All leaders know people are critical to the success of organizations. Executives just don't act that way sometimes. Why? Because they lack the facts. Too often they don't know which workforce practices create the greatest value or which attributes of a workforce are critical to business strategy. Absent these facts executives look outside for cues on what to do through benchmarking and searching for so-called best practices. The result is a perverse reality in which other companies, often competitors, are in effect telling them how to run their company. Such copycat tactics can't be right, and the evidence shows they aren't. All of this is changing.Now companies can measure the links between their specific workforce practices and business results - learning what's creating value and what's not. Consequently, important decisions about where to cut costs, where to re-allocate spending, and where to invest more for greater returns can be based on facts specific to their enterprise. It's an extraordinary opportunity. Indeed it's the last great unexploited source of competitive advantage for companies today."Play to Your Strengths" describes this new science of human capital management. Using it gives companies the advantage of acting based on the measured impact of their firm-specific practices on their business outcomes. Learn how to break the typically squishy thinking around workforce decisions. Learn why your 'internal labor market' is the key to understanding your workforce dynamics. Learn how to actually predict what effect a new practices will have on business results. Learn how to beat the competition with advantages others can't copy. Learn how to build true accountability for optimizing the return on your human capital investments. Whether your strategic imperative is being the low cost producer, delivering world-class customer service, producing matchless quality, or generating head-turning returns for shareholders, this book will show you how to make the necessary decisions to meet your goals. Haig R. Nalbantian, Richard A. Guzzo, Dave Kieffer, and Jay Doherty are principals of Mercer Human Resource Consulting, cofounders of the Strategy and Metrics group, and are the originators of the groundbreaking theory, tools, and processes described in this book. Their work has garnered major media attention in the "Wall Street Journal", "Business Week", and the "Financial Times", as well as on CNN and CNBC.Advance praise for the innovative new approach to management "Play to Your Strengths". 'This book is a key read for all managers who want to invest astutely in their people to enable great performance for their company' - Adrian J. Slywotzky, best selling author of "The Profit Zone" and "How to Grow When Markets Don't". 'I encourage every executive who takes seriously the idea that people drive revenue, profit, growth, and customer satisfaction to consider the tactics discussed in this book' - David A. Daberko, Chairman and CEO, National City Corporation. The authors have outlined a practicable, real-world framework for companies to analyze and implement change. Any organization that sees its people as an asset can benefit from this approach' - Daniel H. Mudd, Vice Chairman & COO Fannie Mae and former President and CEO of GE Capital, Japan.'This is the new thinking in business. And it works. More than once I have applied the principles and tools presented here. The book provides innovative ways of getting the facts about how a company really is managing its people and how that affects it business results. With these insights you can do a lot, from setting long-range strategies to solving specific, pressing business problems' - Kurt Fischer, Vice President Human Resources and Diversity Officer, Corning Incorporated.