Hard vs. Soft

About hard vs. soft factors in one video and one minute.

In the business world a distinction is made between hard factors and soft factors. Hard factors can be observed, labeled, defined and quantified. Soft factors are difficult to observe, label, define and quantify.

In the business world people focus on the hard factors. We believe that the soft factors are more important.

A factor is something which helps to produce or influence a result. A factor causes something to happen. In the business world people produce and influence results. People cause things to happen.

The so-called hard factors are in reality soft. A change in the tax code leads immediately to change in business behavior. But how easy is it to change how a German understands quality? How Americans work in teams?

We are formed by our culture. It is who we are, where we come from, how we think and how we act. What is deeply-rooted is not easy to change.

National culture is the hardest of hard factors. Hard in the deeper, truer sense of the word: complex, not quantifiable, difficult to change. Hard.