The people part of business operations.

the ceo magazine, productivity,
Dave Crenshaw, Author, The Power of Having Fun

How would you describe your company culture? It’s such a hard question to answer for many executives because it may not be clearly defined—or worse—it’s the typical corporate office “blah” feeling. The feeling that causes employees to put their heads down and count down each second before they finally get to leave.

the ceo magazine, soft skills,
Andy Lothian, CEO, Insights Learning and Development

According to today’s business experts, the less tangible qualities of ‘soft skills’ do not make them less important. In a recent article Seth Godin argues the term ‘soft’ makes it easy for “us to move onto something seemingly more urgent.” He suggests we call them ‘real skills’, not ‘soft’.

In fact, ‘soft skills’ have been proven to be tied directly to hard business results. In 2013, a study by Korn Ferry confirmed the “direct relationship between leader self-awareness and organizational financial performance” through an intensive multi-year study. Similarly, a 2010 study found that bullying, “results-at-all-costs’ executives actually diminish the bottom-line.

the ceo magazine, innovation,
Randy Salzman, Co-author, Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector

In researching design thinking for a decade, one interesting outcome is the counter-intuitive observation that upper management may offer less hindrance to innovation than mid-level management and peer groups.  The “easy” reason large organizations often lose their edge, after all, is that the C-suite is too centered on command and control to allow innovators to try, and potentially fail.

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