Lunchtime Teaching Case Workshop

An event of the Bloomberg Center for Cities

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Bloomberg Center for Cities, Taubman Third Floor, Harvard Kennedy School

About the Event

For enrolled Harvard graduate students. 

Help us workshop our newest teaching case, “The Toughest Beat”: Investing in Employee Well-Being at the Denver Sheriff Department. The case details and learning objectives are listed below.

The case draws on The People Lab and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative’s combined expertise in supporting city officials in their development as leaders, driving organizational improvement, and strengthening their workforces. The case will be taught by Elizabeth Linos, faculty director of The People Lab and Emma Bloomberg Associate Professor of Public Policy and Management, whose research helped inform the case.

Lunch will be provided.

We ask all participants to prepare for the case discussion by reading the materials provided. Further workshop details and case materials will be provided once registration has closed.

Space is limited. Registration will close when full or by Thursday, October 12.


Case: “The Toughest Beat”: Investing in Employee Well-Being at the Denver Sheriff Department

Case Description: The Denver Sheriff Department was struggling to support and retain its workforce and ensure the safety and wellbeing of people in the department’s custody. In an effort to better understand and address these issues, the administrative division chief began working with the mayor’s office and a team of researchers to implement an experimental peer support program. When the program began generating negative comments about the job and department leadership, she began to wonder whether it was having positive or negative effects on staff morale and the experiences of incarcerated people.

What should the department’s senior leaders do? Should they continue with the program as planned? Should they make adjustments to it? Or should they shut it down and try something entirely different?

This case has been designed to advance the following learning objectives:

  • How to identify and pilot promising practices to improve talent management in organizations
  • How to diagnose a problem before adopting a solution
  • How to ascertain that a promising practice is worth trying out
  • How to pilot a new practice and rigorously test its effectiveness
  • How to manage risk and risk aversion and build support for experimentation and change



Elizabeth Linos
Elizabeth Linos faculty headshot

Elizabeth Linos

Emma Bloomberg Associate Professor of Public Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School

Stay up to date on our latest work to improve cities