Joanne Murphy

And that's really critical. Now, what we have seen over the past 18 months and lots of organizational environments is the idea that leaders can either be open and can be communicative, can be reflective and thoughtful, or can shut down. And the shutting down and the killing off the drawbridge can be very dangerous in leadership terms because that that shows that people aren't listening anymore.


[00:27:11.303] - Steve Morreale

We need to wind down in a minute. Another thought you conjured in my mind was, no matter who you're leading or what organization or what discipline you're in, it's all about people and it's about relating to it's about engaging people. It's about listening to people and helping not getting more out of them, but helping them move forward. Yes, that's right.


[00:27:32.273] - Steve Morreale

I think is important. So here's a couple of Curveball questions for you. What's on your to do list


[00:27:36.893] - Joanne Murphy

Right now? Gosh.


[00:27:37.973] - Steve Morreale

Any time. Yeah. What do you want? What do you want to accomplish?


[00:27:41.123] - Steve Morreale

What's on that to do list? That is going to be difficult. But you want to move forward?


[00:27:45.743] - Joanne Murphy

Well, you know, I'm very fortunate to. We spoke about this just before we started recording that I'm just about to embark on a sabbatical, a period of research leave during that period. I'll be doing another book. I've just done a book, but I'm embarking on another one. So I've just done one on management and war management and conflict. But I'm looking at doing a piece of work on a part of the Irish government called the Department of Foreign Affairs and their relationship to the conflict in Northern Ireland, which I'm really looking forward to, which has been a real privilege to collect that data and to do that work.


[00:28:14.303] - Joanne Murphy

And I'm still looking very closely at policing in Northern Ireland. That's where I sort of started with this, and I'm still continuing to do that. So hopefully I'll actually be doing some work, some colleagues in America around that and around policing and Brexit. So it's been a big issue for us here in terms of the UK leaving the European Union and its impact on the position of Northern Ireland. And that's something that isn't looking good at the moment. So we'll be doing some more work in that.


[00:28:38.063] - Joanne Murphy

And then I think just thinking it's lovely to have a little bit of time to do some of this thinking around leadership and change, because we're in a world which seems to be getting more volatile rather than less. We started off talking about the events and the US capital, and I think that's indicative of some of the concerns that we all have for the volatility that surrounds us at the minute. And I'm having a little bit of time just to think about the place of leadership within that is very important.


[00:29:02.783] - Joanne Murphy

It was interesting. I was reading a piece of work on leadership during the Bosnian war a couple of weeks ago, and and I hadn't read it before, but I hadn't read it in a long time. And I read it again. It was an article by an ex soldier who had become an academic, a bit like yourself, except from the military central and the policing end. And in the middle of the article, there was a little vignette about Joe Biden, which is very interesting and and talked about Biden in Bosnia, because Biden at that point was on the Foreign Affairs Committee, had gone to Bosnia and was speaking to some soldiers in Bosnia.


[00:29:33.323] - Joanne Murphy

And they were talking about the difficulties they were having in relation to the genocidal conditions at the time. And the soldiers said to Biden, well, you know, we just say we can't walk away. We have to we have to intervene. We can't walk away. And Biden's response was a very generous, very kind response. It was something like, you've been here too long, son, and that was 20 years ago. And yet it was very similar to the sort of stuff.


[00:29:59.323] - Joanne Murphy

We're hearing in the American media now from Joe Biden, so there's something there about a consistency and an authenticity, which I thought was really interesting, and it made me reflect about leadership in dangerous times. And I think we are living through dangerous times at the moment. So all of those thinking, all of those so I think are on my to do list. That's a big to do.


[00:30:18.133] - Steve Morreale

I was going to ask you about what books you read, but where where do you find yourself looking for information to expand your thoughts to to conjure new ideas and to do the thinking you talk about about leadership as it applies to many different segments?


