| Success in business has traditionally meant having a strategy and excelling at the hard skills: controlling costs, boosting speed, effectively managing the supply chain, and superior number-crunching and analytics. For years, mastering these hard factors was enoughbut in todays climate, its not so simple. The very appeal of the hard stuff, the fact that it can be measured and quantified, also means it can be analyzed and copied by the competition. So what does it really take to get ahead, and stay there? THE SOFT EDGE argues that certain key soft" factors are the only remaining edge to any businesss ability to succeed in the modern economy for the long run. They move beyond strategy and the hard, to the next level - seeing companies through the disruption of a rapidly changing environment. Five key advantages make up THE SOFT EDGE: Trust: Customers must trust that your product or service is authentic and robust enough to withstand the immediacy of todays media. When things go wrong, customers and stakeholders believe youll do the right thing. Smarts: In the age of Google, true smartness means the ability to see and recognize patternsand constitutes the difference between forecasting a likely future or simply following the conventional wisdom Teamwork: Team-oriented selling and sales commissions outperform individually focused sales teams by 30 percent. Taste: Clever product design and integration are proxies for intelligencethey make customers feel smart. If your product or service is seen as a badge of intelligence, youre far along the road to lasting success. Story: In a world where outsiders can weigh in and have a greater voice on your brand, the ability to create an effective narrative is more important than ever. The post-recession economy can reward you if you do the right things, but will punish you, swiftly and severely, if you dont. THE SOFT EDGE provides the essential tools for any organization to stay competitive, now and in the future.