Conference Session
Thoughts and Thinking About Thinking - Personal AHAs (and DUHs)

Presented by Tim Higgins


Abstract: From one context, not THE context, a sharing of personal observations, epiphanies to me, though some folks might respond to my "Aha" with "You have a remarkable grasp of the obvious." An opportunity to explore why black and white are not opposites, why "empowerment" triggers annoyance, how Red Pen Company behaviors creeps in when we're trying to ask Blue Pen Company questions, the quantum mechanical aspects of behavior, and other provocations (or humdrum).

Tim (R), with Rudy Hernandez

Tim (right) with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne colleague Rudy Hernandez (left)

Biography: Tim spent nearly 29 years employed by service the company currently governed by United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) business unit in Canoga Park.  He retired, and returned to the same Canoga Park location as part of the NASA Resident Management Office. Departmental assignments took him from engineering to manufacturing operations to the total quality management office, to quality in the position of focal point for cause and corrective action.  He now represents NASA’s interests from the System and Mission Assurance viewpoint.   All was preceded by 8 years teaching high school English and mathematics. 

Tim claims that the company paid him to mess with the frontal lobes of those trapped in the prevailing style of management, though they thought he had a different assignment.  In support of PWR's Thinking Roadmap efforts, he conducts sessions in Six Thinking Hats, Lateral Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making and organizes discussions of Deming’s last book, The New Economics, obtaining local participants as well as participants from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Tim spends three days a week playing soccer, some portion of  each day adoring a Brazilian wife who saves him a fortune shopping, and some time loving a trilingual-History-Channel-watching-19-year-old son.  He is especially fascinated with books describing the probabilistic and downright weird behavior of the universe and the people in it.  Tim has a Masters degree in English, has an A.S.Q. Certified Quality Engineer card, and a rather large collection of Brazilian soccer jerseys.

Contact: Tim can be reached by e-mail at for additional information about this post-conference session.


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