Make Disruption Work – CEO handbook for digital transformation

12 July 2019 3 min. read

One year after publishing their management book ‘Make Disruption Work’ in English, authors Alexandra Jankovich and Tom Voskes have now also released a Dutch version.

In the management book, the authors – both are managing partners at digital transformation consulting firm SparkOptimus – present their vision on one of the most pressing topics in modern age business. The step change rise of technology has enabled start-ups and other digital-savvy organisations to disrupt the status quo in their field – paving the way for entirely new business model or services, or even reshaping the face of a complete industry. 

While the likes of disruptors Airbnb, Adyen, Booking, Netflix, Spotify and Uber catch most media, the impact of digital-led disruption is ever-present, visible across all corners of business landscapes. As Franck Moison, vice chairman of Colgate-Palmolive put it, “There is no escaping digital disruption.” For many, digital disruption is a threat, however, for those that succeed in mastering its fundamentals, it poses unparalleled opportunities. 

Building on years of practical experience in the field, as well as in-depth research conducted with fellow consultants at SparkOptimus and C-level clients, the authors present a practical and hands-on guide for unlocking the value of digital disruption. At the heart of their approach is their proprietary 5D’s model: Discover, Define, Determine, Drive and Delight – an end-to-end methodology from strategy through to execution.

Make Disruption Work in Dutch

“The book is a guide for everyone that really wants to know what digital transformation really is, and how it can benefit companies,” explained Jankovich. Voskes added: “The book is full of lessons learned, empowering organisations to get their fundamentals right, and helping them with transforming into an agile, data-driven organisation. Converting these insights however requires a pragmatic approach.” It is particularly this aspect of the book’s approach that caught the eye of Paul Polman, formerly the chief executive officer of Unilever. “With outstanding simplicity and deep insights, this book reveals the ‘how to’ of digital disruption,” he said.

On the point, Moison added: “The 5D model is a powerful guide to help navigate disrupted waters and is backed by a very practical call to action. After reading it you feel convinced that corporates can foster what it takes to beat start-ups.”

Annet Aris, a former McKinsey & Company partner and now Senior Affiliate Professor Digital Strategy at INSEAD and a member of the supervisory boards of ASML, Rabobank and Randstad, provided a similar view, stating “this book offers practical perspectives and a clear manual for every company to master disruption step-by-step.”

Underpinning their theory and convictions, Jankovich and Voskes injected approximately 100 digital transformation cases at different multinationals and mid-sized companies. Successful digital achievements – best practices in their respective industries – showcased in the book include transitions delivered at eBay, Heineken and Unilever.

According to the authors, “disruption doesn’t have to be a threat” – it is in their eyes a potential recipe for success, with executives holding the key to its success. There is however no magic bullet or quick fix to reap its full benefits, “it requires leadership, courage and a full-blown ‘customer first’ mindset’,” concluded the authors. 

Alexandra Jankovich en Tom Voskes founded SparkOptimus in 2010. Under their leadership the digital transformation specialist has grown to a leading management consulting firm in the Netherlands with nearly 100 partners and consultants.