Roderick Q. Hickman Webinar
0:15 Roderick Q. Hickman: I’m actually very, very glad to be here, and I’ve known Rich for – I don’t know how long it’s been, Rich? It’s been 10 or 12 years?
0:26 Rich: [unintelligible]
0:26 Yeah, well, now that you’re further away from me, I don’t see you as much, so maybe it’s a little more valuable to you. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say. Right? What I’m going to do today – and you’re the first group that I’ve really done this with – so I don’t want to put that – I don’t want to say that as a disclaimer, I want to say that in Rich called me and asked me to come and talk to you in the lecture about the process that I use and the growth that I went through in moving the California Department of Corrections to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Now that doesn’t mean that the State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation actually does any rehabilitation yet. But what it required me to do is go back and really gather all of the data and information and things that I had done that I hadn’t really taken the time to kind of reflect on since I left the position.
1:22 RQH: So I was appointed by Governor Swarzenegger in November of 2003 while Swarzenegger was in the recall of Davis, and the funny thing about that whole story was that I had been appointed by Governor Davis on the 27th of September to be the Chief Deputy Director of Adult Corrections in California and at the time, there was the adult system and then there was the juvenile system in California that’s thereby been changed and I’ll go through that, so I was the Number Two person in Adult Corrections. And on September the 27th, 2003, I get a gubernatorial appointment from Governor Davis to be the Chief Deputy Director of Corrections and on November on October the 7th, 2003, Governor Davis was fired. So I had never unpacked my boxes. I was moving from an office that I had had into this other office to become the Chief Deputy Director, and my boss gets recalled, so I’m thinking, “Well.” I tell my assistant Liz, “Well, you know, there’s no sense in me unpacking these because I’m a gubernatorial appointee from the other governor. The new governor’s coming in, and usually with that kind of – at that level of government, you’re going to be removed and I’m going to go back to my civil service – I’ve been a civil servant for years. I’ll go back and do my civil service job and I’ll be happy.
2:38 RQH: And so the phone rings and it’s the Swarzenegger administration, and they asked me if I would consider applying to be the Secretary of Corrections, which was my boss’s boss. So I’m thinking, “Well, ok. The boss I had got recalled, and he appointed me a week ago. The guy that replaced him called me and asked me to be my boss’s boss. That must mean at least I have a job still.
3:10 RQH: So I said, “Well, I think I’m going to go on and apply for this.” And to make a long story short, I was appointed by Governor Swarzenegger after a lengthy process, and I was subsequently reappointed by Governor Swarzenegger after we did the reorganization. And I’m going to say this in context. I’m going to give you some context of what the world of corrections was like in 2003 and move you forward, so if you haven’t paid a lot of attention to what Corrections is now doing, or you have, I want to just kind of frame this about what we were doing at the time and what we were known as at the time, and what my thinking was as a leader, and how do I take this where it needs to be and what my basis for that is. Now I came into this as a Correctional Officer. I was a Correctional Officer. I became – I promoted up the ranks. I was the only – I’m the only Correctional Secretary that actually came up through the ranks in corrections, and there’s a good friend of mine that works at UC-Davis that – A.G. Block, that wrote an article that said that Rod Hickman being appointed as the Secretary of Corrections is like a buck private being appointed and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So my perspective was from a correctional officer. I’ve seen these things over the 20+ years that I’ve been working in corrections, so when the Governor asked me, Governor Swarzenegger asked me at my interview, he says, “Well, Rod, if you want to change corrections, how long will it take?” I said, “Well, considering the size of the organization, considering the challenges that we have, it’s going to minimally take five years for us to be ready to change. To position the organization to change to whatever we want it to be. And he said, “Well, I only got elected for three.” I said, “Well in that case, it’s going to take three years for us to change corrections in the way that you want it.” True story.
5:02 RQH: Well, the environment was this at the time. At the time that Corrections, in 2003, the guy that was the Director of Corrections was being considered for being held in criminal contempt with the Federal Court in a litigation that he was allegedly – he had stopped an investigation into excessive use of force at Pelican Bay Prison. Now I don’t know if you know where Pelican Bay is. Pelican Bay was built as a supermax in California, and it had a long, lengthy history of prisoner abuse, or allegations of prisoner abuse and it was a court – Thelton Henderson, who is the Federal Court judge in San Francisco had a case that he was overseeing in federal in the prison in Pelican Bay, and the Director was accused of being in contempt of a court order. He was on the verge of possibly going to jail. So the Director of Corrections, who was my boss, before I became his boss, they’re looking at him for criminal contempt in the federal court.
5:57 RQH: We had a medical litigation. There was litigation for medical services. There’s excessive force litigation. There was litigation in the juvenile justice – in the old CYA in regards to what they called 23-and-1, where they keep juveniles in cells for 23 hours and let them out for one. There was litigation for excessive use of force and there was something that was called the Code of Silence, allegedly the Code of Silence, so the environment was this from a litigation standpoint. We had the federal courts that were overseeing the Department of Corrections, both the adult and the juvenile side based upon abuse, based upon alleged allegations of excessive force, based upon allegations of inappropriate investigations, based upon a myriad of different allegations that oversaw the Department in regards to that.
6:42 RQH: We had a population growth where there were 170,000 prisoners at the time I became Secretary of Corrections in California, in a capacity that was built for 130,000. So we were woefully overcrowded. And that was actually by a policy design. They built prisons in California with the intent to overcrowd them, so there was never – there was a policy decision that was going to overcrowd these prisons. So we’ve got too many prisoners, we’ve got an organization that is oversaw by the federal court, believed to not have integrity. We have a political environment, now where you have a governor that gets recalled with another governor that says, “I’m going to sweep the bums out and we’re going to do things differently as a result of that.” So that kind of sets the context for me to take this job that I took after I was trying to avoid losing the job that I had.
