Meet Paul Morgan, a long-time member of our network from Croydon, England.
Grew up in Zambia and Zimbabwe where my front door bordered on bush country and miles of open space. Trained as an Electronics Engineer with the Atomic Energy Boards, then into computer design and manufacture and moved to the United Kingdom in 1986.
Retired last month! After 20 years with Royal Philips Electronics with the last 10 years as Quality Director for the United Kingdom and also for the country organisations in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This period has been the most rewarding of my career. It has been rather like a child let loose in a huge playground. Some basic rules but the freedom to use all the toys! I cannot make any claim to having made a single significant contribution to the way excellence is deployed in Philips but am pleased that a number of people have taken on new ideas and put them to work. With only one month of retirement as recent experience I am happy to report that the balance of some consultancy, more time with my wonderful grandchildren and underwater photography is life changing!
I have managed to attend only one of the recent Forum meetings (as a presenter in 2003) but am an active member of the Deming Forum in the UK both as occasional contributor and 'willing worker'.
Why do you attend the Forum?
I attend the Forum meetings for two key reasons: To maintain the network of friends and colleagues who have been instrumental in my personal growth and understanding and to take time out to reflect on old and new ideas.
Tell us about a recent "a ha" moment.
Seeing how systems thinking is a way of 'knitting together' ideas on community, ethics and the concept of 'natural laws'. Realising that life has its own natural variation which is easy to misinterpret as 'special cause'.
Realising that being a safe diver is working on the process to understand the natural variation so that I can recognise special cause before it is serious Special Cause!
What book are you reading now?
I read a number of books in parallel! The current list includes: Plato's Children by Anthony O'Hear
Ethics and the Old Testament by John Barton
Seeing the Forest for the Trees by Dennis Sherwood
The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge (third edition - a must have if you are into digital photography!)
What recent book have you read that you consider both beneficial and readable?
Plato's Children is getting my attention almost every day. O'Hear brings valuable insights into our modern society based on Plato's Cave parable from his work the Republic. How much our society has become like his cave dwellers - focused on our reflected images on the cave wall. His chapters on celebrities and politics certainly caught my attention. Great insights into corporate life!
What advice do you have for people new to the In2:InThinking Network?
I would emphasise the importance of relationships as a major aspect of systems thinking and the approach to life. Especially, if you are a parent and nurturing your own children (I left that a little late so now practising on my grandchildren). Business life, I now realise, has its own rather selfish system. In fact a closed system! Too often work priorities were treated as special cause when I should have been working on improving the process. The 'whole me' and the 'whole family'.
Learn to bring your systems approach to include all those around you!