By Simon Palmer
I recently was asked what photography qualification I had? None was my response, I have no letters after my name although I joked that I had F.A.R.T. Do I have any horse qualifications? No I don’t. But it gives me a chance to tell you who I am, where I’m coming from, and what my passions are. I am, after all, a co-founder of Ethical Horsemanship Association, so I should have some bearing on the proceedings!
A potted history for you is just around the written corner, so please sit back and read on…
I spent the majority of my working life before becoming a jobbing photographer and cameraman in the world of I.T. In fact it’s quite possible that part of what I did, influences or changed what you do, hopefully for the better. My passion is innovation, no just any innovation though, it has to be something that is going to help, benefit, be a shift that changes for the better. I started in a company called WordPerfect. At the time, a world famous, market leading word processor. There were no products called Windows, computers were large, not portable, and incredibly expensive. Technology hadn’t reach the commoditisation we have now! I worked in customer support in a technical role. Helping customers use the product, solve problems and be more productive.
Roll forward a little and I now work for the largest networking company of the time Novell. Their networking products connected people, companies, and information together. Again not that easy to run, there were network managers who should have been treated like gods for the work they did. I used to joke that the products I worked on shouldn’t be called software, but more like underwear. We knew it was there, but it was hidden, and it accomplish very important tasks behind the scenes!
I then took a sabbatical from the I.T. world, and ran a sixteenth century coaching house pub in Dorset for a year. Started a comedy club and had some, now famous, names perform. I enjoyed talking to people, hearing their stories, understanding their lives. Then the call came, and it was time to go back to I.T. I joined Dell as a European Training Manager. I had a small team of sales trainers who would support the whole product line that Dell produced. I was actually very proud of what happened there. I employed an olympic rower who now runs the training department, a carpet salesman, who spoke eight languages, and many others who all had something in common apart from being wonderful people (and I do mean that). They all cared about communication, and giving people the best information. This made me very proud. I did, though, get feedback that I wasn’t a very good manager.
The last two jobs I had were pivotal in preparing me for the next and most important jump in my life. I worked for an online virtual meeting environment. This eventually led to me working for Microsoft. I worked in a group called Incubation, where new technologies were developed or pushed out to the organisation to sell. An amazing chance to help shape and change the way people work. The people I worked with had that same passion for changing the future for the benefit of all. I had the pleasure for working for people who actually challenge the typical management style, that drew the best out of you.
All of this extraordinary life, 25 years or more, paved the way for me to jump out of the I.T. world partly because I couldn’t work in a world that was becoming less human, and more monetary. But all those experiences developed what I bring to EHA now. You see that after I left the technology world, and concentrated on photography, wildlife, and conservation, I took my communication skills, and beliefs that things can be better, and put them all into EHA.
The technology you are using to access EHA, is something I’ve built. The audio books, and ebooks are what I’ve created. My openness about mental health is and the need to support those who need the help is who I am. Communication and the imparting of information easily to others is what I do. Welcome to EHA…
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