What do Tetra aquarium supplies, Elector-Nite sensors, and Nissha touch panels have in common? They are typical "hidden champions," mid-sized, unknown companies that have quietly, under the radar, become world market leaders in their respective industries. Hermann Simon has been studying these hidden champions for over 20 years, and in his new book Hidden Champions of the Twenty-First Century, he explores the dramatic impact these companies have on globalization and their outstanding international success.
Going deep inside more than a thousand hidden champions around the world, Simon reveals the common patterns, behaviors, and approaches that make these companies successful, and, in many cases, able to sustain world market leadership for generations, despite intense competition, financial pressures, and constantly evolving market dynamics. Simon identifies the factors in business operations, customer service and marketing, innovation, human resources management, organizational design, leadership, and strategy that separate these outstanding performers from the rest of the pack – and from the large corporations of the day.
In the process, he provides a glimpse behind the curtains of many secretive companies who buck today's management fads. They succeed instead through such common-sense strategies as focusing on core capabilities, delivering real value to the customer, establishing long-term relationships, innovating continuously, rewarding employees for performance, decentralizing operations, and building an unparalleled global presence.
The hidden champions teach us that good management means doing many small things better than the competition—quietly, with determination, commitment, and never-ending stamina. And in turbulent economic times, the hidden champions represent an antidote to the short-sighted and excessive practices that have brought many corporate giants crashing down. They offer role models of leadership beyond the current crisis.
Hermann Simon is Chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners, Strategy & Marketing Consultants. He is an expert in strategy, marketing and pricing. Prior to taking on consulting full-time, he was a professor of business administration and marketing at the Universities of Mainz and Bielefeld in Germany, and has served as a visiting professor at many universities, including Harvard Business School, London Business School, Stanford and MIT. Named as one of Europe's most influential management thinkers, he has served on the boards of numerous journals and has published over 30 books.
Hidden Champions of the Twenty-First Century
The Success Strategies of Unknown World Market Leaders
2009. Approx. 450 p. 91 illus., Hardcover €34.95, $34.95, £29.99, ISBN 978-0-387-98146-8
Publication date: 7 July 2009
The author is available for interview. Advance copies are available for journalists.