[00:30:33.463] - Joanne Murphy

Well, you know, I think, first of all, academics are incredibly privileged to read things and think about things and delve into areas of knowledge that allow us a latitude that very few people have. And so I try and I've always tried to think a bit more deeply, particularly about things like leadership and change, because I think they're huge, the things that go to the very heart of human existence in human society. At the minute. I'm reading a book by the psychiatrist Victor Frankl, who was a Holocaust survivor, and he wrote brilliantly about the human experience and how we deal with the demons of the past and how we move to the future, because dealing with the legacy of conflict and past violence is a big theme in my work.


[00:31:14.563] - Joanne Murphy

And I'm a big fan of Frankel in terms of his work and what he was able to do and how he was able to think through the legacy of dreadful experiences. And I'm also reading or going back to read again a book by a Bosnian academic called Harris. It's called Places of Pain, which is about the genocide in Bosnia. Harris himself is a survivor of genocide and Charbonnet, and it's an extraordinary work. Harris is an anthropologist. And I think one of the things that's brilliant about management studies is that you were able to delve into other areas of arts and social science and to be able to learn from our colleagues here, sociologists and anthropologists and economists is incredibly significant.


[00:31:55.093] - Joanne Murphy

So those are the kind of things that I'm reading at the minute. But I also I have to on a lighter note, I have to tell you that I'm also reading where I've just finished a book at J.K. Rowling's latest detective novel, which has that which has a criminal focus, which is which is an excellent and excellent book if you're looking for something slightly lighter. But but that kind of engagement with with placing and that kind of world, I think is is endlessly fascinating for those of us who are fortunate enough to study it.


[00:32:24.373] - Joanne Murphy

But a little bit apartment as well. So that's kind of what I'm doing.


[00:32:28.123] - Steve Morreale

So here's my last question. If you had a chance to talk with anybody dead or alive who is renowned in some way, who would that be?


[00:32:36.013] - Joanne Murphy

Goodness me that you should have warned me. You should have found a flea. That is an extraordinary question. Oh, this is terrible. And I'm just saying this, but I'll probably get criticized for saying this, probably Bobby Kennedy.


[00:32:50.203] - Joanne Murphy



[00:32:50.563] - Steve Morreale

why would you why, would you be criticized?


[00:32:53.473] - Joanne Murphy

Irish America Bobby Kennedy, but probably Bobby Kennedy? Because I think, you know, I obviously I write about leadership, but I teach leadership to Bobby Kennedy in Minneapolis the on the day of Martin Luther King's murder is an extraordinary speech. And when I talk to students about leadership, I get them to listen to that speech. It's only seven or eight minutes. I'm sure, you know, it stays on. It's an extraordinary piece of work.


[00:33:16.123] - Joanne Murphy

And I think it obviously the speech relates to America. But I think in relation to any environment which has suffered violence and conflict, it really speaks to the heart of what people people think think Bobby Kennedy's death. Any death is a tragedy. But there is something particularly poignant about the death of Bobby Kennedy after his own journey. And I think that that speech in particular is speech. I tend to think about when it comes to leadership. So I suppose I'd have to choose Bobby Kennedy.


[00:33:40.453] - Steve Morreale

Nothing wrong with that choice. That's a great choice. Well, we're going to wind up with Dr. Joanne Murphy, who is talking to us from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is a member of the faculty at Queen's University and works in leadership and has worked with police service in Northern Ireland for many years. I want to thank you for joining us.


[00:34:00.003] - Steve Morreale

I love the fact that technology, while it is a little wobbly here and there, is allowing us to take it from one side of the pond to the other. I appreciate that. Thanks.


[00:34:09.193] - Joanne Murphy

Lovely to speak to Steve. And hopefully we'll get to see you in the flesh and we'll give you an Irish welcome.


[00:34:14.413] - Steve Morreale

Let Covid be damned. And so you've been listening to Steve Morreale in Boston, Joanne Murphy in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This is The CopDoc Podcast. We appreciate you listening and would ask you to continue listening to other episodes. Thanks. And have a good day.