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How Being a Terrible Manager has led to Innovative Solutions for Digital Forensics Investigations

I am the Director of the St. Joseph County, IN Cyber Crimes Unit. The unit consists primarily of college students. We’ve all heard the horror stories about this generation of workers, which currently accounts for over 50% of the workforce. Among other things, they are entitled, lazy, unmotivated, disloyal, and selfish. Combine that with the fact that I am a terrible manager and it sounds like a recipe for disaster. But it hasn’t been. This model has led to innovative solutions to digital forensics investigations. We analyze over 700 devices a year. We haven’t had a case backlog in over four years. Our turnaround time is routinely same day. This talk will discuss a new paradigm in the workforce and our forensics lab. When I became the Cyber Crimes Director, I had no formal training or experience as a manager. So I bucked the convention wisdom of management and decided not to manage at all. Instead, I took the approach of being a leader and mentor. What I’ve learned through leadership is that if you take care of the people taking care of the work, the people taking care of the work will excel beyond expectations. This simple concept that you manage things, but you lead people, will be discussed. Lessons from this talk can be applied by anyone in any industry to usher in a new area of the end of management and a focus on leadership at every level.

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