This work offers a summary of the book "COPYCATS: How Smart Companies Use
Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge" by Obed Shenkar.
Ober Shenkar is professor of management and human resources at the Ohio State University College of Business. In addition to consulting with numerous firms, he has worked with the governments of Israel, China, Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Innovation gets all the good press.
However, according to Shenkar, "imitation is not only more abundant than innovation, but actually a much more prevalent road to business growth and profits".
With this in mind, companies should approach imitation in a more disciplined and systematic manner rather than leaving this to chance. In fact, if you're smart, you'll fuse innovation and imitation together to generate "imovation"- great ideas which have already been proven to work elsewhere combined with innovative new thinking.
If you can learn to make a conscious decision when to innovate and when to build on the capabilities which exist in the various platforms and products which are now available, you'll be far more creative and pragmatic at the same time.
In Copycats, Shenkar suggests you shoudn't look at imitation as an embarrassing nuisance: "Bring it front and center and do it with pride".