The Magic Triangle of Company and Career Health

Rich Karlgaard

May 14, 2014

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"While giving speeches about the post-recession recovery, I began to wonder why some companies had blasted out of the recession in fine shape while others had not yet escaped, as if sick or dysfunctional. When a human being is sick or dysfunctional—or just not thriving—the root cause is always found in one of three areas. Picture a triangle. One side is physical health. Another side is emotional. A third side is social. If you are thriving on just two sides but not on a third, your entire health is at risk. Ask an otherwise physically and mentally healthy person who is struggling with social health, going through a traumatic divorce, say. What does robust health look like in a company or career? Can we find a similar triangle that can help us locate the root cause when our companies and careers are underperforming? I believe so. But warning: I will spend most of the time discussing the least appreciated side of the triangle—the soft edge."

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