Charles O’Reilly and I had both written books on managing people for competitive success. But we had come to the conclusion that managers often learn better from examining detailed case studies—just like they do in classes taught at leading business schools—rather than getting a set of prescriptions. Charles and I had written some cases like that on a set of interesting companies. Hidden Valuerepresents a collection of our most compelling stories.
The book also had one other motivation: there was all of this discussion about hiring the “best” people, fighting the “war for talent,” lavishing training and rewards on the “high potentials.” But it was clear to us that the best, most effective organizations didn’t have superior people. Rather, they had management approaches that caused everyone to perform at an exceptional level, or to use the apt phrase of George Zimmer of the Men’s Wearhouse, implemented a set of management practices that helped people be better than they ever thought they could be. Hidden Value describes how to get extraordinary results not just from stars, but from everyone in your organization.