Robert W. "Doc" Hall

Author Archives

  • Total Corporate Responsibility

    By Frank Dixon A Whole System Approach to Corporate Responsibility and Socially Responsible Investing A large opportunity exists to substantially improve the effectiveness of the corporate responsibility (CR) and socially responsible investing (SRI) movements. Over the past 15 years, these movements have gone mainstream. Nearly every large corporation has some type of sustainability strategy. And […]

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  • Bottom Up Economics

    What would a system based on increasing not quantity, but quality of all life look like? All projections are speculative, but any will differ substantially from the current tech-based, growth-oriented system. But as long as “establishment” business leaders are in the grip of the current system, they are stuck projecting extensions of the current system. […]

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  • Blowback

    As they say, there is no free lunch. However, our illusions easily deceive us that there is. Illusions may stem from the structure of modern systems (don’t worry; we have insurance), or simply from our ignorance of how a system works. If systems work poorly, frustration is “pushback.” If systems completely break down, anger and […]

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  • Complexity and “Truth”

    How do we know is something is “true?” We usually assume that observations supporting an explanation verify truth. Often this is basic. Who needs a formal proof of gravity to realize that a dropped brick may hit a toe? But when cause and effect become murky, proving causation or even establishing a fact is squishier. […]

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  • The Parable of the Doomsday Clock

    A nearly forgotten old risk assessment is the Doomsday Clock from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. As nuclear scientists’ bullhorn, the Bulletin’s editors obviously draw on information dark to most of us. In 1947 the Bulletin began its annual announcement of the Doomsday Clock to publicize the risk of massive annihilation by nuclear weapons. […]

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  • Deep Ecology and Human Behavior

    By Carol Grojean (originally on her blog) Deep ecology, according to Wikipedia, “is a contemporary ecological and environmental philosophy characterized by its advocacy of the inherent worth of living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs…” Deep ecology argues that the natural world is a subtle balance of complex inter-relationships in which the […]

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  • Transformative Process Disciplines

    The post “Getting Real” is an introduction to the shift in beliefs (paradigm) from an economic-man paradigm to one dubbed, for want of a better term, a realist paradigm. The economic man paradigm and a kernel of a realist paradigm were introduced in another post, Getting Real. The nature of the economic man paradigm is […]

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  • Getting Real

    What’s reality? Low-low tech indigenous peoples don’t talk much. It interferes with their acute abilities to directly tune in the reality of nature around them. By contrast, modern humans drenched in media 24/7 must usually determine reality through abstractions like statistics. Our “nature sense” or even “street smarts” never become as well honed. Indigenous people […]

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  • Learning Circles for Vigorous Learning Organizations

    We have been advocating Vigorous Learning Organizations (VLO) for some time. “Vigorous” denotes learning by doing, which is done using systems for learning by experience, developing emotional control, not just skills. Vigorous learning is the essence of a well-honed organizational system for approaching problems, both great and small, by a new worldview. If widely adopted, […]

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  • Why Vigorous Learning Organizations: The time has come.

    Why Vigorous Learning Organizations? The late Yogi Berra put it well, “We’re completely lost, but we’re making great time.” Organizations can no longer ignore serious consequences from single-mindedly pursuing an objective, whether it is to make money or something else. For any kind of work organization to stay on point – to become really good […]

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  • Being Grounded

    Being grounded is a phrase having several connotations; grounded planes or pilots, grounded electrical circuits, and grounded children restricted for disciplinary reasons. But being grounded also refers to a person’s ability to sense reality a connection to what is real and concrete. Among growers, it means experience knowing what to do with plants by seeing […]

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  • Quality of Life While Consuming Less

    We say we want to maintain quality of life while using far fewer natural resources. That has huge ramifications. How can it be done? A sub-question is what quality of life might mean in this new context. Recently a session of the Compression dialog group explored that topic. Quality of life has many interpretations and […]

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  • The Compression Thinking Challenge

    The philosophy practiced in managing human institutions follows in the wake of scientific paradigm shifts. The table below illustrates some key points of these shifts, but it needs explanation of both the scientific shifts, and the changes in managerial philosophy patterning after them. Taylorism;Business-as-Usual Cracks in Taylorism; Lean, Quality, Systems Thinking Compression Thinking Challenge Seek […]

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  • Getting Serious About Compression

    The Compression Institute is embarking on a series of dialogs seeking how to break through the lethargy that prevents us from taking action on “Compression.” We have made many wonderful advances, but they do not begin to address Compression, which refers to human consumption depleting many resources on which we now depend and using them […]

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  • Toward a Quality Learning Market

    This episode is intended to illustrate one of the principles of Compression Thinking, economy of learning over economy of scale. This principle helps us escape the trap of Industrial Age thinking, which we have to do for two reasons. One is that technology may nudge us toward more collaboration. Second, and more important, coming face-to- […]

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  • Sekisui Housing Company Case

    Routinely Builds 80% of a House in Three Days Twenty years ago, a Target article featuring Tokyo Sekisui grabbed attention because Sekisui routinely completed 80 percent of the work on a new house in three days. A second article appeared in Target in 2008. Tokyo Sekisui’s time standard remains at three days, but if modules […]

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  • Quality as a Process Guiding Principle

    Quality over quantity is one of six “principles” of Compression Thinking. In that context, quality is capability for all stakeholders in a process to live well using a minimum of resources over an indefinite future – a definition broader than that in general use. From a strategic view, quality is a strategic attribute of a […]

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  • Compression Thinking Values

    Having prevailed for centuries, the expectation of unending economic expansion is now buttressed by deep belief systems. Evidence that expansion has to end contradicts these beliefs, so any alternatives contradicting both beliefs and prior experience are hard to imagine. However, as previous updates have noted, continued expansion is blocked by multiple limitations of a finite […]

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  • Webinars and Events

    A series of three webinars will begin with the first at 1 pm Eastern Time on January 22. They are under the auspices of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, and AME has a fee: $25 for AME members; $50 for non-members. For descriptions of all three webinars and to sign up, you can go directly […]

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  • Tower of Babel Effects

     In the biblical story in Genesis 11, people speaking the same language wanted to build a great city with a tower reaching the heavens. Displeased by this ambition, God scrambled their language so that they could no longer understand each other, and the project died aborning. Ever since, this story has alluded to the phenomenon […]

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  • Topsoil Dialogs

    Bet you did not know that the United Nations designates December 5 as World Soil Day. The UN is trying to bring attention to an environmental threat that could be existential, but to little avail. Every day is proclaimed to be for something. When mentioned in lists of environmental threats, topsoil loss is usually tucked […]

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  • Event Development

    From the beginning of the Compression Institute, we’ve been aware that its mission is a huge shift in thinking from business-as-usual. This is no small endeavor. We’ve been pretty quiet because becoming consultants helping people do something new seldom penetrates the business mindset of buying skills training. That rarely touches the core problem of easing […]

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  • Framing Success

    Last week I (Doc Hall) went to the 10th Lean Accounting Summit. Having attended most of the first nine, I saw many familiar faces, although the majority of attendees were first-timers. The objectives of lean accounting are to align cost systems with the actual flow of operations and to issue timely cost reports that better […]

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