Introduction - Tim Fredel
Sun, 6 Nov 1994 23:31:02 -0500

I think that introducing yourself to this mailing list is a great idea, so I
am ready to do my part.

I have been involved in the Systems Thinking field for over 15 years,
starting as a student at both Dartmouth and M.I.T. then moving into the
corporate world. Upon graduating from M.I.T.'s Sloan School in 1985, I
worked at Cray Research in Minneapolis using System Dynamics to support the
strategic thinking of the top management team at Cray. While at Cray in 1987
I was asked to write the company's 1992 Annual Report. In other words, I
was asked to write the annual report as if we had just completed the 1992
fiscal year.

True to my training, I created a STELLA simulation of the supercomputer
industry on which I could base the narrative for the 1992 Annual Report. At
that time, Cray had been growing at 65% a year in revenues and profits with
the stock going from 30 to 120 over a two-year period. To make a long story
shorter, my model predicted that revenues and profits would flatten as the
result of a product transition the company was about to undertake. Needless
to say, my predictions did not receive a warm reception from Cray management.
At that point I began to understand that people do not like to be presented
with a future which differs from the one which they have based all their
plans and thinking. I also began to understand that a well thought-out
intellectual argument is not enough; I needed to understand the
emotionally-charged issues related to major change. These insights motivated
some changes of my own.

During my two years at Cray I became enamored with the Macintosh computer.
In addition, I felt the need to get into an operational role. Putting the
two together, I decided to move to Northern California and become a product
line manager in the Macintosh networking field. I spent five years in the
Macintosh software industry, first with TOPS (a division of Sun Microsystems)
then with Farallon Computing.

Inspired by the publication of Peter Senge's book, "The Fifth Discipline", I
decided to follow my passion for System Dynamics and focus full-time on
making it my profession. I have been at it for three years now and have
really enjoyed working as a consultant with companies such as Apple, Quantum,
PG&E plus a host of start-up companies. My focus has been in aligning
business strategies and processes with the Voice of the Customer, i.e., the
wants and needs of the customers. I have found both causal loop diagrams and
ithink simulation models to be incredibly useful tools in this application.

I am excited about the learning organization both in the context of business
and the world as a whole. Specific areas of interest: complexity/chaos
theory, new product development, service-oriented processes, social security,
and exponential growth in a finite world.

I look forward to exploring these and other issues together with you.

-Tim Fredel
Indigo Systems
San Francisco
415 922 4634