7:30 RQH: So one of the first things I’ve got to do as the Secretary is I’ve got to go before the Legislature and I’ve got to ask them for an additional $500 million. So I have to – I show up with my hands out, saying, “You know, I know my budget is like$6.8 billion, but I really need $7.3 billion. Can you throw a brother like another $500 million? Because we’re – and they’re accusing us of being inept and overtime is off the charts, so here I am trying to – and part of my challenge was is that the Legislature knew that I came from within, so was I part of the solution or was I part of the problem? You know, what really was I by Swarzenegger making this bold appointment to appoint someone who worked in Corrections to actually work in Corrections, as opposed to some of the other governors that were under – that were appointed undertakers and all kinds of other people that were appointed to run Corrections departments across the country.
8:20 RQH: So we had a couple of challenges. And the other thing that was really going on that was really most troubling and should be most troubling now is that California went out and built a lot of prisons, and we filled those prisons with prisoners. But what we didn’t do is that we didn’t do anything to maintain them. So, at some point in time, the prisons that we have now built, are going to fall apart. And so there are still some challenges that exist and so I have this challenge that we have prisons like San Quentin was built in 1852 and Folsom that’s built in 1858, and we’ve got thousands – San Quentin’s got 7,000 prisoners in it, and it’s what? Hey, I don’t know the math but it’s 1852- that makes it very, very old.
9:00 RQH: So you have these physical plant challenges and that cannot do the things that you need them to do in a current, contemporary correctional setting because you just don’t have the capabilities to do it. You don’t have the physical capability to do it. And then there’s this – the elephant in the room. There’s a union in California. Prison workers are unionized. CCPOA. And in previous administrations, CCPOA had been very, very influential both from a political standpoint and from a policy standpoint. And Swarzenegger vowed against that. So I get there, and on my first day, I’m sitting in my office with my undersecretary and I’m sitting there thinking about what are the things that I need to do? Well, the first thing that I gotta think about doing as a leader is I have to think about changing the narrative about “What is corrections?” I’ve got to change the brand. So as a leader, I’ve got to go into that organization. I’ve got to make people believe that I am now the leader of the organization. So if you go back and you Google corrections prior to November of 2003, when you Google corrections, you’re going to get quotes from CCPOA.
10:04 RQH: They had essentially stolen the brand. Corrections belonged to the union. From my perspective. You talked about CCPOA and you talked about Corrections, you’d get quotes from CCPOA. You’d go into the article and the only people that were talking about corrections were the union. There was no management leadership in regards to – or management or leadership in regards to corrections saying, “I’m responsible for Corrections in California. This is the brand.” So I had to rebrand it. So if you want to – so if you want to talk about changing an organization, you’ve got to make sure that the organization is known to be what you want it to be, or known to be what it’s supposed to be now, as opposed to what you want it to be, but someone’s got to say, “Corrections, CCPOA – they’re two separate entities. They’re not one in the same.” So we had to change that. So how did we go about ensuring that we can change that brand. The CCPOA owned the influence. The union could make it possible or not possible for you to be confirmed in the Senate. So at the time, every warden in California had to be confirmed in front of the Senate.
11:04 RQH: So if a warden in a prison in Blythe, California had a local labor dispute the warden had to come to Sacramento in order to be confirmed by the Senate, and the Senate was influenced by the union. So they were tying the hands of management in regard to what management was capable of doing. Notwithstanding the fact that a lot of political people didn’t think that management was capable anyway. So we have this branding problem, and we have this influence challenge because we can’t get anything done unless we ask the union because of the prior political influence that they had. So what you have is you have a management team that feels powerless. They don’t believe that they can make management decisions. They can’t change anything because unless the union buys off on it, you can’t do it anyway. And that’s the reality. That’s kind of a contextual picture of the current state that I saw in 2003 when I arrived as the Secretary of Corrections.
12:00 RQH: So then well, what do we want to do? Well, you’ve got to remember that I’ve got a governor that said, “I’m going to change things.” Now, in retrospect, I don’t know how he kept up doing what he was doing. Because he’s had a lot of things going on. He was a busy guy. Not only was he doing the work as the governor, he was doing some work at the house. That’s ok for me to say. You can delete that on the tape if you want to, but I don’t work for him anymore. [Laughs.]
12:29 RQH: But in 2003, Governor Swarzenegger was elected to do – to make changes in California. So what he did was he initiated what was called a California Performance Review. He says, “We’re going to blow up the boxes in California. We’re going to change state government as you know it to make it more efficient, more effective and more capable. So you have me as the leader of my organization that is trying to figure out exactly how do I take the organization that I have and reclaim it to be owned by the administration or my – under my leadership and how – and then I have the support of the governor that says, “We’re going to reclaim all of California and we’re going to change California as Californians know it. So he creates the California Performance Review.
13:10 RQH: Now the interesting thing about the California Performance Review is that it impacted every other department in California government with the exception of Corrections. Corrections was so dysfunctional that it had its own individual performance review run by Governor Deukmejian. So Governor Swarzenegger brings in Governor Deukmejian to do a review of Corrections, and to create what – or how we will fit in the reorganization of government in California as a result of the California Performance Review.
13:41 RQH: So Governor Deukmejian comes in and he starts – he does – this is in early 2004, he does statewide hearings, he does all this feedback, he talks to constituents, he talks to staff, he does all this review and he does all this work and he comes up with 260 recommendations on what needs to change in California. So I’m the Secretary and I get this massive document that says, “You need to consider doing the following 260 things to change California Corrections.”
14:11 RQH: Now, I told my staff all the time, what we’re in the process of doing is the analogy of, we’ve got to change the tires on a moving car. It’s not like we can stop doing what we’re doing here. So we’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing and we need to improve that. In the mean time, we need to create what this new place is going to be for us to do that, so we’re actually – before we can actually change, we’ve got to figure out how to change the tires on this moving vehicle. How do we do that change? What does it look like? How do we make those kind of massive changes in an organization that’s as large as it is? At the time, the Department of Corrections had 170,000 inmates and had 130,000 on parole, had 50,000 employees and had a budget of about – at that time – probably somewhere around $8.2 or 8.3 billion dollars
14:57 RQH: So we have a huge responsibility in the current state and we’re going to try to design and create and understand a future state in order to change it to something that’s better. So this is in early 2004, and I told you my background was a corrections person. I’d been a warden, I’d worked in Corrections, but one of the things I had done over the years is that I had been responsible for developing and creating leadership curriculum for training our managers and supervisors in Corrections, because I worked in the training environment for years. So I had an opportunity to start studying leadership when leadership became a genre.
