Vigorous Learning Organizations

Session Abstract:

We are in an era of fast transition. 21st century business must deal with many issues shrouded in uncertainty called “Compression:” financial system instability, probable shortages of raw materials, necessity of factoring nature’s changes into business models, and rapid technological change. How can we cope with all this?

We can’t accurately forecast change, but we can prepare to be much more flexible and resilient to change – riding with it, not against it. A proposal is the Vigorous Learning Organization, derived from the practices observed in the very best companies over a 30-year period. All were cited for lean, but they were much more. They emphasized quality over quantity, long-term thinking, and genuinely helping customers improve their lives.

Bio: Doc Hall

Dr. Hall is Professor Emeritus, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. After work in engineering and manufacturing, he joined the faculty of Indiana University. In the 1970s by accident he came across what was then called “Japanese manufacturing,” and began sounding the alarm. In 1982, he wrote Zero Inventories, the first of many “lean” books and articles. In 1985 he became a founding member of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, and for 22 years edited its publication, Target. More recently he authored an “unending book,” Compression, contending that beyond lean, we need a new pathway forward. He is now chairman of the Compression Institute.