I was born in Wales in 1965. I studied at the University of York before working
within the National Health Service for several years. In 1992, I returned to University
to study as a post graduate before joining the Newcastle Business School,
Northumbria University, as a lecturer. In the late 1990s, the then Dean of Newcastle
Business School, Professor David Weir asked his former colleague Stafford Beer to join
his faculty as a Visiting Professor.
It was as a result of this invitation that I came to know Stafford. He made many
visits to the University to teach in his Socratic mode. It was as a result of these
sessions that I came to study some of Stafford’s many books on the managerial
cybernetics of organisation.
As a man, I found him to be an inspiration – even at
an advanced age he sometimes resembled a steam engine in trousers – always keen to
engage with people of all ages and all backgrounds, generous with both his time and
his knowledge. He was also the only pensioner that I knew who could comfortably out
pace me – later in the bar.
In 1999, he was kind enough to help me write a module based upon his work – and it
continues to be taught to post graduate students of management studies at my University.
I am very happy to be able to contribute to this event held in his memory.