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The High-Velocity Edge
Cover of The High-Velocity Edge
The High-Velocity Edge
How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition
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Generate Better, Faster Results— Using Less Capital and Fewer Resources!

"[The High-Velocity Edge] contains ideas that form the basis for structured continuous learning and improvement in every aspect of our lives. While this book is tailored to business leaders, it should be read by high school seniors, college students, and those already in the workforce. With the broad societal application of these ideas, we can achieve levels of accomplishment not even imagined by most people."
The Honorable Paul H. O'Neill, former CEO and Chairman, Alcoa, and Former Secretary of the Treasury

"Some firms outperform competitors in many ways at once—cost, speed, innovation, service. How? Steve Spear opened my eyes to the secret of systemizing innovation: taking it from the occasional, unpredictable 'stroke of genius' to something you and your people do month-in, month-out to outdistance rivals."
Scott D. Cook, founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit, Inc.

"Steven Spear connects a deep study of systems with practical management insights and does it better than any organizational scholar I know. [This] is a profoundly important book that will challenge and inspire executives in all industries to think more clearly about the technical and social foundations of organizational excellence."
Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

About the Book

How can some companies perform so well that their industry counterparts are competitors in name only? Although they operate in the same industry, serve the same market, and even use the same suppliers, these extraordinary, high-velocity organizations consistently outperform all the competition—and, more importantly, continually widen their leads.

In The High-Velocity Edge, the reissued edition of five-time Shingo Prize winner Steven J. Spear's critically acclaimed book Chasing the Rabbit, Spear describes what sets market-dominating companies apart and provides a detailed framework you can leverage to surge to the lead in your own industry. Spear examines the internal operations of dominant organizations across a wide spectrum of industries, from technology to design and from manufacturing to health care.

While he investigates several great operational triumphs, like top-tier teaching hospitals' fantastic improvements in quality of care, Pratt & Whitney's competitive gains in jet engine design, and the U.S. Navy's breakthroughs in inventing and applying nuclear propulsion, The High-Velocity Edge is not just about the adoration of success. It also takes a critical look at some of the operational missteps that have humbled even the most reputable and respected of companies and organizations. The decades-long prominence of Toyota, for example, is contrasted with the many factors leading to the automaker's sweeping 2010 product recalls. Taken together, these multiple perspectives and in-depth case studies show how to:

  • Build a system of "dynamic discovery" designed to reveal operational problems and weaknesses as they arise
  • Attack and solve problems when and where they occur, converting weaknesses into strengths
  • Disseminate knowledge gained from solving local problems throughout the company as a whole
  • Create managers invested in developing everyone's capacity to continually innovate and improve
  • Whatever kind of company you operate— from technology to fi nance to healthcare— mastery of these four key capabilities will put you on the fast track to operational excellence, where you will generate...

    Generate Better, Faster Results— Using Less Capital and Fewer Resources!

    "[The High-Velocity Edge] contains ideas that form the basis for structured continuous learning and improvement in every aspect of our lives. While this book is tailored to business leaders, it should be read by high school seniors, college students, and those already in the workforce. With the broad societal application of these ideas, we can achieve levels of accomplishment not even imagined by most people."
    The Honorable Paul H. O'Neill, former CEO and Chairman, Alcoa, and Former Secretary of the Treasury

    "Some firms outperform competitors in many ways at once—cost, speed, innovation, service. How? Steve Spear opened my eyes to the secret of systemizing innovation: taking it from the occasional, unpredictable 'stroke of genius' to something you and your people do month-in, month-out to outdistance rivals."
    Scott D. Cook, founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit, Inc.

    "Steven Spear connects a deep study of systems with practical management insights and does it better than any organizational scholar I know. [This] is a profoundly important book that will challenge and inspire executives in all industries to think more clearly about the technical and social foundations of organizational excellence."
    Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

    About the Book

    How can some companies perform so well that their industry counterparts are competitors in name only? Although they operate in the same industry, serve the same market, and even use the same suppliers, these extraordinary, high-velocity organizations consistently outperform all the competition—and, more importantly, continually widen their leads.

    In The High-Velocity Edge, the reissued edition of five-time Shingo Prize winner Steven J. Spear's critically acclaimed book Chasing the Rabbit, Spear describes what sets market-dominating companies apart and provides a detailed framework you can leverage to surge to the lead in your own industry. Spear examines the internal operations of dominant organizations across a wide spectrum of industries, from technology to design and from manufacturing to health care.

    While he investigates several great operational triumphs, like top-tier teaching hospitals' fantastic improvements in quality of care, Pratt & Whitney's competitive gains in jet engine design, and the U.S. Navy's breakthroughs in inventing and applying nuclear propulsion, The High-Velocity Edge is not just about the adoration of success. It also takes a critical look at some of the operational missteps that have humbled even the most reputable and respected of companies and organizations. The decades-long prominence of Toyota, for example, is contrasted with the many factors leading to the automaker's sweeping 2010 product recalls. Taken together, these multiple perspectives and in-depth case studies show how to:

  • Build a system of "dynamic discovery" designed to reveal operational problems and weaknesses as they arise
  • Attack and solve problems when and where they occur, converting weaknesses into strengths
  • Disseminate knowledge gained from solving local problems throughout the company as a whole
  • Create managers invested in developing everyone's capacity to continually innovate and improve
  • Whatever kind of company you operate— from technology to fi nance to healthcare— mastery of these four key capabilities will put you on the fast track to operational excellence, where you will generate...

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    About the Author-
    • Steven J. Spear, five-timewinner of the Shingo Prizeand recipient of the McKinseyAward, is a senior lecturerat MIT and former assistantprofessor at Harvard. Asenior fellow at the Institute for HealthcareImprovement, he is the author of numerousarticles appearing in academic and tradepublications, including the Harvard BusinessReview and The New York Times.

    Table of Contents-
    • Chapter 1. Getting to the Front of the Pack; Chapter 2. Complexity: The Good News and the Bad News; Chapter 3. How Complex Systems Fail; Chapter 4. How Complex Systems Succeed; Chapter 5. High Velocity Under the Sea, In the Air, and On the Web; Chapter 6. Capability 1: System Design and Operation; Chapter 7. Capability 2: Problem Solving and Improvement; Chapter 8. Capability 3: Knowledge Sharing; Chapter 9. Capability 4: Developing High-Velocity Skills in Others; Chapter 10. High-Velocity Crisis Recovery; Chapter 11. Creating High-Velocity Health-Care Organizations; Chapter 12. Conclusion

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      McGraw-Hill Education
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    The High-Velocity Edge
    How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition
    Steven J. Spear
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