15:34 RQH: When people started thinking about leadership as a science, I had the opportunity to start studying that. That’s where I went – part of my relationship with Rich at. And one of the things I did know as a leader is what I didn’t know. There’s some things – I could tell you how to classify an inmate and whether he needs to be in one prison or another prison. I can tell you how to determine whether we should execute this part of our operational procedure, but to tell you how to do massive organizational change, that’s out of my – that’s out of my level of expertise. How do I do that? How do we even begin to think about that? Well, fortunately I had resources to some of the smartest people in the country. And I had a very large budget. So I could cobble out dollars out of that $8.2 billion dollars at any given time. You can’t figure out where a million dollars is within $8.2 billion. I can cobble out money in that and bring in some expertise. So we brought in expertise. WE brought in expertise from Pepperdine, Northridge, USC, CalState – and we entered into an inter-agency agreement with the CalState system so that we could contractually bring in consultants to help us think about what to do with this 260 recommendations.
16:46 RQH: One of the things – I gave a speech and they said “Well, what are you going to do? How do you feel about these 260 recommendations that you received from Governor Deukmejian? I said, “I’m befuddled!” I mean, I’ve got an $8 billion budget, and I’ve got homicides going on, I’ve got these 260 recommendations. I don’t – I – I’m befuddled and I’ve got to get my head around this. How do I get my head around this?
17:05 RQH: So we bring in people that are experts in organizational structure. And one of the funny things – and I have a very good relationship with a woman by the name of Frances Hesselbein. Frances Hesselbein is the chairman of the Hesselbein Leadership Institute, now in New York, formerly the Drucker Foundation, formerly the Leader-to-Leader Institute in New York. And it’s created to develop leadership capabilities in the social sector. Frances Hesselbein won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She used to run the Girl Scouts of America, and she’s one of the greatest thought leaders on leadership in the country right now. And Frances has a saying that she’d always tell me. She’d say, “Rod if you ever need me,ring my bell.” So I call Frances on the phone one day, and I say, “Frances, help! I – I – I need help!” She says, “Well, what is it?” I said, “Well, I’ve got this organization that nobody likes, I’ve got a budget that nobody wants, I’ve got a population that nobody wants anything to do with, and I’m in charge of that and they want me to do something different with it.” She says, “I’ll be right there.”
18:03 RQH: [Laughs.] So I facilitated – I bring Frances out and she comes with her – she brings General Arthur Dean because the Leader-to-Leader Foundation at the time had a program that they’re working with retired generals that were coming out of the military, and Frances was working with the US War College on leadership development for the War College, and these generals would come out and they would place them in non-profit organizations because, if you think about leadership, you could think about generals – Army generals – they might have a little bit of experience in leading things. She brings Arthur Dean, she brings Charles Gould from the Volunteers of America, and I bring all of my leadership team, and I told you that nobody trusted us at the time. So I took a reporter that had been a reporter for the Sacramento Bee and I embedded him in a meeting with us to talk about how to develop the vision, mission and values going forward with Corrections in California.
18:53 RQH: So we have this off-site, and I invite Gary Delson, who is a reporter for the Bee, to embed him, to start to manage that brand I talked about, that people understand that, yes, there’s a new leader in Corrections. Yes, he’s bringing in expertise to look at Corrections. We’re trying to – I’m trying to manage my press at the same time. I’m trying to influence the policymakers out there through my press strategy. Gary Delson sits in the meeting. We have a wonderful meeting. We come up with the framework for a mission, vision and values statement. Gary Delson goes home and writes in the paper, and I get up in the morning. I walk – I live in Sacramento – I walk out on my porch in the morning. I pick up the paper, and on the front page of the paper, it says, “Hickman Calls In The Girl Scouts.” Let no good deed go unpunished.
19:37 RQH: Well, to make a long story short, Hickman brings in the Girl Scouts, but the Girl Scouts help. The Girl Scouts help. I tell my son all the time, “If there’s something you’re going to do as an American, there’s two things you’ve got to do. You’ve got to vote and you’ve got to buy Girl Scout cookies.”
19:57 RQH: So, we set out in a new strategic direction. Now we’re into 2005. Now this has been a whole year now. We’ve had the 260 recommendations, the Commission report is out. The Governor goes to the 2005 State of the State, and I don’t know if you remember it, if you ever paid any attention to it, he says, “I’m going to blow up the boxes!” And he tells me to sit up in the gallery, right in front of his wife. And then the camera pans. “And the first person that’s going to blow up the box is Secretary Hickman!” He’s going to be the first one to blow up the boxes.” And I’m like, “Arnold, come on, man! You’re killing me!”
20:28 RQH: Well, to make a long story short, we were the only one that did blow up the box. No other department in California reorganized. The IT Department did, but no other California department organized. And the reason we were capable of organizing was because at the same time that we were dealing with all those things from Governor Deukmejian, we had brought in that expertise. We had brought in people to talk to us about organizational change. We had brought in people to talk to us about staff training. We had brought in people to talk about how do we improve on our image. We brought in folks that could help us think about this differently, and we were actually prepared in 2004, early 2005 to try to reorganize. So we had a new mission statement.
21:09 RQH: So what do we do? And one of the things I want to say that is great, when I was walking in with Rich today and the mission here says, “Change the World from Here.” And Frances, or Peter Drucker would say, “The most important thing an organization can have is its mission statement, and it’s got to fit on the back of a T-shirt.” If you can’t remember your mission statement, you can’t expect people to go about doing it. That is a powerful mission statement to say, “Change the World from Here.” That is just – in the teachings of leadership and management, that is just a powerful, powerful mission statement.
