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, master's degrees—in management and mechanical engineering—from MIT, and a bachelor's 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.
Steven Spears discusses common traits of high-velocity companies.
A general premise of MIT Sloan's Creating High Velocity Organizations is that if you have simple rules to guide your action--in even the most complex situations--you have huge advantages over...
Certain organizations "punch above their weight," generating far more value (that accrues to everybody, not just customers or just shareholders, etc.), faster, and more easily.
How does Miriam convert negative to positive, getting clients to act optimistically? Before any commitment of serious time and money, she creates sketches and mockups so the final product can be...
If change is going to occur, it has to start with leadership first creating safe, bounded arenas in which they can practice self-reflection, self-correction before mentoring similar skills in others.
The MBTA was walloped by January’s and February’s snow, and capital, technological, and urban planning ideas are being floated to prevent future disruptions.
This is not just about football. The high-speed learning techniques that helped the Pats are being used elsewhere by companies, government agencies and hospitals to not only succeed but improve and...
Steven Spear, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan and an expert on how exceptional organizations can create competitive advantage through the strength of their internal operations, has an answer—high...
We asked five MIT thought leaders for their take on forthcoming business trends. Here's what they have to say.
In an interview with Noel Capon, Steven Spear shares his thoughts on competition and innovation in marketing.
High Velocity Organizations: How the World's Best Organizations Learn Their Way to Greatness
Understand how high velocity improvement works in practice-and how to achieve it.
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