Editorial: The new trinity of competitiveness

Knowledge is no more significant than having a toilet in your office or a plant. This controversial statement is made by the Swedish business thinker Jonas Ridderstrale in this issue's management column. While the author of Funky Business and Karaoke Capitalism is no stranger to heated debate, this statement turns on its head much of the received wisdom of the past 50 years. Ridderstrale suggests that having knowledge simply puts you on a level playing field with your competitors. Your people will also need to have two other qualities in abundance: confidence and connections.

by Morice Mendoza, editor
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

The new holy trinity of competitiveness, he suggests, is competence, courage and community.

Another more personal area where confidence is essential is in the challenging world of negotiation. We have asked whether women are better than men at negotiating in the 21st century workplace. The answer is mixed. It is controversial (and dangerous for a male editor) to suggest that gender plays a role at all and, of course, many women executives insist that it does not. However, Horacio Falcao argues that we have all been shaped by society's attitudes towards the different roles.

As a consequence, women managers may find that they lose out in a more aggressive negotiating situation because they have not been trained to think in the same way. The good news from the female perspective is that the more empathetic and collaborative skills are becoming key to winning in the negotiating stakes. It may well be that men will need to change their style to win in the future.

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