Howard Yu

Prize-winning case writer and author.


Shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2019 Innovation Award.


Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2018. 


Named by Poets&Quants as one of the world’s leading business school professors under 40 in 2015.


Specializing in technological innovation, Yu focuses on why and how some firms can sustain new growth while others cannot. His award-winning paper, ‘Leopards sometimes change their spots: How established firms can transform themselves,’ argues that as well as being vulnerable to disruption from new start-ups, incumbent companies can also leverage their advantages. In his 2018 book, Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied, Yu shows that succeeding in today’s marketplace is no longer just a matter of mastering copycat tactics; companies also need to leap across knowledge disciplines, and to reimagine how a product is made or a service is delivered.


LEGO professor of management and Innovation at IMD in Switzerland, Yu received his doctoral degree in management from Harvard Business School. Prior to his doctorate, he worked in the banking industry in Hong Kong. In 2015, Yu was selected by Poets&Quants as one of “The World’s Top 40 Business Professors Under 40.”


Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied (2018); ‘Leopards sometimes change their spots: How established firms can transform themselves’ (2012); multiple publications in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Forbes, MIT Sloan Management Review, the Financial Times, the Straits Times, SCMP, and Shanghai Daily.


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“An important voice on how to be future-ready.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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