Summary of The Soft Edge

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Soft Edge book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans

Rating

8

Qualities

  • Applicable

Recommendation

According to Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard, the secret to success lies in the “soft edge” – your organization’s intangible values, such as creativity and connection. The soft edge, as practiced at such companies as Apple, FedEx and Northwestern Mutual, boosts innovation, raises profit margins, builds your brand, and increases employee commitment and customer loyalty. Unlike hard-edged tactics such as cost cutting, competitors can’t copy your value-based advantages. In this highly readable, story-rich account, Karlgaard shows you how to boost your competence in the “five pillars of the soft edge: trust, teams, smarts, taste and story.” He also profiles companies that effectively use the soft edge strategy. getAbstract recommends Karlgaard’s practical approach to entrepreneurs, managers, directors, investors looking to sustain growth and students of strategy.

About the Author

Forbes magazine publisher and columnist Rich Karlgaard co-founded Upside magazine, Garage Technology Partners and the Churchill Club business forum. He wrote Life 2.0.

 

Summary

The Values Advantage

Too many companies overlook the “soft edge” of their business. Their leaders may be clever at strategy or efficient at execution, but they neglect values such as trust, creativity and team spirit. In today’s market, these soft values are critical.

Many managers prefer to emphasize “hard-edge” tactics, focusing on such areas as “speed, cost, supply chain, logistics and capital efficiency.” Such tactics please shareholders because they produce a quick return on investment. Managers also prefer hard-edged steps because the results prove easier to measure. But hard-edged benefits can be short-lived. Competitors easily level the playing field by adopting similar tactics. The advantages of the soft edge – a strong brand, loyal customers, and committed employees – are harder for competitors to replicate. And these advantages pay dividends for years to come. Hone your organization’s skills in five areas to exploit the soft-edge advantage:

“Trust”

Building trust is a smart strategic move that benefits your company internally and externally. Trust aids recruitment, facilitates teamwork and engagement, and is pivotal to innovation. Since...


More on this topic

By the same author

Late Bloomers
9
Team Genius
8

Customers who read this summary also read

Narrative and Numbers
8
Extreme Teams
9
Building a StoryBrand
9
Powered by Storytelling
8
Stories that Stick
8
Audio Branding
8

Related Channels

Comment on this summary