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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2019 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal

2019 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal

#1 New Release on Amazon for “Industrial Management and Leadership

#1 New Release on Amazon for “Industrial Management and Leadership

International versions

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

“Yu’s research exemplifies how management theory is rigorously built and improved. He carefully documents how companies in the past have spotted and seized opportunities for growth. I find the case studies compelling and the principles intriguing for all business leaders.”

Leap shows you how to go about deliberately thinking about adapting your business, and investigates the technological forces at work. Every leader can benefit from the wisdom found in this book.”

“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.”

“A truly remarkable book that addresses the fundamental challenge facing managers who seek to sustain growth. Powerful case examples illustrate important concepts drawn from science and sociology as well as business.”

“Howard presents his ideas with clarity and enthusiasm. They are original and thought-provoking. Readers looking for a single volume that explains why and how innovation occurs the way it does will find Leap indispensable. This is a rare business book that is fun to read, will make you think differently, and teach you new skills.”

“At a time when big business is challenged by start-ups, when 100-year-old business models have run out of steam, and when your 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.”

“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 CEOs worldwide.”

“This book provides great frameworks to help you rethink the role innovation plays in your business. A terrific and inspiring read, very accessible, and deceptively easy to absorb. It challenges readers to think differently and act differently to generate new growth from products and services.”

“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.”

“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.”

“The speed at which today’s economy is changing has drastically raised the importance of game-changing transformation. It’s not enough to create new products or services—organizations must be ready to leap to the next knowledge frontiers and to fully exploit their potentials. Leap is an important guide for corporate leaders seeking to understand how companies manage constant change while identifying new opportunities to stay ahead.”

Clayton Christensen

Kim B. Clark Professor of Business
Administration, Harvard Business School

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp

Executive Chairman, LEGO brand group

Urs Rohner

Chairman, Credit Suisse Group

Joseph L. Bower

Donald Kirk Davis Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School

Magnus Ahlqvist

President and CEO, Securitas

Poul Weihrauch

Global president, Petcare, Mars Inc.

V. G. Govindarajan

Coxe Distinguished Professor of Management,
Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth University, and author of the New York Times bestseller Reverse Innovation

Cheng Hsing Yao

Managing director, GuocoLand Singapore

Jouko Karvinen

Chairman, Finnair

Keith Ferrazzi

Chairman, Ferrazzi Greenlight, and author of
New York Times bestsellers Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back

Jonney Shih

Chairman, Asus

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