Today’s guest is Steve Spear. Steve is the author of the award-winning and critically acclaimed book, The High-Velocity Edge. He is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He is also a founder of a consulting firm built on the tenets of his book, and of See to Solve Corp., a business process software company.
Expert on the ways that “high-velocity organizations” generate and sustain advantage, even in the most hyper-competitive markets, Spear has worked with clients spanning technology and heavy industry, software and healthcare, and new production design and manufacturing.
Spear’s 1999 Harvard Business Review article, “Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System,” is part of today’s lean manufacturing canon. “Fixing Healthcare from the Inside, Today” was an HBR McKinsey Award winner in 2005 and one of his four articles to win a Shingo Research Prize.
Spear helped develop and deploy the Alcoa Business System, which recorded hundreds of millions of dollars in annual operating savings, and he was integral in developing the “Perfecting Patient Care” system for the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative. He has published in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and Academic Medicine, and he has spoken to audiences ranging from the Association for Manufacturing Excellence to the Institute of Medicine.
Spear has a doctorate from Harvard Business School, a master’s in engineering and in management from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton.
Interesting Excerpts from the High Velocity Edge
Designing Systems to See Problems
Today’s episode is with Steven J. Spear. Steven is the author of the book The High Velocity Edge and is a multiple Shingo Research Prize winner. He helped develop and deploy the Alcoa Business System. He is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He is also a founder of a consulting firm built on the tenets of his book. Steve and I had a great conversation that actually turned into a two-part interview. This week we will talk about Steve’s early experiences with Lean and Continuous Improvement.
Next week, we will talk about two papers that Steven has recently released that talk about accelerating innovation and succeeding in periods of abrupt change.