21:38 RQH: And Jim Collins would say it has to have a big, hairy, audacious kind of meaning. Change the World – that’s big. I mean it’s really – it’s really big, but it’s achievable. So we came up with a mission statement, or a vision statement. First, I’ll do the mission. It’s a very simple mission statement: To improve public safety through evidence-based recidivism reduction strategies. To improve public safety through evidence-based strategies. They’ve changed – it’s not as nice and short as that one, but it changed what we were doing from what we did. The mission of California Corrections prior to that was solely incarceration. It didn’t have anything to do with public safety. There was an assumption that if you take a person for a fixed period of time off the streets and put him into a certain place, you’ve improved public safety. Well, you’ve improved public safety theoretically for the period of time that they’re gone. You haven’t done anything for that person. You haven’t done anything for the fact that they’re going to go back. And so, if that’s the case, we’re improving public safety from an incarceration standpoint but on a cyclical basis because they’re coming back. And none of those things that were causation of them being there have ever been addressed, so they’re going to do the same thing again. The environment’s the same, the community’s the same, everything’s the same.
22:49 RQH: Then we had a big, hairy vision statement. We said we’re going to end the tragic effects of crime, violence and victimization in our communities through collaboration. We’re going to end the – causes of crime through collaboration. So how do we do that? So, I say all the time in my department, I said we are the hardest people in the world to help. We could stand in front of our prisons with “HELP” signs in front of the prisons in California, and people would come in and we wouldn’t let them in. So, we are very good at keeping people out, and we are very good at keeping people from coming in. You can’t get out of a prison in California and you really can’t get in, either. So if you want to go help, it’s – you’d probably be better off trying to escape. You might be better off trying to escape from a prison in California than trying to get in. But we decided to say that one of our watchwords of the future was going to be collaboration. We were going to open our arms for help in California. We were going to develop relationships that allowed us to do what we did better through a collaboration. And then we said, “How do we do that?” We changed the values. What do people believe in in the organization? Now Frances would say that in her work that she did with the Army War College, if you think about organizations that teach people and train people in a short period of time to do the same thing that you want all those people to do. So you take all of the eighteen-year-olds across this country and you take them to a certain place at a certain time and they learn something. And at a certain point in time, they leave that place and they’re different from what they were when they came. No one does that better than the US military. They bring people in – and I’ve got a seventeen-year-old – I wish I could send him somewhere where someone would make him change. I mean, but you think about it. You know, as broad as the diversity is in this country, so you take all these young men and women from all over this country and they go into an organization – ok it’s the US Army – and as a result of the training and the work that they do for a fixed period of time, they walk out as different individuals. What is it that they do? What is it that the US military does to make these young men and women from different, disparate backgrounds come out with the same set of values, beliefs. They start out with their intent to teach people what they expect them to behave like. What we want you to be.
25:01 RQH: So if you talk about Change The World From Here, one of the questions you have to ask yourself is, “What am I?” Who am I? What do I believe in?” So as an organization, if you just take that to the organizational level, we had to take that organization, and said, “This is what we were. We’re going to say what we want to be now going forward.” So, in 2005, we started talking about values. And we – and you’ve got to remember the context that I said. The Director of Corrections was being accused of contempt. We had allegations of code-of-silence and use-of excessive-use-of force, so we said values – what are our values that we need to become? We need to have a value of integrity. Essentially, integrity, as my definition, comes from John Maxwell – it’s who you are in the dark. I used to tell my staff all the time,”When the light is red, it’s 4:00 AM, there’s no one there but you, do you stop or go?” What do you do? In my case, and from a personal level, my grandmother used to have this saying that, “Right is right, and right don’t wrong nobody.” That’s a quote from Louise Antoine Sanderford from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Right is right, and right don’t wrong nobody.” Integrity is who you are in the dark.
26:13 RQH: We allegedly have a code of silence. One of the most important things we can be known for now is an organization that has integrity. An organization that does what it says it’s supposed to do, and you can believe in. We have to have responsibility. We can’t go back to the Legislature and say, “You gave us $8 billion, but we really needed $850 billion.” We have to have – we have to have responsibility for what we do. We’re going to be an organization that’s going to be responsible. So if you talk about those values that are important, what are they? We’re going to equitably treat people. Have you ever heard allegations of people being mistreated in this country? Oh yeah, I’ve heard that once or twice. We’re going to work cooperatively. Imagine that. I always had this saying that, if you look at law enforcement agencies across the state, have you ever seen a CHP sergeant? Now I don’t know. None of you have probably ever been pulled over by the California Highway Patrol. But think about this: have you ever seen a CHP person that has stripes on their sleeves? You’ve never seen one. So you have this group of people that go out and do their job, and you never see them be supervised. You never – there’s supervision that’s in place. Now, a lot of law enforcement agencies – you very rarely see the supervisors on the ground. And that’s because they’ve created values within that organization that those people are going to adhere to. And so, if we’re going to create an organization where we’re going to allow people to be responsible, and we’re going to show them- we’re going to have some models to do that after.
27:42 RHQ: And we’re going to respect differences. And that’s an interesting thing, because we’re charged with managing all these different groups. We have groups within groups. Gangs within gangs. We have all these various groups within the prisons and we’re going to treat everybody respectfully and we’re going to respect their differences. So how do we train to do that? How do we take the mindset of the people who work with us now and change that mindset.
28:06 RQH: So how do we go about taking all this work that we’ve done in 2003, the governor said he was blowing up the boxes, and how do we get there? So there’s the legislative process. It hadn’t been done in California from a large-scale standpoint until we did it. It’s called the Little Hoover Commission. California has what’s called a Little Hoover Commission that oversees government operations, per se, that we had to go before. So the governor had my reorg that was called the Governor’s Reorganization Plan Number One, and there was also a Governor’s Reorganization Plan Number Two. Well, they happened to go to a hearing at the Little Hoover Commission before we did, and obviously they hadn’t done what we had done because they got completely blown out of the water in front of the Little Hoover Commission. They said they were ill-informed, ill-prepared and it was not ready for prime time. No way it’s going.
28:55 RQH: So I go into a meeting in the Governor’s office, and they’re saying they’re going to stop and think about whether or not we want to continue to do this. So this is the strategy at the highest level of government, the Governor’s there, and so they’re talking to Cabinet Secretaries there, the Chief of Staff is there saying, “Well do we – since we’ve had the results that we did in the first reorg plan that we put forth in front of the Legislature, in front of the Little Hoover Commission, do we want to go forward?”
