It’s the age-old question: how can companies succeed and maintain that success long-term? In Howard Yu’s 2018 highly rated book, Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everyone Can be Copied, he strives to answer that question. He takes into consideration the ever-evolving world of business and technology. Yu argues that by incorporating reinvention as a priority into an organization’s system, businesses will be able to stay above the competition and at the top of their field. Expert companies have done it in the past, and are still doing it today.
To be a successful, lasting business, it’s not enough to be good in the chosen field or have a great product. Businesses must also acknowledge how easily they can be copied by their competition (and (often foreign) latecomers). Businesses have to keep changing it up and balancing the task of mastering the old and inventing the new. That often involves reimaging products and services and learning to market them in new ways in order to overpower the competition.
Yu uses captivating case studies that demonstrate both successes and failures in the business industry to present a model for achievement. He stresses five principles for success that can be applied to countless industries. He doesn’t just use current examples either. He details effective tactics from numerous eras. We tend to think that a strategy used in the 40’s would be ineffectual in today’s technologically advanced world, until we take into consideration that that company is still standing strong today. Yu also makes a nod at the need to use multiple disciplines to stay relevant. As a prime example, he cites top pharmaceutical companies that didn’t simply rely on chemistry, but began using microbiology and genomics to lead to groundbreaking drug discoveries.
The lesson in Leap is clear: leap. Make leaps and bounds in business. Take risks that may seem impossible; it may be the only way to outlast the competition and prosper in this ever-changing world.