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Sabtu, 25 Agustus 2012

Leapfrogging by Soren Kaplan - Book review


Harness the Power of Surprise for Business Breakthroughs

By: Soren Kaplan

Published: August 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1609944941
ISBN-13: 978-1609944940
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

"Leapfrogging is about changing the game - creating something new or doing something radically different that produces a significant leap forward", writes speaker, educator, innovation consultant, and Managing Principal at InnovationPoint, Soren Kaplan, in his revolutionary and complacency shattering book Leapfrogging: Harness the Power of Surprise for Business Breakthroughs. The author describes the command and control, hierarchical mindset, that wants to avoid any surprises at all costs, creates a roadblock to any serious creativity and innovation; and provides reasons why a process for creating surprises that lead to groundbreaking and organizational changing innovations.

Soren Kaplan understands that imply finding and developing breakthrough products and services is not enough. That is the standard operating procedure for innovation in the command and control driven organization. For the author, the concept of surprise goes far beyond the end products and services. Instead, Soren Kaplan demonstrates that the very process of creating and working with surprise is much more important. The living with surprise requires becoming comfortable with constant uncertainty, including the discomfort of disruptive change and the loss of orientation. Soren Kaplan offers the concept of leapfrogging where the status quo is challenged on every jump along the journey of traversing ambiguity to discover clarity.

Soren Kaplan (photo left) recognizes the important aspect of leapfrogging as a process, and not a unique event, and then back to the status quo. Instead of relying on that one big idea concept, that is part of the command and control mentality, the author provides a complete process for creating surprise. Instead of thinking of innovation as a destination,

Soren Kaplan presents the concept of leapfrogging as a never ending journey, where surprises can occur at every twist and turn along the way. The leapfrogging life cycle, in what the author calls a simplified form, goes through the following stages:

* Sparks of surprise
* Engaged exploration
* Tangible focus
* Fear and doubt
* Market surprise
* Breakthrough

To achieve success at each of the stages of the leapfrogging life cycle, Soren Kaplan provides his strategy called the LEAPS model. The model offers guidance and the necessary tools to to address the dynamics within the stages of the leapfrogging life cycle. The principles of the LEAPS model are as follows:

* Listen: Start with yourself, not the market
* Explore: Go outside to stretch the inside
* Act: Take small steps again, again, and again
* Persist: Take the surprise out of failure
* Seize: Making the journey part of the final destination

For me, the power of the book is how Soren Kaplan combines a strong theoretical framework for achieving breakthroughs, with a repeatable process for making surprises and breakthroughs happen. The author challenges the standard modes of thought, from fear of surprises and the often untidy work of creativity, to the very command and control model that works against surprises. Soren Kaplan takes an often counter-intuitive approach to breakthroughs that sorts itself into an understandable and approachable process for innovation.

Soren Kaplan's recognition that creativity is an ongoing journey, leads to insight in the form of leapfrogging, where the process itself lends itself to surprises all along the way. The author also bolsters his concepts, with research and examples of the leapfrogging system in action in the real world. He also provides exercises, and challenging questions throughout the book, to enable the reader to let go of the old mindset, and embrace the leapfrogging idea.

I highly recommend the insightful and engaging book Leapfrogging: Harness the Power of Surprise for Business Breakthroughs by Soren Kaplan, to anyone seeking a proven and endlessly reusable process for embracing surprise, learning from failure, and discovering unexpected innovations. This book will change forever the way you think about the process of innovation and how breakthroughs really happen.

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