Replying to LO29072 --
Bill O'Brien was the CEO of Hanover Insurance Company from 1979 to 1991.
He is credited with turning the company into a learning organisation.
While well known in the business world, he first came to the attention of
the general public when used as an example in Peter Senge's "Fifth
Discipline", "Charting corporate Cultures" by Charles Hampden Turner and
"Business Ethics" by James Leibig. He served on a number of boards of
directors for both charities and for businesses. He was also a founding
member of the board of governors of the Society for Organisational
Learning, founding partner of Generon Consulting.
I met him at a conference organized by Generon Consulting. Over the next
4 years we met at the conferences and occasionally when I could fly
through Boston. There is no doubt that he was a hard-nosed businessman
but what struck me about him was his integrity. His integrity was not of
the rigid moralistic kind that demands that if you don't agree you are
wrong. His was an integrity of caring. It was not the caring that
declares itself but the kind that acts.
Long before Enron, he was concerned about leadership living out of the
values they profess. He was concerned about virtue and morality in the
business community. He often expressed the need to shift from concern
about our own performance to being concerned about the next generation.
Bill O'Brien passed away on Saturday 24 August 2002. We will miss him.
Jon C. Jenkins
Groningen, The Netherlands
The "International Facilitator's Companion"
"Jon Jenkins" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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