Chasing the Rabbit: How Market Leaders Outdistance the Competition and How Great Companies Can Catch up and Win

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Winner of the Shingo Prize for Research and Professional Publication, 2009

How can 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 “rabbits” lead the race and, more importantly, continually widen their lead. In Chasing the Rabbit, Steven J. Spear describes what sets high-velocity, market-leading ...

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Chasing the Rabbit: How Market Leaders Outdistance the Competition and How Great Companies Can Catch Up and Win, Foreword by Clay Christensen

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Overview

Winner of the Shingo Prize for Research and Professional Publication, 2009

How can 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 “rabbits” lead the race and, more importantly, continually widen their lead. In Chasing the Rabbit, Steven J. Spear describes what sets high-velocity, market-leading organizations apart and explains how you can lead the pack in your industry.

Spear examines the internal operations of dominant organizations, including Toyota, Alcoa, Pratt & Whitney, the US Navy's Nuclear Power Program, and top-tier teaching hospitals--organizations operating in vastly differing industries, but which share one thing in common: the skillful management of complex internal systems that generates constant, almost automatic self-improvement at rates faster, durations longer, and breadths wider than anyone else musters. As a result, each enjoys a level of profitability, quality, efficiency, reliability, and agility unmatched by rivals. Chasing the Rabbit shows how to:



  • Build a system of “dynamic discovery” designed to reveal operational problems and weaknesses

  • Attack and solve problems at the time and in the place where they occur, converting weaknesses into strengths

  • Disseminate knowledge gained from solving local problems throughout the company as a whole

  • Create managers invested in the process of continual innovation

Whatever kind of company you operate--from technology to finance to healthcare--mastery of these fourkey 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's and leave the competition in the dust.

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What People Are Saying

Donald M. Berwick
"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)
Scott D. Cook
"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.)
The Honorable Paul H. O'Neill
"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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071499880
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 9/29/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet 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

Ch. 1 Getting to the Front of the Pack 1

Ch. 2 Complexity: The Good News and the Bad News 33

Ch. 3 How Complex Systems Fail 45

Ch. 4 How Complex Systems Succeed 87

Ch. 5 High Velocity Under the Sea, in the Air, and on the Web 109

Ch. 6 Capability 1: System Design and Operation 155

Ch. 7 Capability 2: Problem Solving and Improvement 193

Ch. 8 Capability 3: Knowledge Sharing 225

Ch. 9 Capability 4: Developing High-Velocity Skills in Others 263

Ch. 10 High-Velocity Crisis Recovery 295

Ch. 11 Creating High-Velocity Health-Care Organizations 323

Ch. 12 Conclusion 357

References 365

Notes 375

Index 393

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Customer Reviews

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