Cover image for The soft edge : where great companies find lasting success
Title:
The soft edge : where great companies find lasting success
Author:
Karlgaard, Richard, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, [2014]
Physical Description:
xix, 251 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
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.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781118829424
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
HD58.7 .K3764 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...
Searching...
HD58.7 .K3764 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

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 performance. 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 cognitive diversity. 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 touch points? 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.


Author Notes

Rich Karlgaard is the publisher of Forbes magazine and author of its "Innovation Rules" column. He has been a longtime panelist on cable TV's most popular business show, as well as a successful entrepreneur; Karlgaard co-founded Upside magazine, Garage.com, and Silicon Valley's premier business forum, the 7,500-member Churchill Club. He is a past regional winner of Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year" award. Karlgaard, a Stanford graduate, resides in Silicon Valley. For more information, please visit RichKarlgaard.com.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

The simple premise of this book by Karlgaard, a successful entrepreneur and publisher of Forbes magazine, is that businesses that are successful in today's challenging global environment must integrate a "soft edge" into their usual "hard edge" business practices. The author identifies five soft edge variables: Trust, Smarts, Teamwork, Taste, and Story. The book is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the soft edge and explains how it, combined with the hard edge and a "strategic base," can create a "triangle of long-term company success"; chapter 2 discusses how the hard edge and soft edge are often made to oppose each other in competition for resources, rather than balance in an approach that secures enduring organizational health. Chapters 3-7, in turn, explain the five soft edge variables and show how their application can help one gain "an organizational edge." The book concludes by offering additional examples that show how the integration of hard edge and soft edge variables can help organizations achieve long-term success and lessen internal conflict. Included are a foreword by Tom Peters (Re-imagine!, CH, Jun.'04, 41-6010) and an afterword by Clayton Christensen (The Innovator's Prescription, CH, Aug.'09, 46-6915; The Innovator's Solution, CH, May'14, 51-5108). --Thomas Gutteridge, University of Toledo


Table of Contents

Tom PetersClayton M. Christensen
Forewordp. xi
Preface: A Tale of Transformation-and Lasting Productivity Gainsp. xvii
1 A Wellspring of Enduring Innovation: The Soft Edgep. 1
2 Hard Versus Soft: The Fight for Resourcesp. 20
3 Trust: The Force Multiplier of All Things Goodp. 36
4 Smarts: How Fast Can You and Your Company Adapt?p. 66
5 Teams: Great Things Come to the Lean and Diversep. 100
6 Taste: Beauty Made Practical, Magic Made Profitablep. 137
7 Story: The Power of Story, Ancient and Newp. 173
Conclusion: The Sweet Spot of High Performancep. 209
Afterwordp. 219
Notesp. 223
Acknowledgmentsp. 233
About the Authorp. 237
Indexp. 238