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The High-Velocity Edge: How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition
Formerly: Chasing the Rabbit: How Market Leaders Outdistance the Competition and How Great Companies Can Catch Up and Win

Steven J. Spear

9780071499880
Retail Price: $29.95
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Format: Hardcover, 432pp.
ISBN: 9780071741415
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Pub. Date: April 12, 2010

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

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 faster, better results—using less capital and fewer resources.

Apply the lessons of Steven J. Spear and gain a high-velocity edge over every competitor in your industry.



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Reviews

"Chasing the Rabbit 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; 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 & 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. Chasing the Rabbit 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, MD, MPP, President and CEO Institute for Healthcare Improvement


 
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About the Author

Steven J. Spear, four-time winner of the Shingo Prize and recipient of the McKinsey Award, is a senior lecturer at MIT and former assistant professor at Harvard. A senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, he is the author of numerous articles appearing in academic and trade publications, including the Harvard Business Review and The New York Times.



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Table of Contents

 
1Getting to the Front of the Pack1
2Complexity: The Good News and the Bad News33
3How Complex Systems Fail45
4How Complex Systems Succeed87
5High Velocity Under the Sea, in the Air, and on the Web109
6Capability 1: System Design and Operation155
7Capability 2: Problem Solving and Improvement193
8Capability 3: Knowledge Sharing225
9Capability 4: Developing High-Velocity Skills in Others263
10High-Velocity Crisis Recovery295
11Creating High-Velocity Health-Care Organizations323
12Conclusion357
 
References365
Notes375
Index393



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