Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied

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How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied

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About the Book

Despite patent filings, market dominance, and financial resources, copycat competition continues to pose an existential threat to all businesses. How can a business shield itself from copycats?

In Leap, IMD professor of management and innovation Howard Yu shows that succeeding in today’s marketplace is no longer just a matter of mastering the old (copycat tactics); companies also need to continue the discovery process, harnessing new strategies and advancements in technology while leveraging shifts in the marketplace (leap strategy). Leap identifies five fundamental principles that allow companies to make a leap and stay successful in the face of such competition.

After reading Leap, you will learn:

  • How P&G made the leap from handcrafted soaps and candles to mass production of its signature brand Ivory, then leaped into the new fields of consumer psychology and advertising, then leaped again, at the risk of cannibalizing its core product, into synthetic detergents and won with Tide.
  • How Novartis and other pharma pioneers keep making money by making leaps in drug breakthroughs from chemistry to microbiology to genomics.
  • How a New York-based NGO Community Solutions made a leap to tackle homelessness by combining human empathy with data analytics.
  • How forward-thinking companies from China’s largest social media app—WeChat, to Tokyo-based Internet service provider Recruit Holdings, to Illinois-headquartered John Deere are leaping ahead by leveraging the emergence of ubiquitous connectivity, the inexorable rise of intelligent machines, and the rising importance of managerial creativity.

Outlasting copycat competition like these companies did is difficult; doing so over decades or a century is nearly impossible—unless you leap. Filled with riveting case studies of successful leaps and tragic falls—Steinway pianos, Southern textile mills, and Detroit-based carmakers are among the failing—Leap is a manifesto for how pioneering companies can endure and prosper in a world of constant change and inevitable copycats.

Advance Praise

“Howard Yu’s excellent new book answers the most fundamental question in business – how do we survive over the long term through thoughtful adaptation? Leap shows you how to go about deliberately thinking about adapting your business and investigates the forces of technology and today’s global market realities that companies must either adapt to thrive or ignore at their peril. Every leader can benefit from the wisdom found in this book.”

“Howard Yu argues that, even in a future age of machine intelligence, the human ability to innovate will be the primary factor enabling companies to thrive. His advice will be invaluable to managers and CEO’s worldwide.”

“In a world driven by global competition and constant change, businesses increasingly struggle to achieve long-term success. This book is a unique source of strategic ideas that will enable complex organizations to reinvent themselves and drive sustainable growth.”

“As technology’s tectonic shifts reshape how companies win, Howard Yu shows the criticality of good management today. In Leap, he’s written a valuable guide to help managers prepare their companies for long and successful lives.”

“At a time where big business is challenged by start-ups, where 100 year old business models have run out of steam, and where you next competitor can come from a totally unrelated industry, Howard Yu offers important guidance on how to reinvent corporations and the need for top leaders to show compassion, pride, solidarity and vulnerability as organizations embark on the process. The marriage of big data and humanity can fundamentally change business. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.”

“A deeply thoughtful journey on why human curiosity and creativity matter more, not less, than ever in the new brave world of ubiquitous connectivity and smart machines. And why and how we as leaders need to learn to leap – and not just incrementally extrapolate what we already know.”

Leap is a truly remarkable book. It addresses the fundamental challenge facing managers who seek to sustain growth. They have to continually re-invent their company. Howard Yu addresses several elements of that challenge in the context of today’s rapidly changing technology and society. Powerful case examples illustrate important concepts drawn from science and sociology as well as business.”

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp

Executive Chairman, LEGO brand group

V. G. Govindarajan

Coxe Distinguished Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth University, and author of New York Times bestseller REVERSE INNOVATION.

Urs Rohner

Chairman, Credit Suisse Group

Keith Ferrazzi

Chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight and author of New York Times bestsellers NEVER EAT ALONE and WHO'S GOT YOUR BACK.

Poul Weihrauch

Global President Petcare, Mars Inc.

Jouko Karvinen

Chairman of Finnair

Joseph L. Bower

Donald Kirk Davis Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School


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