29:15 RQH: I say, “You know what? I have to go forward?” Because we had come to the conclusion on our analysis that the organization that we had could not do the things that we needed to do. We weren’t built to be a rehabilitative organization. We weren’t capable of being a rehabilitative organization. So we had to change the organization in order to change the mission. We create this new mission. We don’t have an organization that can do it. There’s no way you can say, “I want to change – I want this to be different.” And you have no way of doing it. It’s like saying, “I want to lose weight but I don’t want to exercise.” That’s a good one I use. It works for me.
29:49 RQH: I just want to lose weight. I’m going to keep everything the same. I’m going to eat the same, I’m going to do all the things I always did, and then I’m going to get on the scale and I’m going to be disappointed. And I’m going to wonder why. So we said we have to change the organization in order to achieve – and there’s a lot of academic work on cultural change and how to do that. We determined that we fell on the side that we could change the culture of the organization based upon our organizational change. We’re just going to require the organization to change its culture. So, we’re going to change all the boxes. We’re going to change everything around, change reporting structures, we’re going to change what everyone knows us to be as an organization in order to change the culture of the organization and to achieve the values and to achieve the mission that we have now designed to do.
30:30 RQH: So we go before the Little Hoover Commission. We get rave reviews. Well, we were well prepared. I found the smartest people in the country to come help me figure out how to do this. And I had them create a PowerPoint, and I can talk from mine. I’m the Secretary. I’m the face of the organization. I can go and present this very well. I’ve got the research that’s done. I created the opportunity for us to do that. We got rave reviews and so how do we go and implement this? What does it look like if we go forward? How do we get people to change the legislation? So we go and we have conferences all over the state, and we bring in those people we want to have associations with. We bring in law enforcement agencies. We bring in faith-based organizations. We don’t make value judgments of what your faith is or what you believe in or what you do. If you believe you can help prisoners in California, either in the prisons or when they come home, come on, we want to come talk to you. We want to have a conversation with you to figure out what are those things that you believe that you can do to help us help the communities of California.
31:22 RQH: Then we started going before the Legislature, and we talk about communications styles. Ok, I gotta go before the Legislature and I gotta go to a Republican Causus. Now the Republicans are hard – hard-nosed, public safety, tough-on-crime people. And their caucus is not going to be re – they’re not going to be receptive to me talking about coddling prisoners and doing programs in prisons or doing anything in the community for these guys that have – need to be put in jail and the key thrown away. So I go to them and I say, “You know, you guys did a great job of putting these guys in jail, but there’s one thing you forgot to do. You didn’t throw away the key. So they’re coming back. So I have to figure out a way to help you make your communities safer. And that’s what this reorganization is going to do. If we reorg this organization, I’m going to be able to hold these guys accountable in your communities and make your communities safer.”
32:10 RQH: And then I would go to the Democratic caucuses. And the Democrats are going to say, “You know, we need more programs for these guys that have been displaced from their families.” And I said, “You know what? I’m going to create programs in California now that are going to change the lives of these individuals here. And as a result of these lives being changed, we’re going to have a better society as a result of that.” I said the same thing. So I had to frame that communication for the audience that I was saying it in front of. The Republicans didn’t want to hear anything about changing lives. They wanted to hear things about safe communities. That’s what their political mantra is. That’s what they want to do. That’s fine. I’m not going to make a value judgment on your political place. I’m just going to have to be – as a leader, I’ve got to be in a position to understand what am I going to do for you.
32:49 RQH: And leadership is about your ability to serve. So if I’m going to serve the Republicans – it’s not like I – I work for a Republican governor! I gotta go to the Republican Caucus. I gotta get Republican votes in order for this reorg to come through, so what do I have to give that caucus, and what do I have to give this caucus in order to get the votes I need in order for this to be accomplished for – on behalf of the Governor? So I have to communicate to people in their space. And it’s not dishonest. I was telling them the truth. I was just telling it in a different way for that constituency that they needed to hear.
33:18 RQH: So the other thing we’ve got to do is we’ve got to change the law. The law in California reflected that prison was intended for punishment. Period. There was no room in the penal code at the time to talk about rehabilitative services at all. So we go about changing the Penal Code. And we have to find a sponsor. So I find a Senator that’s going to carry the bill for us. Senator Gloria Romero carried the bill. And the bill gets through. The bill gets signed. And a lot of that had to do with the fact – and in retrospect – and like I said before when I started, I had the opportunity to stop and think about this, now that I’m no longer doing it .When I talked about the fact that we sat in the office those first days and said, “We’ve got to get the brand. We’ve got to establish a way for people to believe that we are in charge and we are leading.” And that was paramount to being able to – to be able to sell that in the Legislature. And when you talk about Changing the World From Here, if you talk about your place in the “here” you’ve got to talk about whether or not you’ve got credibility.
34:20 RQH: And a question I would ask is that, You’re here for a reason. You have an assumption that I have something of value to present to you. There’s a perceived credibility. Now, if I come here and I don’t perform, and you walk away, and you tell Rich Callahan, “I can’t believe you wasted your time to have Rod Hickman come in front of us and talk to us! I wasted my time and my energy. I could have been looking at Obama and Romney. That was a waste of time!” But I had some credibility. There’s something in my background and probably in Rich’s salesmanship in order for you to be here at this point in time. And I think that’s what’s a key component that we did in regards to the organization in California. We established credibility from the management side. We established a belief that we were going to do what we said we’re going to do. And as a result of that, we got the legislation passed.
35:08 RQH: Then the work really began. When I talk about changing the vehicles on a moving car – so you have an organization that’s created to incarcerate people, now you change it to an organization that’s created – that’s supposed to go forward and provide rehabilitative services to that same population. And you have 50,000 employees. Of those 50,000 employees, you have approximately – at that time probably 35,000 of them that were sworn peace officers. “I didn’t sign up to do no rehab! That’s not what I signed up for! I’m a cop. I signed up to hook ‘em and book ‘em. That’s – that’s who I am.”
