John Berra, former chairman of Emerson Process and the leader who assembled that group, once told me in an interview that he wished someone would write a book about the early days and development of automated process control. If he wad hinting for me, I was the wrong person. More likely it would have been my colleague Walt Boyes. But instead, John has written a book that will be out March 5—Turning the Giant: Disrupting Your Business with Persistent Innovation. I’m glad he did.

I’ve not read the book, yet, but I have it on order. I enjoyed all my interviews with Berra over the years. He was always cerebral, knowledgeable, and visionary. And I discovered at one of my last Emerson events with him that he also played Bellomy (the father of the girl) in community theater production of The Fantasticks. I played that role in the early 70s in Sidney, Ohio. He also wrote a column for me when I was at Automation World after he retired.

My old friend Jim Cahill wrote about the book on his Emerson Process Experts blog—worth a read.

I was fortunate to get an advanced look at John Berra’s new book Turning the Giant: Disrupting Your Business with Persistent Innovation (slated for release on March 5, 2024). John is the Past Chairman of Emerson’s automation business and was President of the Systems business during the development of the DeltaV control system. I read it this past weekend and really enjoyed it because I got to live through many of the stories he shares throughout the book and better see the events from his perspective.

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