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Webinar: 21st Century Lean Business Transformation: Compression Thinking

February 11, 2015 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

1 pm Eastern Time (2nd in a series of 3 webinars)

Presented by:


Robert W. “Doc” Hall

Chairman of the Compression Institute, author of Compression and 37-year veteran of lean. Author of Zero Inventories (1983). Co-founder of both the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and The Compression Institute. Editor of Target, the publication of AME (22 years).


John W. “Jack” Ward

Extensive top executive experience with the Melville Corp. and as a turnaround executive for several other companies. Formerly the Executive Director of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence. Co-founder and Vice President of The Compression Institute.

How can a company not only be more competitive today, but transform to be resilient in the resource-constrained world of the 21st century? In one sense “Compression” describes that squeeze, but were we not overusing resources, consuming to the max is not compatible with lean thinking anyway. The other sense of Compression is evaluating many more factors much faster in making decisions, great and small  – systems thinking daily to create a learning capability faster than the rate of change. Compression Thinking principles are a guide toward this, toward living better using less, and toward business models that benefit all stakeholders, including the environment. The principles are not answers. Rather they are a guide to prompt better, deeper questions and a different way of thinking. No simple formula confers this state upon us. One must mull the principles over, restate them, adapt them, expand upon them, and make them your own. Compression Thinking is a pathway to the opportunities of 21st century business models, not just cost saving. What kind of business models let us live better using less, much less? Why not become a pioneer in a business revolution that surely must come? The six principles are based on an axiom: The World and All in It Are Finite:

  • Many interrelated reasons limit physical growth.
  • Think deeply, broadly, and long term. Relate your system to other systems and to larger ones, all the way out to Mother Earth, now and in the future.
  • Quality over quantity, always. (Value process over results. Observe the precautionary principle.)
  • Organize for economy of learning and communication.
  • Physical measures indicate what we really do. Monetary valuations don’t.
  • Open the mind to learn all the facts; then apply the scientific method.

One of these principles, “Quality Over Quantity, Always,” expands the definition of quality to benefit all stakeholders, including the environment. Ability to do that calls for new organizational capacities, great learning capabilities, and great adaptability. Most companies will need a new concept of what they are and what they do. New business models need to be based on service and learning instead of maximizing unit sales, well beyond “sell it and forget it.” Responsibility for future outcomes has no end. Our situation need not spawn misery and starvation, but a business revolution based on different criteria of success. Can we improve the economic resilience of the people and communities we serve? Extend process improvement well beyond internal operations? To do this senior managers must lead process and cultural changes so that their organizations participate with customers and communities to help them improve basic processes: water, energy, food, health, education, safety, and security. We will cite some examples: Sekisui Housing, PortionPac Chemical, Ventana We will briefly introduce tools like an expanded version of Quality Function Deployment. And we will end by extending the Lean Maturity Matrix into a Matrix for Vigorous Learning using Compression Thinking, that you can use for self assessment. This webinar is being held through the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME). The fee is $25 for members, and $50 for non-members. To register go to the AME Registration Page.

Agenda, Beginning at 1 pm Eastern Time:


Why do we need new business models?

New and expanding business challenges.

Overview Principles of Compression Thinking

Quality Over Quantity, or Valuing Long Term Process over Short Term Results

Early Examples

QFD like tool to help tie together more comprehensive strategic thinking.

Self-rating by the more extended maturity index for Compression Thinking using Vigorous Learning.



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February 11, 2015
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME)
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