Disruption in Action: Making digital work from strategy to execution

22 September 2022 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read
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Four years after their book ‘Make Disruption Work’, SparkOptimus managing partners Alexandra Jankovich and Tom Voskes have teamed up yet again to release a sequel: ‘Disruption in Action’.

In Make Disruption Work, which was released in 2018, the authors presented a practical and hands-on guide for unlocking the value of digital transformation. The book focuses on the ‘why’ and ‘how to’ parts of digital disruption, and sheds light on the case for digital and what steps leaders can take to achieve an agile, data-driven organisation, including methodologies to succeed and lessons learned from frontrunners.

Fast forward to 2022, and Jankovich and Voskes have taken the latest insights from the fast-paced world of digital – as well as drawing on learnings from their own research plus practical experience – to launch a refreshed sequel.

Adrian Hornsby, Tom Voskes and Alexandra Jankovich

“Disruption in Action shows how to take on digital disruption and win,” explained Jankovich, who co-founded the digital strategy consultancy SparkOptimus together with Voskes (both previously worked at McKinsey).

The book kicks-off by outlining why the majority of digital transformations still tend to fail (despite all investments), helping leaders pinpoint some of the areas of focus when they set out to launch a major IT transformation program, build a digital innovation hub or close a large digital-focused acquisition.

“One of the key things which we encounter in our work – and present in the book – is that the main problem faced in fact isn’t about digital – it’s about serving customers better, and adapting operations to use digital as a means to that end,” said Jankovich.

Moreover, “the hardest part of change isn’t technology,” added Voskes, “it’s actually people – meaning changing mindsets, reorganising silos, getting leaders across global operations on board, and coordinating the transformation of thousands of people while still running the business. This is where the real complexity lies.”

Providing concrete examples on how to navigate the landscape, Disruption in Action walks through the digital transformation journeys of seven companies, taking readers through their end-to-end transition from high-level strategy through to the operational nitty-gritty. Voskes: “This provides business leaders with an insider’s perspective on how to master disruption.”

“Using a fictionalised approach, we dig deep into what really happens on digital projects – covering not just the tech, but also the people side, including the blunders, breakthroughs and inter-personal dynamics that typical case studies gloss over,” said Jankovich.

Following an early release (the official launch is on the 28th September) among a select group of CEOs, reactions on the book have been largely positive. Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, noted how the book provides “outstanding insights in how companies can transform themselves to become future-ready”, while Wolters Kluwer CEO Nancy McKinstry said: “If you want to see how to make disruption work, this book has many of the answers.”

Dolf van den Brink, the CEO of Heineken, meanwhile praised the authors for their “tremendous in-depth knowhow” in the digital realm.

Get your copy: ‘Disruption in Action’ can be ordered on the website of Managementboek.

Disruption in Action is co-penned by Adrian Hornsby, an award-winning author (best known from the books ‘The Chinese Dream’ and ‘The Good Analyst’), who also supported Make Disruption Work.

Since its inception, SparkOptimus has supported over 350 clients across 25 countries, helping them with building digital capabilities, launching digital innovations and scaling their digital ventures. The firm operates with 3 offices across Europe and has bagged multiple recognitions for its work.