Quarterly – April 2019 Edition

Evolving Strategies Quarterly: Are You Strategic or Soft…or Both?


Did you know that the United States Army coined the term soft skills in 1972? 
Hard skills are seen as producing quantifiable output and as easier to both teach and acquire. Soft skills, on the other hand, are harder to measure, often a challenge to teach and can be vague and undefined.
Fast forward from 1972 to 2017, when I’m listening to a highly respected US military leader speak at the Brain Performance Institute. He shared that he and his fellow leaders are now laser focusing on building soft skills on their teams to establish cognitive dominance. I can’t help but notice the juxtaposition of these two terms. 

Even as we move from an era of machines to machine learning and artificial intelligence, it turns out the most sought-after skills are the skills that make us most human – active listening, dealing with ambiguity, communicating, complex problem-solving, collaborating, driving results, innovating, leading change, managing people.

What if we replaced the term soft skills to be more reflective of what they really are, strategic skills? As this CEO proposes in her intriguing recent article, such a term provides a new framework for recognizing the importance of teaching and coaching talent in the art of self-awareness and interpersonal interaction along with the technical tools of implementation.

Leaders who are strong in both strategic (soft) skills and technical (hard) skills will thrive. Where do you need to focus your learning over the next quarter?

This quarterly provides you with ways to build your strategic skills. Learning tactics to help you lead, change, motivate, inspire, empathize, communicate. 

Click here to read more.
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Managing Partner at Evolving Strategies LLC
Sandra is the Managing Partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, adapt and perform. Sandra holds a Master of Science degree in Adult Learning and Strategic Organizational Change from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Previous employers include the Corporate Executive Board, Lante Corporation, Kensington International, and Accenture where Sandra was awarded mentor of the year.

Connect With Sandra:
@LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sandyschwan
@LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/evolving-strategies-llc
@Twitter: twitter.com/smschwan
@Facebook: www.facebook.com/evolvingstrategies

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