35:45 RQH: So now you have this body of employees that didn’t sign up for this rehab thing. We didn’t sign up for that. But one of the key components to change is your ability to change the culture of organizations or the culture of what you’re doing. One of the key – they talk about it as a cultural artifact – it’s what are the stories that are being told? What are the things that people are talking about in the organization? So prior to this, we were talking about, “Well the Director’s probably going to go to jail.” Or “We’ve got the Federal Court that’s doing this.” “Now we’ve got this asshole Hickman that’s made us talk about rehabilitation. That’s not what we signed up for.” Now the culture has started to change because now the conver- even though I’m the ass – they ain’t too happy about what I did – now we have a different conversation. The conversation is now different. We’re talking about it in a much different way than we talked about it before. The stories are not that.
36:42 RQH: So how do we start to impact those 50,000 employees? How do we increase their ability to be successful in this new environment? One of the things – one of the things I found that I had to do is I had to start communicating more broadly from the Secretary level. So instead of me trying to talk to people in my chain of command, or through the management hierarchy, I would do a weekly email to every employee. All 50,000 employees would get an email from the Secretary. So I would promise to give this email on Fridays. I said, “OK, I’m going to write this email. I’m going to send it to all folks. We finally had email in Corrections. I mean, that was about the time we had email, in 2005. You know, we had finally – we had finally made it into tehe 20th century. We had email. So we could email employees. So I would send an email out on Friday, updating employees on where we were going, what we were doing. And I was trying to – you know, Maxwell talks about in the leadership teaching about you have the ability – you’re either an influencer or you’re influenced. And I talk about it from a leadership standpoint. I’ve got to influence people. I have to own that message from a leadership level. I’ve got to talk directly to these people. I’ve got to send it. In fact, I’m an Obama supporter. I’m going to be in a conference call with the President tomorrow. That’s a huge – to me, I’m from a leadership – I say, “Ahhhh! Obama’s struggling a little bit. He needs a little help. He’s going to invite me to a conference call. Ahhh! I did that with my 50,000 employees. He’s going to try to do, like, 3 million people. You know, but I mean my point is from a leadership standpoint, leadership is going to tell me I’ve got to be able to communicate. I’ve got to be able to describe to people that are in my organization a compelling vision of the future. What does it look like going forward? I can’t depend on my staff to do that because they’re not going to articulate it the way that I am. And strategy and leadership and vision is the responsibility of me. That’s my responsibility. So I start sending out these emails. Every Friday I would send out an email. I’d spend hours wordsmithing this email, have all my staff look at it and make sure I didn’t misspell words and send out this email. I’d send this email out and then I got really good at it. I’d send it out on Thursday. Then I started getting emails back when I didn’t send it out on Thursday, like, “Hey, man! I’m waiting at work to get the email! I didn’t leave to go home because I was expecting an email from you!” And I said, “Well, it’s Thursday! I’m not going to send you the email until tomorrow!” “Well, I’m off tomorrow!” So, you’re waiting for me to send you an email. So my point with that is that when you talk about change, you’ve got to – you’ve got to talk about having people own that change. What does it mean? What’s in it for them?
38:56 RQH: So, I’m a correctional officer, and I’m going to have to start talking about doing therapeutic work, and all these other things, and the Sec – well, at least I can send an email back to the Secretary and say, “You know, go to Hell, Rod!” I didn’t get those kind of emails, but I would get responses back from people and what I would do is I would take my time to respond to those folks that were my constituents in a way that meant something to them. So if you want to change the world from here, you’ve got to influence those people that are there for you, that you’re there to serve. How do you do that?
39:24 RQH: And so there’s just some lessons in that in regards to communications and your ability to communicate and your willing to communicate- and your willingness to communicate and your ability to serve those people that are there. And one of the things that I talk about in regards to change, is change is going to require leadership and leadership requires service. It requires you to live for them. It requires you to do something for those folks. So we move forward. We’re doing conferences internally. We’re doing conferences externally. We’re bringing people all over the state up that are in the organization. It’s a very large organization. It goes from Mexico to Canada. We’ve got all these employees that I’m bringing into conferences and we’re working through getting them to understand what we’re going to do going forward, and having them design what the organization’s going to look like in the future. What does our organization look like?
40:10 RQH: So we come up with an organizational design. We get the bill passed. We start to implement it, and then all of a sudden, we’ve got to change what we do against the law. And it’s this old saying that I – that people are more comfortable with the misery of the known than the uncertainty of the unknown. So I bring all my staff from the management level. I start bringing them into meetings. I said, “OK, the penal code has now changed. These are the things that we were responsible for. These are the things we are now responsible for. What of these things that we organizationally, structure-wise and from a resource standpoint, that we were doing that we no longer can do. So I want you to give me a list of things to stop doing. They could not do it.
40:49 RQH: No one in the organization could say what they could stop doing. And part of that reason, I think, in retrospect was that people were invested in what they did, threatened by the fact that they might not do it again. So how do you get someone to tear away from this activity that they’ve really been – they’re competent at, that no longer has value for the organization? And that was a lesson to learn for us to try to change that as you try to make change, how do you make the people that are doing what they used to do and are invested in that feel comfortable in the change? How do they understand that there’s something in it for them. How do you increase their value in that new place that you’re going to?
41:30 RQH: So we finally made it there. And the politics of it all was moving up and down. And the Governor decided in late 2005 that – you know, Swarzenegger was a pretty grandiose kind of guy. So at the same time he was blowing up the boxes internally, he decided to run all these ballot initiatives to change things on the legislative side. Well, in order for him to do that – now remember the conversation I told you. When Governor Swarzenegger asked me if I could do this, how long would it take? I told him it would take five years. He said, “I’m only going to be here for three.” Then I said, “Well, then it’s going to take three.” Well then what happened was that in order for him to do the other things he wanted, he committed to funders that he’s going to run for re-election. So in September of 2005, Swarzenegger announced, “Uh, I’m going to run for re-election, and do longer.” So, I’m over here operating on this three-year timeframe because I think, he’s going to leave. He decides to run for re-election. Well, it took him some political capital to do that.
