Tom Burke (
Sat, 19 Nov 94 09:38 PST

Hello to all,

I too have been a lurker. I have been enjoying the discussion for several
months. I am a bean counter by trade. I am 49, have been married to my
bride for 27 years. I have three daughters, two in college and one going
next near. I completed by undergrad work in 1973, after a time with the
Marines in Viet Nam. I finished law school in 1976. My employer sent me on
to grad school for accounting. A few years ago I was feeling defeated in
life (all my girls were then teenagers in high school). I needed something.
I went back to school in order to force my brain to think on things outside
my work and home. It was a rejuevenating experience. I attended the U of
Phoenix in San Diego. There I was introduced to literature I had never
known before. Deming was someone I had heard about but never really knew
what he did. This process led me to wealth of current thinking in
leadership. I feel I have been re-born. One of the teachings to which I
was exposed was the Fifth Discipline. It seemed to hold true where concepts
seem to break down.

I am CFO for a commercial insurance agency. This is an industry which is
highly fractured. It is an industry where any idiot could become wealthy -
and they did. Times have demanded proper systems, and there are none.
Agencies fight with insurance companies. In trying to protect their domain,
they use redundant systems, which increase costs. Their staff have not beel
well led. Thus, the industry delivers products with stubstanital
inefficiencies, poor quality, with everyone but the client in mind. I have
tried several means to wake my own company and be a part of needed change in
the industry. Few people want to listen. Success has created walls which
are very hard to get over.

It is a privilege to be a part of changing the things to better the system.
I love to study this field but more, I really love being a part of the
implementation. Putting this stuff to work is not for the faint.

Thank you.
Tom Burke
Ramona, California