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Discover how the best companies win not by acquiring the right people - but by building the right organization. The 'war for talent' is one battle every company believes it should be waging. But while competitors are busy chasing after the same 'hot' individuals, smart companies are doing something infinitely more useful and far more difficult to copy - they're building organizations that make it possible for ordinary people at every desk and cubicle in their companies to perform as if they were stars. Blowing up the prevailing wisdom that companies must chase and acquire top talent in order to remain successful, "Hidden Value" argues instead that the source of sustained competitive advantage already exists within every organization. O'Reilly and Pfeffer, leading experts on organizational behavior and human resources, argue that how a firm creates and uses talent is far more important than how the firm attracts talent. The authors provide vivid, detailed case studies of several organizations in widely disparate industries - including Southwest Airlines, Cisco Systems, The Men's Wearhouse, and NUMMI - to illustrate how long-term success comes from value-driven, interrelated systems that align good people management with corporate strategy. In a refreshing break from management tomes that force-feed superficial frameworks and trite 'rules', the authors instead allow the company stories to take center stage. They guide readers in discovering for themselves how seven different firms maximize talent, why one firm hasn't fully released the Hidden Value in its work force, and, most importantly, how the winning companies have made it tough for competitors to imitate them. Collectively, the stories reveal a common path to success that places values before strategy, emphasizes implementation over planning, and focuses on getting the best out of all employees, not just individual stars. The authors also explore concerns or questions managers might have about how each company's experience parallels or conflicts with their own. Providing a rare opportunity for managers to actively participate in an invaluable learning process, "Hidden Value" offers a customizable template for building high-performance, people-centered organizations.
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Developing effective ways to utilize the combined talents of all an organization's people is far more important than going out and recruiting highly talented prospective employees.
In fact, the smart way to win the war for talent isn't to develop advanced hiring techniques. Instead, high performance companies build people-centered organizations—so they can get the best out of all their people all day every day. Thus, the focus of a high performance company is to fully unleash and harness the combined creative abilities, passion, energy and talents of the people they already have.
A people-centered company allows every employee to become a star producer. It generates long-term success through the use of value-driven business systems that are aligned precisely with the needs of the people involved. And the overall process is driven by managers who provide more actual leadership than oversight.
With the ongoing reliance of more and more businesses on intellectual capital assets as their main source of sustainable competitive advantage, being able to harness the collaborative efforts of everyone in the firm and getting the best out of all the people involved are rapidly becoming important business priorities.
Creating and growing a people-centered company is the way of the future.
In other words, is success in business dependent on having the right people or the right organization?
Conventional business wisdom has generally leaned towards attracting the greatest and brightest people as the path to success. Under this approach, if you hire smart people, they will figure out the best way to do everything. Ultimately, they will outperform less talented individuals. Therefore, the better your recruiting, the better the organization will become over time.
In the real world, however, many companies exist that achieve exceptional results using people who are no different from those who work for their competitors. These companies excel not by winning the war to attract top talent but by finding ways to get the most out of everyone in the organization day in and day out. And paradoxically, by finding ways to unleash and harness the energy and talent of the people they do have, these companies also find it much easier to recruit and retain new people.
So if building the right organization rather than attracting the right people is so important, why is there so much interest in trying to win the war for talent? There are several possible explanations:
1. Everyone knows that the average age of the U. S. population is steadily increasing. Therefore, they automatically assume competition for talent will intensify in the years ahead.
2. The achievements of outstanding individuals always tend to attract more coverage in the business press than an organization's accomplishments.
3. The past 20 years have been notable for a succession of management fads. The idea of harnessing exceptional talent is the next installment in the passing parade.
4. The idea of running an organization better to harness the results of everyone seems a little too simplistic. If it's that easy, wouldn't everyone be doing that by now?
“Unfortunately, the key to success isn't simply in knowing something but in implementing it. Therefore, what successful companies do is common sense and conceptually easy to comprehend. However, how they execute what they do is what makes these companies successful and is why so many firms fail when trying to copy them. This is why even managers who know what they should do are seldom able to do it. But when organizations are able to implement, not just discuss these approaches, the results are simply amazing, as the case studies show.”
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