42:32 RQH: So he gets – he goes and he runs. He runs these ballot initiatives, and he gets thrashed. He gets the snot beat out of him. Well, in that same State of the State where he talked about blowing up the boxes, he also talked about the no-good nurses and the rotten teachers, so he took on all the largest political action committees in the state, including CCPOA who he said he was going to put on the other side of the bars. So now he’s got the prison officers’ union, he’s got the teacher’s union, he’s got the nurses’ union, he’s got everybody that’s got any political clout running against – any of his initiatives. Even if they were good, he wasn’t going to get them passed because they were going to run against him. Nurses were picketing him. Everybody was picketing. Here I am trying to do prison realignment and prison reorganization, and the Governor is out there in a fight with the nurses. So, he loses the fight. Well, in order to raise the money to do the ballot initiatives, he committed to run for re-election. So then when he loses the fight, he’s got to – in political terms – uh, what is the word they would use? He’s got to –uh- he’s got to recalibrate himself. He’s got to move from the position he was at, from a position that he was pretty adversarial to a position of cooperation in order for them not to – the same people that were creaming him on his ballot initiatives were not going to cream him on the ballot when he ran for re-election. So he’s got to make – he’s got to make amends to these people that he had – he had upset.
43:52 RQH: Well, one of them was CCPOA. Well, CCPOA – the front guy for smashing CCPOA in the mouth was me. So, when the Governor goes to make nice with CCPOA, I have to assume they say, “Well, you’ve got to get rid of the guy that’s over there doing all that work for you, because, you know, we don’t like him.” So what happens is, it starts to un – you know, I’d been around for a long time so I could start to see things start to unfold.
44:25 RQH: As it started to unfold, I could see that what I had committed to do was going to be contrary to what they were going to be committed to accomplish, from an administration standpoint. So what is the best thing for me to do? And I say this to all of you. I think we were successful in creating a change of directions in Corrections in California. I know that for a fact because right now they’re doing realignment. Communities are in charge of responsibility for people at the lower level. That’s a watchword of what we want to do. They’re starting to start collaboration. There are a lot of things that got started that I really believe had a direct reflection upon the work that we had done at the time. But leadership requires you to know when you have to leave sometimes. So when, you know – if you create the opportunity for the organization to go forward, do you also create an opportunity where you can to inhibit the organization from going forward? And that’s the decision that I made. It got to be a point where it wasn’t – you know, I got the brand, I branded it to where it was no longer did people think that when you said “Corrections” you think about CCPOA. It got to the point where you think about Corrections, you thought about Hickman. You thought about what Swarzenegger was doing, so we changed the brand. But at the point in time where the – my existence became an inhibitor to the ongoing reorganization, I needed to step out of the way and allow the organization to go forward and that’s what I eventually did.
45:35 RQH: But to say- what I will say to you is this. California Corrections will never be the same as it is. And it is now in a place where people are going to talk about rehabilitation as a part of what Corrections does. And it’s – you’re having struggles in your county in regards to collaborations, and people putting resources together to do that. But the resources – there’s a billion dollars going to communities this year. Now, my commitment – when I was the Secretary was to take that $8 billion. I went to the Legislature and I testified. I said, “My goal in 2006 ” – this was in 2006, – “is to come back to you in 2007 and only want $8.5 billion.” I had $8.5 billion in 2006. I want to have $8.5 billion coming in 2007, the 07-08 fiscal year and I know that I have raises and things that are coming up, you know my staff, so that means I’m going to have to do something internally to stay within that budget number.
46:27 RQH: And I always said that the thing we needed to do was that we needed to invest in the communities and create opportunities for communities to change the lives of people that are in there from their communities. They’re mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews. My brother did time. So the people that are incarcerated in the prisons in California are connected to all of us. And you know, one of the things I always used to – I walked – in the Governor’s office, there’s something that’s called the horseshoe. That’s where the Governor’s office is. I walked through the horseshoe as a Secretary, people would pop out of offices and slip me notes, and say, “Could you check on so-and-so? Can you find out what’s going on with so-and-so?” So the impact of incarceration is across the – across the state. Across our families. So that now that the conversation has changed, I say I wasn’t successful in implementing rehabilitation in California. I was successful in changing the trajectory at California Corrections. Where we were sailing north, we believed that we should have sailed south. Corrections is now sailing northwest. And I think that the key for – in saying that, can I change the world from here, is that are you comfortable in saying that I can change the world from here first, because change is an inside game first. If you – you’ve got to look in the mirror and see whether or not you’re in a position to have people want to willingly follow you in that change process.
47:41 RHQ: And secondly, change is sometimes not on your time. You’ve got to believe it. I use Martin Luther King as an example. You know, Martin Luther King said what he said in 1963. He never would have seen – it did not come to fruition. It still has not come to fruition but it’s moved in a direction that he would be very comfortable with in saying that. So he saw something far away, and I think that in my case, I saw that from my experience as a corrections officer, seeing the tragedies of the individuals that are incarcerated. I saw the tragedies of the experience of working in prisons that it did on the families and the individuals that worked in the prisons. It changed them forever. I saw the tragedy of visitors that take children from the communities into the prisons, and all the kids know is that they hear the slamming of that gate going into a prison, and we’ve got to – there’s a lot of tangential results of what happens in the process of people being incarcerated. So I saw that tragedy and I said, “I’ve got to be able to do something different. I’ve got to change that from what it was to what it could be.” And did we get to the “could-be” place? No, but we are moving in that direction? We are.
48:50 RQH: And the last thing I’ll leave you with is this. All there is is change. You’re either growing or dying. So all there is is change. So it can definitely happen from here. Thank you.
49:12 RC: Magnificent. Let me turn on the mic [inaudible]
49:22 RC: – sure it’s one of the most important three questions –
49:28 Audience member 1: [inaudible]
49:31 RC: Here. [inaudible]
49:44 RQH: [Laughs]
49:45 RC: [inaudible]
50:05 AM1: [inaudible]
50:28 RQH: Did it increase or decrease?
