Compression thinking by that name began with Doc Hall’s book Compression (2009). None of its ideas are original. Rather, it integrates a number of ideas seen over a 30 year period and organizes them into a framework for working organizations to cope with our 21st century problems. A prior book, The Soul of the Enterprise (1992) touched on some of the same topics, but by 2005 he had reluctantly concluded that the world in the 21st century has no “easy out.” We have to become far more frugal and far more inventive. The vigorous learning enterprise proposed combines the best ideas seen in working organizations in recent years. The economic thinking turns conventional economics upside down.
In an effort to operationalize Compression Thinking, Doc and a few others formed The Compression Institute. This fledgling organization is in the process of being incorporated. It’s puny compared with the global challenges presented, and it’s busy with the simple tasks necessary to get any movement started, but one must start somewhere.
Its mission is to create learning action groups to make Compression Thinking a common practice.
Of course, this is a leap into the unknown. Few people, if any, have done anything like it, but if you know of an exemplar case, we’d love to hear about it.