Intro -- Doug Simpson LO9951
Fri, 13 Sep 1996 17:55:53 -0400

My wife and I were both born in 1961. We live about thirty miles
south of Atlanta and have just entered the parenting phase of our
lives. Our son Gray was born in July of 1995--he is running us
ragged and we've never been happier. Angie worked as a journalist
for twelve years, but has traded that job for the more rugged work of
raising a son.

Since graduating from The University of Georgia with a B.S. in
Mathematics in 1984, I have worked for the Georgia Department of
Transportation in the field of Information Technology (IT) doing
both programming and systems/network management. For a couple
years I've been involved in the DOT's Strategic Planning initiative,
especially as a member of the Quality Team.

Apart from family and work, one of my passions is music. I sing in
my church choir and occasionally in community theatre. On Wednesday
I provide amateur piano accompaniment for the singing at a lunchtime
worship service near my office. Piano practice is an essential part
of my own striving for personal mastery. Nine years of lessons had
all but gone to waste when I picked it back up thirteen years later.
Whether art, dance, music, sport, or martial art, I commend to you
the value of a "practice" as described by George Leonard in his book

During high school I took Spanish and spent the summer in Colombia as
an exchange student. I studied both Spanish and French in college
and worked the summer after college as a children and youth minister
for a Latino church. This experience of foreign language and culture
at such a young age has had a profound effect on my awareness of
organizational culture, my openness to diverse mental models, and my
sensitivity to the nuance of conversation.

My central IT interest is Object Technology (OT), also called object-
orientation. Object-orientation is a mental model. The paradigm
shift from process- to object-orientation is the biggest news in the
history of IT-enabled business. Objects provide a common language
for business and IT people--groups who have a proud tradition of
failing to communicate with one another. See David Taylor's books
Object-Oriented Technology: A Manager's Guide and Business
Engineering with Object Technology for a good summary intro to OT.

Kevin Kelly's book Out of Control has led me to conceive of the
enterprise more as an ecology that evolves, and less as a machine
that is designed. This metaphor would cast us change agents as
gardeners not engineers. Margaret Wheatley (Leadership and the New
Science) is the principal Organizational Development specialist who
is investigating more natural organizational forms. Russell Ackoff's
(The Democratic Corporation) idea of the enterprise as an internal
economy fits into this model well. The architect Christopher
Alexander (The Timeless Way of Building, A Pattern Language) writes
eloquently about the organic growth of buildings, neighborhoods, and
towns. His REPAIR pattern resonates well with our efforts to
transform the enterprise.

To borrow from Senge, I am a pragmatic idealist. Our planet and its
people are crying out for healing. Without glossing over their
serious wounds, I still have abundant hope for the future. Someone
said (who?) that the easiest way to predict the future is to create
it. The learning disciplines are lighting our path.

Doug Simpson


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