Prior to my retirement in February, 2001, I was a Project Leader with IBM - USA, Leadership & Management Development.
I focused primarily on the development, delivery and facilitation of leadership and teamwork training and organizational interventions for 160 managers and 1,700 employees in the IBM Storage Subsystems Division located in Tucson, Arizona and San Jose, California.
In my 35 years with IBM, I held numerous engineering and management positions including Manager of Advanced Manufacturing Engineering with responsibility for the implementation of several sophisticated robotics applications.
Over the years, I have taken a keen interest in education and have had occasion to present to numerous internal (IBM) and external (non-IBM) organizations. As a result of my interest in memory and memorization techniques, I have been featured in several articles on the subject.
Since my retirement from IBM I have continued as a Leadership Facilitator, helping organizations to become more effective in the areas of Management, Leadership & Teamwork.
I was born in Farnham, Surrey, England and lived in Canada before immigrating to the United States. I am married with three children and five grandchildren. Four generations of our family live in Tucson, Arizona. An interesting lifestory of my mother, Cassie Bright, who passed away December of 2010, appeared in the May 22, 1997 issue of the "Awake!" magazine, with a circulation at the time of 22.8 million copies in 82 languages.
After many years of active use of the left side of my brain I decided, after retirement, to unleash some of the right side by learning to play the Native American Flute. If you are interested in buying a Native American Flute and/or would like to learn how to play one, please contact me as I both sell flutes and teach how to play them.
The main thing I've learned in my three decades with IBM is that relationships are the key to success. If you don't have a relationship with others who are trying to go to the same place you are going, you lose the synergy that can help you get there. For any organization to be successful, the individuals in that organization have to have a high quality relationship with one another. Part of relationships is knowing when to back up because the other person knows what to do and when to step forward because they need some help.
Organization comes from the word organ. The heart is made up of billions of cells, each one of which has to do its job for the whole organ to function successfully. The same is true of organizations -- you can't say that if a certain set of cells (e.g. management) does it's job, everthing will survive... it just doesn't work that way! If some cells die, the whole organ suffers. We are beginning to realize the importance of organization dynamics, so we are moving from authoritarian management to partnerships -- partnerships between all in the organization. If we are going to survive, every person needs to be tuned in and a partner with everyone else.
|No Average Joes Or Janes|
One thing I try to convey as a part of leadership development is that every person is a leader. Some people think, "I'm just a member of the team, I'm not a leader." We get this idea of a leader with a big group of followers charging behind him or her! That is a skewed vision of leadership. Leaders "lead" by the way they conduct themselves, thereby serving as role models. They can lead in the sense of doing or accomplishing something. Leaders can lead one on one. It can be as simple as sitting down with a person and saying -- "You've seen the way I work, do you have any suggestions to help me improve? And, by-the-way, if you would like, I would be willing to share with you." That's leadership.
|Just in Time|
Over the last few years, enough bugles have been blown for most organizations to realize that they are entering a new era. In manufacturing, we would talk about 'just in time' inventory, which meant running a manufacturing line so that parts flowed smoothly without expensive inventories. As person assembled A to B, and passed on to C, you didn't have a whole lot of A and B parts just sitting on the line. There is a shift to recognize that this 'just in time' concept is very important with regard to people. You have to have the right kind of people with the right kinds of skills in the right kinds of places at the right time to be successful. In spite of all the blowing bugles, however, a lot of people and organizations still haven't turned the corner. Those that turn the corner recognize that you have to enable people more, you've got to give attention to skill mix and you've got to provide an environment where you and your people
are continuously learning. Learning isn't something that happens in the classroom, it happens every minute of your life!
|Closing the Gaps|
Sometimes when I'm travelling on business people sitting next to me on the plane will ask me: "What kind of work do you do?" and I reply: "I'm in the gap reduction business!" That usually leads to "What's that?" and I explain that the leadership and teamwork training that I do is really all about reducing the gaps between head, heart and gut. We may be able to logically understand what the best thing to do is in our minds but sometimes our hearts, that is our motivational factors, may be lacking or we don't take into account what our intuition or gut tells us is the right thing to do. When head, heart and gut are all in sync, whether it's an individual or an organization, powerful things can happen.
Back when I worked for IBM, my co-worker and I adopted a short mission statement for our work in management and leadership development:
"At the end of each day, most of our organizational assets walk out the door. Our challenge is create the type of environment which will cause them to look forward to returning the next morning."
That statement says a lot.