The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success

By Rich Karlgaard

What Does it Take to Get Ahead Now--And StayThere?

High performance has always required shrewd strategy and superbexecution. These factors remain critical, especially giventoday's unprecedented business climate. But RichKarlgaard--Forbes publisher, entrepreneur, investor, and boarddirector--takes a surprising turn and argues that there is nowa third element that's required for competitive advantage. Itfosters innovation, it accelerates strategy and execution, and itcannot be copied or bought. It is found in a perhaps surprisingplace--your company's values.

Karlgaard examined a variety of enduring companies and foundthat they have one thing in common; all have leveraged theirdeepest values alongside strategy and execution, allowing them tofuel growth as well as weather hard times. Karlgaard shares thesestories and identifies the five key variables that make up everyorganization's "soft edge"

  • Trust: Northwestern Mutual has built a $25 milliondollar revenue juggernaut on trust, the foundation of lastingsuccess. Learn how to create an environment that engenders trustand propels high performance.
  • Smarts: In most technical fields your formal educationquickly becomes out of date. How do you keep up? Learn how the MayoClinic, Stanford University women's basketball team, andothers stay on top by relentlessly pursuing an advantage throughsmarts.
  • Teamwork: Since collaboration and innovation are a mustin the global economy, effective teamwork is vital. Learn howglobal giant FedEx stays focused and how nimble Nest Labs relies onlean teams with cognitive diversity.
  • Taste: Clever product design and integration are proxiesfor intelligence because they make customers feel smart. But tastegoes further into deep emotional engagement. Specialized Bicyclescalls it "the elusive spot between data truth and humantruth." How can you consistently make products or servicesthat trigger these emotional touch points?
  • Story: Companies that achieve lasting success have anenduring and emotionally appealing story. What's yourcompany's story? How do you tell it your way? Gain theability to create a powerful narrative in a world where outsidersoften exercise the louder voice.


INTERVIEWS: Rich Karlgaard & Michael S. Malone on Business and Books

Posted July 16, 2015, 10:00 AM with category of Innovation & Creativity
In which we learn what questions the authors still have about business and what books have influenced them. Read more

INTERVIEWS: A Q&A with Rich Karlgaard & Michael S. Malone

Posted July 15, 2015, 10:00 AM with category of Innovation & Creativity
We continue our Thinker in Residence with Rich Karlgaard and Mike Malone with some questions about their great new book, Team Genius. Read more

INTERVIEWS: Rich Karlgaard & Michael S. Malone

Posted July 14, 2015, 11:30 AM with category of Innovation & Creativity
In Team Genius, Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone have teamed up to tell why "More than ever, business success now comes down to teams." Read more

JACK COVERT SELECTS: Team Genius: The New Science of High-Performing Organizations

Posted July 2, 2015, 12:00 PM with category of Leadership & Strategy
Two of our favorite writers, Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone, have teamed up to tell us (and teach us) about the genius of teams. Read more

JACK COVERT SELECTS: Connection Culture

Posted April 23, 2015, 11:27 AM with category of Leadership & Strategy
In Connection Culture, Michael Lee Stallard writes about why meeting human needs is not only the right thing to do, but also leads to better business results. Read more



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About the Hardcover

Publisher Jossey-Bass
Publish date 04/07/2014
Pages 251
ISBN-13 9781118829424
ISBN-10 1118829425
Language English