What is 'The TASER Experience' anyway?
You sort of have to forget everything you think you already know when you hear the word — uh, acronym — TASER
Riddle me this: How long does ‘The TASER Experience’ last? If you answered “five seconds” — or “as long as I say it does” or some other such duration of time — you’d be wrong.
The answer is that the TASER Experience is not about time, it’s about totality. It’s about completeness. It’s about ubergeek terms like “end-to-end solution” and “disruptive innovation” and “entire ecosystem.”
It’s about something so simple, yet simultaneously so complex, that in order to fully wrap your head around it, you sort of have to forget everything you think you already know when you hear the word — uh, acronym — TASER.
The Words of Obi Wan
A few months ago I had the tremendous opportunity to spend some time at the headquarters for TASER International in Scottsdale (Ariz.). You can read here about one of my other observations from that visit, but let’s talk a little about this thing they call “The TASER Experience.”
Upon entering the TASER HQ building, one is immediately impressed by the science-fiction feel of the place.
The eye-scanner security mechanism and the sliding-door sally-port foyer are ripped from Men in Black.
The catwalk from the work area on the second floor to the big conference room is clearly an homage to Star Wars.
Sitting in a conference room an hour after my facility tour, someone was explaining the TASER Experience and I was immediately reminded of the words of Obi Wan Kenobi:
“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
The TASER Experience comprises the entire TASER universe — employees, customers, infrastructure, products, support, research and development, the training cadre, visionary medical research, and myriad other “things.”
The clearest manifestation of the TASER Experience — to me, at least — is the universally-shared mindset of partnership to law enforcement evident in every single person at the company.
“Law enforcement agencies need more than just an outstanding product, so we like to talk about the TASER Experience,” explained Jeff Kukowski, Chief Marketing Officer of TASER International, in the video below.
“This is really a partnership that gets to know and understand from a law enforcement perspective, what solutions we should be developing, how we can continue to improve. When we introduce capabilities in the field, many times law enforcement officers have lots of great ideas on how to improve it. So, improving it and having the capability as a company to improve on an ongoing basis all of our solutions, is part of the TASER Experience,” Kukowski said.
In lieu of transcribing Kukowski’s interview with my good friend and PoliceOne colleague Dave Smith, check it out and pick up the final words of this column below.
The Imagination Statement
Somewhere in your PD there is almost certainly a brass plaque on which the department’s vision and/or mission is etched (if there isn’t, there should be). Without exception, there are such ornaments in every corporate office I’ve ever seen, and they run the gamut from laudable to laughable.
Companies of all kind beat their chests proudly about their “vision” and their “mission” statements.
In many cases that’s totally justified — sometimes, it’s just talk.
During my Scottsdale visit I spoke with a couple dozen employees. I asked no one about the company’s mission statement (to my knowledge, it’s “Protect Life. Protect Truth.” but I could be wrong on that).
Instead, I asked folks about this curious thing they call “The TASER Experience.”
In each case, I got the sense that it means much more to them than a statement — it’s mental, behavioral, physical, and even emotional.
It’s more like “The Force” Obi Wan described.
I freely concede that “The Force” is imagined.
Then again, I would be totally unsurprised to learn that someplace in that building in Scottsdale, there hangs an Imagination Statement.
If there isn’t, maybe there should be.