Key points

  • Steven Spear looks at how organisations and individuals can use learning to improve performance.
  • This paper follows the author's 2013 thought paper, Reinventing health care delivery.

In this thought paper, Steven Spear explores the gaps between the ‘theoretical limit’ (ie what could be achieved) and what organisations actually achieve in terms of taking the innate potential of the people they employ and the technology they use. He argues that much time is used unproductively and examines how this can be addressed.

The paper draws on examples from a range of industries, from aluminium production to car manufacturing, to look at what separates the best performers from the rest. It argues that, if speed and excellence is the standard, with slowness and imperfection unacceptable, then learning is the only way to close the gap.

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