The quality of care depends on more than the sheer quantity of staff. Quality healthcare requires a quality workforce. Reforming the workforce will be essential to improve the quality of healthcare. Pioneers of healthcare excellence are already demonstrating how to effectively manage and motivate clinicians to deliver better quality services. Government now needs to ensure that all providers can adopt the lessons of high performing organisations. The best healthcare organisations in the world are the best employers because they understand the importance of human capital. In getting the best out of their doctors and nurses they exhibit shared behaviours or habits. Principally, they adopt modern management practices, such as rigorously selective recruitment processes; staff engagement; devolving clinical and often financial power and accountability to the frontline; encouraging flexible working and team-based care; investing in staff development, measuring performance and outcomes; celebrating and rewarding excellence, and identifying and dealing with mediocrity and failure. This report highlights the good practice in hospitals in Britain and abroad.