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Leapfrogging: Harness the Power of Surprise for Business Breakthroughsby Soren Kaplan
Synopses & Reviews
Leapfrogging is about changing the game – creating or doing something radically new or different that produces a significant leap forward.
How did Gatorade revitalize itself in the wake of Red Bull and Starbucks? How did OpenTable come to be? How did Four Seasons become the world’s leading luxury hotel brand? What makes one leader or company thrive while others languish in mediocrity? Soren Kaplan gives business leaders the tools to do exactly what they’re taught to avoid: embrace uncertainty and invite surprises.
"Innovation consultant Kaplan has spent 20 years working with corporations, startups, nonprofits, and health care organizations, encouraging others to make their peace with surprise and innovation. In addition to extolling the benefits of positive surprises, Kaplan advocates for developing an environment in which innovators can create something new or do something different that produces a significant leap forward — leapfrogging. He walks readers through his seven phases of breakthroughs — sparks of surprise, engaged exploration, tangible focus, fear and doubt, the failure zone, market surprise, and breakthrough — working to get them past the problem. He holds up examples of successful consumer surprise and delight: the Nintendo Wii, Method soap, Toyota Prius, iPads, the Swiffer. Though his campaigning for fearless innovation and flexibility is compelling, there's not enough material for a full-fledged book. Readers may find themselves energized and excited to make a start, but this offering is short on follow-up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Today’s business climate demands breakthroughs, not incremental improvements. Innovators take steps forward, but leapfroggers reinvent their markets and organizations. Where do their game-changing ideas come from? How can you leap over the competition rather than stumble into oblivion? In this revolutionary book, Soren Kaplan shows how to use the power of surprise to blow up the limits holding back your business — and your thinking.
How did Gatorade revitalize itself in the wake of Red Bull and Starbucks? How did Etsy come to be? How did Four Seasons become the world’s leading luxury hotel brand? What makes one leader or company thrive while others languish in mediocrity? Kaplan gives business leaders the tools to do exactly what they’re taught to avoid: embrace uncertainty and invite surprises.
Leapfrogging connects new research, unconventional strategies and practical tools for navigating the seemingly “messy” process of achieving business breakthroughs. Drawing upon his twenty years of hands-on experience, Kaplan shows that any organization or business function can leapfrog – and he delivers a game-changing formula for rethinking your business:
Todays business climate demands breakthroughs, not incremental improvements. What makes one leader or company thrive while others languish in todays fast-paced, ever-changing marketplace? Theres no doubt hard work is involved, but Soren Kaplan shows you cant do it by simply creating a big vision and implementing a set plan. In his trailblazing debut, Kaplan gives business leaders the tools to do exactly what theyre taught to avoid: embrace surprise—the new key to business breakthroughs.
Instead of fighting against uncertainty, Kaplan reveals how to use it to break down limiting mindsets and barriers to change the game. By highlighting specific ways to transform both good and bad surprises into unique opportunities, Kaplan encourages leaders to compete by embracing counterintuitive ideas, managing paradoxes, and even welcoming failure. This is the key to “leapfrogging”—creating or doing something radically new or different that produces a significant leap forward.
Leapfrogging connects new research, unconventional strategies, and practical tools for navigating the “messy” and elusive process of achieving business breakthroughs. Filled with real-world examples from innovators such as Gatorade, Intuit, Philips, Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive, OpenTable, and Etsy, Kaplan shows that any organization or business function can leapfrog. Using his LEAPS process (Listen, Explore, Act, Persist, and Seize), leaders learn to seek out, recognize, and respond to surprising experiences and events as a way to create solutions that leap beyond the current expectations of customers, partners, employees, the market, and the competition.
Kaplans writing style makes his compelling findings fun to read, simple to understand, and easy to implement. Leapfrogging is the new handbook for the modern leader.
Winner of the Bronze Axiom Award in the category of Leadership.
We've heard it all before--innovation means leaving behind stale mental models and embracing risk. But existing paradigms for innovation just aren't yielding the game-changing ideas that today's business climate demands. At one extreme, innovation efforts fall short when innovators try to fit ideas for change into existing business models--the result is incremental change, not breakthroughs. At the other extreme, efforts to imitate "innovation heroes" like Netflix and Apple mean "swinging for the fences" and not creating genuine leaps forward.
At its heart, Kaplan's book is about celebrating something most businesses try to avoid--surprises. Organizations and teams that fight the unexpected often struggle to innovate, and Kaplan provides a tested methodology for overcoming inertia. Leapfrogging is Soren Kaplan's system for creating breakthrough ideas, not innovation fatigue. He turns much current innovation thinking on its head--don't overanalyze the competition, but look within yourself. Don't strategize on how to overcome barriers, "leap" beyond them and create a new model where they don't exist. And seek out and protect surprises to get ahead.
About the Author
Soren Kaplan is Founder and Managing Principal of InnovationPoint. Soren’s recent clients include Visa, Disney, Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Aviva (United Kingdom), Philips (The Netherlands), SK Telecom (South Korea), Grundfos (Denmark), Tekes (Finland) and numerous others leading brands and firms. In addition to leading InnovationPoint, Soren is an Adjunct Professor within the Imagineering Academy at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. Soren previously served as Manager of Business Strategy Consulting at Hewlett-Packard (HP).
Soren has presented at numerous conferences and institutions including Innovation Convergence and the Harvard Business School. Quotes, articles and book chapters from Soren have appeared in publications including Fast Company, Strategy & Leadership, The International Handbook on Innovation, Practicing Organizational Development, The Handbook of Large Group Methods, Strategic Change, and the Journal of Creativity and Innovation Management, among others. Soren holds Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Organizational Psychology.
Table of Contents
1. Business Breakthroughs Deliver Surprise
2. Surprises are Personal Epiphanies
3. Leapfrogging Leads to Surprising Breakthroughs
4. Listen: Surprise Yourself So You Can Surprise Others
5. Explore: Go Outside to Surprise the Inside
6. Act: Use Small Steps to Create Big Surprises
7. Persist: Take the Surprise Out of Failure
8. Seize: Make the Journey Part of the (Surprising) Destination
9. The Power of Surprise
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