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DEEP EXCELLENCE: A call to action for a new style of leadership

This book will challenge your thinking about how you lead; and how you can add value to those around you.  You will discover and explore ways in which you can bring meaning to your work and how you can engage the heads; hands and hearts to create a culture of Deep Excellence in your organization.  

Through a focus on behaviours and systems-thinking the authors take you on a journey, where they share their decades of experience supporting organisations achieve their ideal results.  They provide guidance on how to create the positive behaviours required in today’s world; and how you as a leader can create sustainable change.  

Deep Excellence is a book about people, human nature, humanity and preparing for the future. Written in a thoughtful, unpretentious, and empathetic style, the authors usher the reader through a story of learning, challenging current mental models, provoking new ways of thinking and acting with purpose.

Excerpt from Foreword by Rose Heathcote, CEO


The book combines useful ideas; insights and models which will guide and inspire the reader, to make a real difference

Lacey Garner of IRI Worldwide said

“The book comes a time when the need for sustainability in organizations is greater than ever before… The book delves into the various challenges that organizations face when improving culture and performance and offers concreate strategies for addressing them.


Marianela Alfonso of Hologic commented..

This book not only teaches us important concepts about operational excellence but also allows us to explore and learn about the importance of our behaviors, either as leaders and or any person and, what is our role as creators of culture and continuous improvement processes.


Over the last 30 years, S A PARTNERS has supported organizations on their journey to Enterprise ExcellenceWe know that improvement happens when we work together to build the capabilities and systems required to achieve a culture of deep excellence – hence our motto ‘Together, the Power to Improve’. As an organisation we provide accredited training, coaching, and specialist consultancy services.  

Simon Grogan, one of the co-authors and Managing Director of S A Partners commented:  

“After being involved in Continuous Improvement since 1993, it was great to reflect back on why great things happen. They happen because of great people, not because of great systems, fancy forms or IT systems. These great people are often not the most skilled, best paid or highest educated, they are the people who like people, people who want to see things made better, people who inspire others and have a vision of what things could look like. Raising awareness of who these people are and what skills they possess or could possess is critically important for any long term organisational – go find them, love them and look after them – they make your difference.”


This is the fifth book published by S A Partners to promote the sharing of knowledge and best practice to the wider business communityThe book will be available from AMAZON from 1 April 2023. To order your copy now follow the link below.  


I’d like to order several for my team 


What Industry Experts Have Said…

“Deep Excellence, in posing the right questions and challenges, makes for interesting, insightful, and thought-provoking reading.”

Darrin Taylor, South East Technological University, Ireland


“This book delivers a rare view of “the dark side of the moon”, a view which it’s readers can use to guide their own journey to the stars.”

Simon Leonard, LGC


“Every leader needs to spend some time in this thoughtfully curated work to learn how to engage more our ourselvesmind, heart and spirit!  Then we will be armed with the ability to lead our teams, organizations and societies effectively through sustainable transformational change.” 

Joanna Cooper, Daimler


From someone who has read a lot of academic literature over the years, Deep Excellence is by far the most intuitive book I have read… helping me understand the link between head, heart and hands in a corporate results-based environment and where priorities must start for ideal results

Elizabeth O’Callaghan, University of Limerick

About The Authors

John Quirke

John Quirke originally graduated from the National University of Ireland Maynooth with an honour’s degree in Chemistry and Biology. John subsequently completed a master’s degree in chemical oceanography with University College Galway. A specialisation in metal chemistry led John to an early career as a chemical process engineer with Fujitsu Isotec, where he spent time in Japan studying Japanese manufacturing and engineering techniques. John’s knowledge of process chemistry and toxicology resulted in a move to safety and environmental management with a blue-chip life science corporation. John’s frustration with poor equipment design and poor process performance resulted in the early adoption of lean thinking within this organisation. The success of subsequent programmes, giving rise to improvements in process performance and waste reduction, led to global roles as director of business excellence and twenty-five years continuous improvement experience working across all business sectors.  In 2019 along with his colleagues Peter Willmott, and Andy Brunskill John published TPM a Foundation of Operational Excellence.  The publication won the Shingo Institutes’ international publication research award in 2022. John is a senior partner at S A Partners and leads the Global Life Science and Health sector. John supports the development and publication of thought leadership within the business.  John’s other specialist areas include coaching and lean leadership, strategy deployment, process design for lean, and problem-solving. John is a certified Shingo Institute Facilitator and a Master Lean Coach from Cardiff University. In addition to BSc (Hons) and MSc, John holds a Law Degree from University College Cork. 


Simon Grogan

Simon Grogan has dyspraxia, which means whilst being particularly bad at any sport that requires co-ordination, he is clumsy, falls over, gets lost a lot, can be frustrated easily, and worst of all finds reading and writing very difficult. Growing up in the nineteen seventies Simon’s dyspraxia was never diagnosed – he was treated as a kid who was just a bit thick. Out of sheer bloody-mindedness, Simon learnt to cope with his dyspraxia and managed to bundle his way through his education. Work has been much easier, systems, numbers, processes, and deadlines all help, they provide structure and help him think. As his career progressed Simon became successful occupying various senior management positions and winning various best factory awards. In the year two thousand two crazy things happened in Simon’s life the first was the birth of his daughter Molly, and the second was joining S A Partners. Both have taught him so much about people and helped him try to bring the best version of himself to work each day. Today he is the Managing Director and Chairman of S A Partners. If someone told the embarrassed eight-year-old boy, as his teacher tore up his English homework in front of the class, that one day he would be he would be a joint author of a book he would never have believed them. 



Juliette Packham graduated from Coventry University with an honours degree in Industrial Product Design. After a short time as a Design Engineer, Juliette was appointed to a major Business Lean Transformation Project. Here she grew her Lean thinking skills in Operations, Logistics and Warehousing where she quickly realised problems within these areas often stemmed from a poor approach to New Product Introduction. Observations of the lack of systemic thinking during this time also helped pique her interest in leadership behaviours and managing change. Juliette went on to head up an Engineering Department and spent time working on systemic transformation by integrating teams across the business to reduce lead times and improve connectivity. Since joining S A Partners in 2004, Juliette has built on her passion for Leadership Development and Culture Change and supports a wide range of companies in different sectors as both a consultant, coach, and mentor. She is the Global People Director and a Partner within the business, a Master practitioner in SoundWave and VoicePrint, an EMCC accredited Senior Coach/Mentor and is working towards a Diploma in Behavioural Science. Her passion for New Product Development systems continues, and she also spends much of her time working in Strategy Deployment, Tier Management Systems, and with Leaders working on Organisational Culture Change. 


Bryan Cutliff

Before joining S A Partners, Bryan served as a Chief Executive Officer in small to medium-sized businesses, specifically within the healthcare industry. During this time, he promoted the importance of creating value for customers, employees, and stakeholders by focusing business resources and efforts on enhancing organizational engagement. Bryan specializes in helping organizations leverage their strategic vision and use communication models to improve the safety and quality of the services rendered, deliver an exceptional customer experience, deepen relationships with employees, and achieve operational objectives. Bryan’s expertise also includes organizational assessment, leadership development, personal and team development and coaching, conflict management and resolution, business negotiations, program facilitation, and change management. Within these areas, Bryan has worked with front-line employees, regional, and national executives to cascade the organization’s purpose while improving the quality and safety metrics throughout enterprises in which he served. Bryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Utah State University, Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Health Administration from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a Doctor of Psychology in Leadership Psychology from William James College. 



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