"The Soft Edge"
Supplier: John Wiley & Sons
What Does it Take to Get Ahead Now—And Stay There?
High performance has always required shrewd strategy and superb
execution. These factors remain critical, especially given today’s
unprecedented business climate. But Rich Karlgaard—Forbes publisher,
entrepreneur, investor, and board director—takes a surprising turn and
argues that there is now a third element that’s required for competitive
advantage. It fosters innovation, it accelerates strategy and
execution, and it cannot be copied or bought. It is found in a perhaps
surprising place—your company’s values.
Karlgaard examined a variety of enduring companies and found that
they have one thing in common; all have leveraged their deepest values
alongside strategy and execution, allowing them to fuel growth as well
as weather hard times.
Karlgaard shares these stories and identifies the five key variables that make up every organization’s “soft edge”:
- Trust: Northwestern Mutual has built a $25 million dollar
revenue juggernaut on trust, the foundation of lasting success. Learn
how to create an environment that engenders trust and propels high
- Smarts: In most technical fields your formal education
quickly becomes out of date. How do you keep up? Learn how the Mayo
Clinic, Stanford University women’s basketball team, and others stay on
top by relentlessly pursuing an advantage through smarts.
- Teamwork: Since collaboration and innovation are a must in
the global economy, effective teamwork is vital. Learn how global giant
FedEx stays focused and how nimble Nest Labs relies on lean teams with
- Taste: Clever product design and integration are proxies for
intelligence because they make customers feel smart. But taste goes
further into deep emotional engagement. Specialized Bicycles calls it
“the elusive spot between data truth and human truth.” How can you
consistently make products or services that trigger these emotional
- Story: Companies that achieve lasting success have an
enduring and emotionally appealing story. What’s your company’s story?
How do you tell it your way? Gain the ability to create a powerful narrative in a world where outsiders often exercise the louder voice.
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