Why is a Hidden Value Inquiry so effective?

Gets to the root causes



Independence – Confidentiality – Listening – Speed – Analysis – Impact



If you are a manager, staff tell you what they want you to know, and not what they need to, or should say – there is an enormous difference between the two.  As you have control over their working lives, it is not an independent relationship.  Speaking openly with leadership about what really matters gives cause for anxiety, fear and futility of intended action after finding the courage to speak up .

The way to secure an independent view of what is going on is analogous to what happens in the television programme Undercover Boss.

In the show, a CEO or owner of the business works in disguise in different jobs and is able to talk freely with employees she /  he encounters.  The key difference, however, to a Hidden Value Inquiry (HVI), is that we use experienced, independent Inquirers, and employees do not perform to a camera.

An HVI is an independent approach which encourages genuine responses from staff.  From all recorded thoughts and ideas we discover and diagnose new and profound insights and frame better opportunities for delivering business transformation agendas.


Core to an HVI is rigorous respect for privacy and confidentiality.  Staff are open to saying what concerns them about their employers and their jobs when only the collective ‘what’ is revealed to sponsors, not ‘who said what.’

Hidden Value Partners client contracts assure this at all times.


Listening to representative staff across an entire workplace, from shop floor to Boardroom, is at the heart of our approach – sincere, non-judgemental listening.


Inquiries are typically completed in three to six weeks – very fast.

This gives the process a substantial energy and momentum.  It provides quick assurance to all concerned that a new way forward is possible.


In parallel with an HVI, we conduct detailed analysis wherever practicable of the markets, technological and other changes and challenges clients face. This adds to discovered undisclosed insights and forms an evidentiary basis for transformational change.

The analysis draws on sources such as:

  • Available corporate knowledge (Board Minutes, plans, reports, performance, etc.)
  • Industry, competitor, and corporate analysis
  • Transformation experience and insights of our Inquirers.


When realised, a Hidden Value Inquiry results in, for example:

  • Enhanced energy and enthusiasm for change
  • Improved morale and focus
  • New initiatives and customer markets
  • Increased profits, cash flows and improved utilisation of assets
  • Improved governance and culture change.


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