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Hidden Champions: Lessons from 500 of the World's Best Unknown Companies

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Hermann Simon

German business consultant Simon suggests that there is much to learn from studying the practices of lesser-known companies that have quietly succeeded in unique or specialized market niches. Because Simon is based in Bonn, most--but not all--of his … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Hermann Simon
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
1 review about Hidden Champions: Lessons from 500 of the...

They Know Who and Where They Are

  • Jan 12, 2000
Rating:
+5
What can be learned from 500 German companies, most of which you have probably never heard of? Actually, a great deal. The book is Hidden Champions and ts author is Hermann Simon. He explains that his book "reveals the secrets of success of the best of the best unknown companies." They are unknown, for the most part, because that's the way they want it. They "relish their obscurity. They shy away from publicity, some through explicit policies of not dealing with the press --or, by the way, with academic researchers!" such as the author. Simon selected them according to three criteria: They must be #1 or #2 in a world market or in their European market; they must be small-to-midsize; and they must have low public visibility.

In Chapter 11, the final chapter, Simon carefully reviews various "lessons" which can be learned from "hidden champions." He categorizes them as follows: Lessons for Large Corporations, Lessons for Champion Corporations, Lessons for Diversified Corporations, Lessons for Small Companies, Lessons for Investors, and General Qualitative Lessons. He concludes: "The hidden champions go their own ways. Their procedures are quite different from those of other companies and of modern management teaching. Essentially, their only secret success formula is common sense. So simple, but so difficult to achieve! This is the ultimate lesson."

Simon is to be commended for drawing attention to "champions" who know who and where they are...even if we didn't until now. His book is well-written, the content is substantial, and the lessons to be learned from these "champions" have immense potential value. However, as Coach Darrell Royal once observed, "potential" means "you ain't done it yet."ΓΏ

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