Executive Education Faculty
Spear is a well-recognized expert on how select organizations manage complex development, design, and delivery efforts to create unmatched rates of internally generated, broad based improvement and innovation. Resulting leadership on reliability, agility, cost, quality, safety, and so forth produces sustainable competitive advantage even in the face of intense rivalry... Read More»
Spear is a well-recognized expert on how select organizations manage complex development, design, and delivery efforts to create unmatched rates of internally generated, broad based improvement and innovation. Resulting leadership on reliability, agility, cost, quality, safety, and so forth produces sustainable competitive advantage even in the face of intense rivalry. Spear's book, The High Velocity Edge: How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition (McGraw Hill, 2010), has won several awards including the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research and the Philip Crosby Medal from the American Society for Quality.
His articles, “Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System” and “Learning to Lead at Toyota” have been widely read and have become part of the lean manufacturing canon. Spear's “Fixing Healthcare from the Inside, Today,” won a McKinsey Award as one of the best Harvard Business Review articles in 2005 and his fourth Shingo Prize for Research Excellence. He has published in Annals of Internal Medicine and other medical journals as well and has had op-ed pieces in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Fortune.com, and Industry Week. He has been interviewed on Bloomberg TV and radio and on CBS News and quoted in a number of magazines and newspapers and has spoken to audiences as diverse as the Association for Manufacturing Excellence and the Institute of Medicine.
As a consultant and advisor, Spear works actively with organizations to develop their capacity for high speed sustained improvement and innovation. He played an integral role in developing the Alcoa Business System, which has been credited with saving hundreds of millions of dollars in Alcoa's annual report, and the Perfecting Patient Care system of the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative, which helped raise quality and safety of care in area hospitals and which has been credited with saving many lives and much money. His clients include organizations such as Lockheed Martin, John Deere, Intel, Intuit, Brigham Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He consulted for the MacArthur Foundation, and works with Toyota on supplier development efforts. A senior lecturer, both in MIT's Sloan School of Management and also the Engineering Systems Division, Spear teaches a course about high velocity organizations in the Leaders for Global Operations Program and in several executive education programs. He supports the Institute for Healthcare Improvement efforts as a senior fellow.
Spear’s academic degrees include a doctorate from Harvard Business School, masters degrees – in management and mechanical engineering – from MIT, and a bachelors degree in economics from Princeton. He worked for the investment bank Prudential-Bache, the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment, and the University of Tokyo, and he taught at Harvard Business School for six years. He and his wife, Miriam, an architect, live in Brookline MA with their three children. Close«
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Programs Taught By This Faculty
Technology, Operations, and Value Chain Management
March 25-26, 2014 | November 13-14, 2014
Strategy and Innovation
March 31-April 02, 2014 | July 07-09, 2014
Management and Leadership
May 18-23, 2014