THE SOFT AND HARD EDGES OF MANAGEMENT
The fourth and final part of management mastery, following upon cumulative development, change and continuity management, is the cultivation of complementarity, that is between the soft and hard aspects of management. In the early 1980s the well-known firm of business consultants McKinsey’s introduced us to the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ edges of management. Having gone to Japan in search of excellence, Pascale and Athos,1 two McKinsey-based Americans, discovered that it was the unique blend of soft and hard qualities that enabled the Japanese managers to be successful. They subsequently concluded, as did Peters and Waterman, who wrote In Search of Excellence,2 that the best American companies follow the same pattern. Their managers combine soft qualities-skills, staff, shared values and stylewith hard ones-structure, systems and strategy.