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The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success

Rich Karlgaard

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.

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Book Information

Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Publish Date: 04/06/2014
Pages: 251
ISBN-13: 9781118829424
ISBN-10: 1118829425
Language: English

What We're Saying

July 16, 2015

In which we learn what questions the authors still have about business and what books have influenced them. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

April 11, 2014

The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success by Rich Karlgaard, Jossey-Bass, $28. 00, Hardcover, April 2014, ISBN 9781118829424 When you see a book has a foreword written by Tom Peters, and an afterword penned by Clayton Christensen, you pay attention. When the author of that same book is the publisher of Forbes, you get your wallet out. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

July 02, 2015

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 FULL DESCRIPTION

November 13, 2014

The culling process we undertake during the awards process is always rigorous, but we've narrowed it down to 40 books—5 each in 8 categories. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 09, 2014

And the Winners Are...

By Dylan Schleicher

The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards category winners (and shortlist for the best book of the year) 2014. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

April 23, 2015

Connection Culture

By Ryan Schleicher

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 FULL DESCRIPTION

July 15, 2015

We continue our Thinker in Residence with Rich Karlgaard and Mike Malone with some questions about their great new book, Team Genius. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

July 14, 2015

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 FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

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.

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