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Brain circuits

The four principles to survive disruption and flourish in a changing world

Published 8 October 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

In a world of constant disruption, the difference between companies that survive and those that are left behind is their ability to LEAP. What LEAP means is the ability to jump from your core competency to another knowledge or capability base. Those companies that can easily leap early and repeatedly are the ones that are the most successful and enjoy longevity. There are four main principles behind LEAP.


Look beyond peer group benchmarking: Organizations need to completely embrace all kinds of industry logic. If you are looking only at your current direct competition, it will be very difficult to see the next level of core competencies you need to be striving to achieve. You must be externally curious, looking at what players outside your industry are doing and how you might leverage that for your business.


Allocate resource allocation to experimentation: to reinvent yourself, you must try things out. Some things will work out and some won’t, but you must figure out which things have the potential for success. This is also why it’s critical for organizations to allow for failure (and even possibly reward it) in the early phases of experimentation. If you are really embracing this step, your organization should see lots of failures. This is critical to providing the evidence that will guide your future choices.


Articulate and measure new KPIs as you commit to choices: In this phase you move away from experimentation to something much more tangible – exploiting new capabilities. Many companies undergoing change get trapped by historic metrics. Organizations that can successfully leap change their KPIs along the way. 

Foreclose options based on evidence in order to focus: Another trap you want to avoid is keeping your options open for too long and not moving past the exploratory stage. Companies that make this error get left behind.


To put these four principles into action and to work, the top team must have a shared viewpoint about the future. Top teams should delegate the experimentation phase, but at some point they need to recognize which bets are gaining traction and allocate more resources in that direction to scale up.



Howard Yu - IMD Professor

Howard H. Yu

LEGO® Chair Professor of Management and Innovation at IMD

Howard H Yu is the LEGO® Chair Professor of Management and Innovation at IMD and the Director of IMD’s Center for Future Readiness. He is the author of the award-winning book LEAP: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied. Howard directs our Future Readiness Strategy and Business Growth Strategies programs.


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