About Me

I’m passionate about helping organizations to become future ready. I’ll tell you why and how some companies can sustain new growth while others cannot.

Who is Howard Yu?

I’m the LEGO® professor of management and innovation at IMD in Switzerland. After earning my doctorate from Harvard Business School and working in the Hong Kong banking industry, I became fascinated by how companies can stay ahead of the curve. 

That’s why I focus on innovation strategies and helping organizations successfully navigate disruption. In 2015, I was selected by Poets&Quants as one of The World’s Top 40 Business Professors Under 40. In 2023, I was ranked on the Thinker50 list and received the 2023 Strategy Award.

My area of interest is in corporate strategy and management innovation. I look at questions such as how organizations sustain their growth by developing new business models and scaling up new capabilities. Specifically, how organizations confront disruption when they have the advantage of time.

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Unlocking Strategic Insights and Driving Future-Ready Success

I help organizations and individuals navigate the complexities of innovation and disruption. Whether it’s developing new growth strategies, scaling up new capabilities, or building resilience in a changing market, I provide actionable insights with tailored solutions. My unique blend of academic rigor and real-world experience empowers clients to achieve lasting success.

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A visual journey showcasing Howard’s career and personal moments


Future readiness refers to a company’s ability to anticipate and adapt to external changes through strategic foresight and tactical adaptability. As the world grows more ambiguous, companies must scale up new capabilities to maintain a competitive edge. To be future-ready, business leaders must extend their horizon beyond immediate market trends and anticipate changes to achieve sustained profitability.

Future readiness can significantly benefit organizations in several ways:


  • Competitive advantage: Being future-ready is a source of competitive advantage, especially in turbulent times. Future-ready companies can anticipate and adapt to external changes through strategic foresight and tactical adaptability, allowing them to win more in good times and lose less in bad times.

  • Resilience: Future readiness doubles as a source of resilience during crises. Companies that have already scaled up capabilities relevant for the future are better prepared to navigate uncertainty and disruptions. Microsoft, for example, demonstrated resilience under pressure due to its future-ready initiatives like transitioning to a subscription model, investing in cloud computing, and developing augmented reality products.


  • Growth opportunities: Future-ready organizations are more capable of finding new sources of growth when normality returns after a crisis. By constantly reimagining their core business while concurrently building new revenue streams, they can capture emerging opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.


  • Improved performance: Future-ready companies can pivot faster, and their financial performance often outstrips their competitors. Nike, for instance, pursued a dual-focus strategy of selling through traditional channels while launching its direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform. This future-ready approach allowed Nike to control its customer relationships and thrive during the pandemic.


  • Talent attraction and retention: Creating a future-ready organization supports resilience and growth for both the company and its people. By providing a psychologically safe environment that nurtures collective problem-solving and leadership at all levels, future-ready companies can attract and retain top talent.

In summary, becoming future-ready is not a luxury but a necessity for organizations to survive and thrive in an ever-changing global economy. By simultaneously focusing on performance and transformation, companies can build the organizational capabilities needed to succeed today and win tomorrow.

Howard Yu has worked with and delivered customized training programs for a wide array of global companies across various sectors. This includes collaboration with leading entities in technology and telecommunications like China’s TravelSky, China’s Tencent, and ASML; in consumer goods and retail with giants such as Mars, Electrolux, The LEGO Group, and Heineken; in transportation and logistics with industry leaders like Maersk, BMW, and Bosch; in healthcare and pharmaceuticals with renowned firms such as Sanofi, Novartis, and Novo Nordisk; in the industrial and manufacturing sector with companies including China Resources, COFCO (China), and ABB; in the financial services sector with Temasek (Singapore), NatWest and UBS. His work spans a broad spectrum of industries, demonstrating a global footprint and a versatile approach to meeting the varied needs of each sector.

Howard Yu's teaching philosophy emphasizes the seamless integration of research and teaching, ensuring that his scholarly activities resonate with the practical needs of students and executives. Incorporating findings from his research directly into classroom teachings fosters a dynamic environment where research and education enhance each other. As the LEGO Professor of Management and Innovation, Howard is dedicated to infusing business education with an element of fun, aiming to create an engaging and enjoyable learning experience for his students.

He views the classroom as a laboratory for exploring new ideas and concepts, encouraging critical thinking and active participation from students. A significant aspect of his teaching focuses on helping executives sift through the overwhelming information landscape to pinpoint crucial factors affecting their organizations, thereby facilitating a move toward future readiness. Howard's practical approach is grounded in real-world applications, utilizing case studies and collaborations with global companies to tailor executive education programs that address specific industry challenges.

With his extensive international experience, he advocates for a global perspective in learning, urging students to look beyond local confines and consider the global business environment. At the heart of his philosophy lies the concept of future readiness, preparing individuals and organizations to navigate and adapt to change through continuous learning and innovation. Howard Yu’s approach to teaching is interactive, globally minded, and anchored in the practical realities of the business world, aiming to equip learners with the necessary tools to excel in an ever-evolving landscape.

Still have Questions?

Contact me for more information.