The soft advantage

300g flour, 5 eggs, some salt, 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 onions, 500g Minced meat,
3 tablespoons of chopped parsley, broth.

Good food is a pleasure for everyone. When you think about a set meal all our mouths water immediately. Typically only the readers know, what Lucullian pleasures they have in mind at this moment. Certainly these are not the measured ingredients of the above receipt of swabian raviolis. However, in business managers seem to trust rather on numbers, data and facts than on their gut feeling. If something does not function despite a flood at data, it is due to bad data quality. If the soft advantages are not considered, this is an indicator for materialistic blinkers.

Scheuklappen

The meaning of a plan, the quality of a product, the evaluations of procedures always lie in the eye of the beholder. If the resolutions are based on apparently objective information, this is the first sign for a cognitive distortion – the illusion of the facts. This is the assumption that the world is, as one perceives it. It happens to those, who are not aware that contents do not have clarity and that eventually the receivers decide upon the content of the messages. Through timely formulations that are aligned to the audience and by considering the soft advantages, you can design publications clearer. The soft advantage evolves, if one uses the unavoidable ambiguities. Generally softness is in the west connected with weakness and missing resilience. But in other parts of the world exists the contrary understanding of how to use it for the own advantage. Well-known examples are the Asian martial arts, in which the strength and the momentum of the adversary are reinforced against him.

Let’s envision the characteristics of softness. As soon as something is only vaguely recognizable, especially decision makers are unsettled. They develop the feeling that they do not have enough facts. Yet the vagueness has the strength to release associations in the mind of the observer. The result is then the sum of all thoughts, which are becoming more complete than you ever could describe the situation. This makes it easier for people to commit themselves to ideas, by stretching or adapting them in their mind. Over time the opinions and attitudes about the conditions change through continuous learning. The results are formed that way by the involved ones and developed to a common optimum. It generates the relevant advantage ahead of the competitors. Since all stakeholders participate, they get the right mix and exploit the smartest leverage point. Eventually everybody will have the necessary transparency through a comprehensive overview.

The soft advantage is the ability to rearrange decisively everywhere, at any time, and in a structured way. This works through the fact that you do not set your ideas in stone. The flexibility of the employees to provide their contributions from different points of view makes the difference. For this purpose it only needs a productive procedure – COCOMA. This enables the decision makers to consistently COncretize and sufficiently COmmunicate the tasks as well as to MAster the realization. As long as the blinkers limit the look of the managers at the soft advantages, the activities run into danger to fail. Usually these responsible people blame the system and the employees, if they miss the target.

If you bow out of the pocket calculator mentality and give room to the employees, in order to organize them, you exploit the soft advantage. On the one hand there are never sufficient facts available for a risk-free planning. On the other hand nobody can predict reliably the future. Future has to be created – by engaged employees equipped with sufficient authority.

Bottom line: The soft advantage is the shift away from the idea that business is a machine with adjustable, perfectly linked and well oiled gear wheels. For this purpose the decision makers only have to allow themselves the application of the soft advantage. There required skills are available. As soon as thinking and deciding is done together in an active way, the routine and the change improve. The soft advantage builds upon the natural behavior and interaction of the business elements.

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