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IMD’s influential books of the year

In 2018, five IMD faculty-authored books were published, contributing to furthering the field of management thinking in digital, technology, strategy, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship
December 2018

As the end of the year approaches, IMD highlights some of the major works of thought leadership published this year:

Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied, by IMD Professor Howard Yu

This deeply researched mix of strategy guide and business history is a strike against complacency. Competitive advantage comes and goes with the tide. And, in fact, Tide detergent encountered strong resistance from P&G executives anxious to protect the Ivory Soap legacy before triumphing in the market with synthetics. That need to cannibalize your own products is just one lesson from Howard Yu, a professor at IMD, who draws on examples ranging from Southern textile mills to WeChat to demonstrate his principles of constant reevaluation, reinvention, and repositioning. Being best at what you do has never been enough, Yu writes. Being best at something different–over and over–is key to flourishing over generations.

Named among top-5 business books of 2018 by Inc.com

On the top 3 list of business book on strategy in 2018 by strategy+business

On the Financial Times list of best business books in June 2018

Winning Sustainability Strategies, by IMD Professor Benoit F. Leleux and Executive in Residence Jan Van der Kaaij 

Despite recent optimism and global initiatives, the implementation of corporate sustainability programs has been slow at best, with less than a third of global companies having developed a clear business case for their approach to sustainability. Presenting numerous award-winning cases and examples from companies such as Unilever, Patagonia, Tumi, DSM and Umicore alongside original ideas based upon 20 years of consulting experience, Winning Sustainability Strategies reveals how to design and implement a stronger sense of focus and move sustainability programs forward. This proven combination of purpose, direction and speed is dubbed “Vectoring”.

Offering directions for CFOs to shift companies from integrated reporting to integrated thinking in order to accelerate their sustainability programs, Winning Sustainability Strategies shows how to achieve purpose with profit and how to do well by doing good.

BlockChange!, How to survive the crypto economy by IMD Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, with Redmer Huizinga

Blockchain is the mysterious technology behind Bitcoin. It can be used for various purposes and could drastically change our current way of living. Think of a country without a central government or a more task-oriented economy without permanent employment. And what could blockchain mean to your work or your business?

If we would like to benefit from the opportunities that this technology can bring us, we need to embrace it. With original metaphors and a clear, cheerful way of writing, Redmer Huizinga and professor Arturo Bris discuss how blockchain could change our (economic) world and invite us to reflect about the approaching blockchain revolution.

Leading a Surgical Revolution, by Emeritus Professor Jean-Pierre Jeannet

This book describes the 60-year history of the AO Foundation and its impact on the treatment of bone trauma.

Originally founded by a group of Swiss surgeons, the AO has since established its osteosynthesis treatment approach to trauma, using surgery and implants, as the global standard. The AO successfully convinced the medical community that surgery of bone trauma was superior to the standard conservative treatment using plaster casts. This new technique meant that patients no longer had to spend long weeks at the hospital in traction, and prevented many disabilities.

This book describes the struggle with the medical community, explains how the AO surgeons enlisted the support of an entire industry for their advanced tools and their research and teaching efforts, and details the AO’s evolution into a non-profit foundation that now trains more than 50,000 surgeons, on all continents, every year.

Professionals in consulting as well as in healthcare can use this book as a source of successful strategies, and as a blueprint for active social entrepreneurship.

Digital Vortex, by James Macaulay, Jeff Loucks, and IMD Professor Michael Wade

Although not technically released in 2018, Digital Vortex continues to be an influential book about Digital Business Transformation. In 2018, the book was published in Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

Digital Vortex shows how larger companies can use the business models and strategies of start-ups to their own advantage. Instead of waiting to be disrupted, they can maximize the value of their existing businesses and move into profitable new ones. Established companies will learn how to build the agility to anticipate threats, sense opportunities, and seize them before their rivals do.

In today’s world there are two paths: navigating to a new digital future or being engulfed by exponential competitive change. With recommendations backed by research with thousands of senior executives from market leaders and start-ups alike, this book gives executives a compass to chart their own course – to compete with disruptors and win.

Top 17 Digital Transformation Books for 2018 and Beyond

Orchestrating Transformation’ is a forthcoming book by the Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco Initiative, the team who wrote Digital Vortex. The book will be available to purchase as of 25 February 2019.