50:30 AM1: [inaudible]
50:31 RQH: No. The population did not increase – decrease. The population continually increased while I was Secretary. And I don’t know that in my experience, without doing the analytics behind it that the Three Strikes Law was that impactful. It’s the lead-up to that and mandatory minimums, and the gun enhancements and the things that happened in the – in the tough-on-crime changes in the Penal Code. And what was your second question?
50:55 AM1: [inaudible]
51:04 RQH: It’s increased the population. It’s put more prisoners in – in for longer periods of time. I don’t think that – and you’re probably looking at the numbers. I haven’t looked at numbers in a long time. I don’t know that out of the hundreds of thousands that are there, that you have that many “Three Strikers” per se. I think the larger number are the ones that got the second strike and got the enhancements as opposed to the three strikes that came as the result of the Three Strikes law. So that strike that they had is one thing. And you know, whether or not – I think that the key was – the key for the whole thing, whether it’s three strikes or mandatory minimums or gun enhancements is that you had these sentencing provisions that disallowed judges to have discretion in sentencing. That’s really the key. It – and Governor Brown would say that one of the things that he did was change from indeterminate sentences to determinate sentencing was very difficult and pushed the population up.
51:50 Audience member 2: [inaudible]
51:57 RQH: My pleasure.
51:57 RC: Make sure you speak loudly into the microphone, pleas.
52:00 AM2: [inaudible] From the point of view of a Jesuit university, [inaudible] how can we apply this concept of making our criminal justice system work better for the [inaudible]?
52:26 RQH: I think, find opportunities to engage. You know, one of the things I’ve found as the Secretary is the best thing I did was engage in higher academic educational organizations to assist me in doing what I’m doing. When I said we were befuddled, I mean, had we not – had we not bring in the expertise or places like USF, brought in those great thought leaders that were academics, we would have done a very good job of recreating what we already had. So I think you look at the urban settings and you look at all of the F – faith-based organizations, all of the non-governmental organizations, all of the government organizations that are now saying how – how do we impact our society to improve our society based upon improvement within the criminal justice system. They need a collaborator there. They need people that have expertise that they don’t have. They need to have people help them know how to think. And part of the challenge in most communities is that the people that are charged with those policies, don’t know how to think about it differently. And if you can engage and find opportunities to get into the room and influence. That’s the best way I can describe it because I got to the point as the Secretary – I looked for people that were brighter, smarter and had a different perspective than mine. If [unintelligble] present it to the Governor and have to make the policy call, it needed to be in [unintelligible] policy call. I think what’s happening now is I don’t know that the academic community, in and of itself, is engaged enough in the policymaking to bring some of the thinking that the academic community has, to help policymakers think about it differently. So it’s just, you know, we’re recreating ourselves. And we’re going over and over and over again because we don’t know how to break out of that thinking. So I think it’s just an opportunity to collaborate.
54:13 RC: [inaudible]
54:18 RQH: [Laughs]
54:22 RQH: Uh huh.
54:23 Audience Member 3: [inaudible]
54:50 RQH: Absolutely. My perspective was this all along. And though realignment unfolded, you know, after I was gone, and I talk to the Secretary Matt Cate all the time. We had a- we had a basic operating principle that one, we needed to collaborate and that secondly, that part of the population we couldn’t serve at the state level, both on the juvenile side and the adult side. The challenge, I think, is that it became a political issue before it became a [unintelligible], you know from a practicality standpoint, so now we’re at a point, and I believe that in the next two fiscal years, that thinking is going to change, so what happens at those collaborative [unintelligible]. There’s a billion dollars coming down into the communities now. That’s billion with a “B.” That money [unintelligible] the communities never had the organizational structure to receive the money to establish collaborations to provide the services. So everyone is parochial in their thinking. The money came into the Sheriff’s Departments. So what’s the Sheriff going to do? I’m going to by cars and beds. I mean, that’s what Sheriffs do. Well, I mean, we lock up people and we arrest people. So now that we’ve built beds and bought cars, and we’ve still got the same problem, we’re going to have to make a different change in our thinking. And so I think what’s going to happen is that the fiscal reality that hit the state is going to hit the counties and the cities now, where they’re going to have to make decisions on how do we address this cycle of criminality. And crime’s gone down. I mean, it’s not like these are nuisance crimes – I shouldn’t say nuisance crimes because my bike got stolen and I didn’t think it was a nuisance crime. But what it is is, you know, when you talk about the non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenders, these are folks that need mental health treatment. They need substance abuse treatment, they need educational opportunities and they need employment. And they need housing. So, I mean, it’s like Maszlo. I mean, they’re down – this is where they’re at! So if we have a way to take those dollars and provide those services, and leverage them. You know, one of the things I always said at the Secretary level is that I used to talk to Kim Belshe – Kim’s going to come and talk to you, isn’t she? She was the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We used to tease ourselves that me and her were the General Fund. If every time, as a citizen – if every time that a citizen has an interaction with the government for anything other than a license or regulatory purpose – so if you’re into the criminal justice system, or the child protective service system or the welfare system or the social service system, there’s a family evaluation of what the need is. So, if I look at my budget in Corrections and say, “Kim, I’m spending $300 million at the time on parole services. Now in that $300 million, there’s families that you’re spending probably six or seven hundred million dollars for child protective services, for welfare services, for substance abuse services in the same family. So, we never do an evaluation of the familial unit to find out where the best spend is to get the result that we need. So we’re just throwing good money after bad. So I say that to say that at the point in time where people are willing to collaborate and leverage their efforts, the dollars are there and we can improve public safety as a result of it. It’s just a matter of thinking differently.
58:03 RC: [inaudible] who chairs it which provided a grant to support it, and [inaudible] have this idea, he didn’t know me well enough to say, “Come back later.” He actually said this idea of really bringing people who have embodied the Ignatian values and USF’s value of Change the World from Here. Bring them together, let’s learn from them and I commend again, all of you for being here, and those who are not here tonight, they’re lesser for it. And you’re greater for it and I really can’t thank Rod Hickman enough for not only his speech tonight but really for being an inspiration of showing what’s the possibilities, core valued leadership can create. So thank you.