News Stories · Digital - Disruption

Cracking the code of digital transformation – Prof. M. Wade's new book

Orchestrating Transformation is out now
February 2019

Company leaders feel the urgency to transform their organizations in the face of digital disruption. New rivals are digitizing whatever can be digitized to attack incumbents’ value chains, gaining market share, eroding margins, and wreaking havoc to the competitive landscape in virtually every industry.

With this new book, Orchestrating Transformation: How to Deliver Winning Performance with a Connected Approach to Change, the team at the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative, provide a framework to get transformation right.

The book, co-authored by Prof. Michael Wade, offers an actionable and concrete guide for large-scale digital transformations.

For large and midsized companies, the imperative to transform is clear; How to transform is another matter.

The hard truth is that despite leaders’ best efforts, and billions spent in pursuit of digital transformation, the vast majority of organizational change programs fizzle, falling well short of their expected impact. But organizations can ill-afford for their transformation programs to flop. Failed transformation programs put incumbents behind the eight ball when it comes to dealing with disruptive competition.

Based on interviews with 1,030 practitioners from around the world, the book finds that traditional change management models are ineffective in large-scale transformations. It offers new solutions for executives while answering key questions, including:

  • Why do so many digital transformation programs fail?
  • How can a connected, orchestration-centric approach benefit organizations pursuing transformation?
  • How should a company execute a transformation program?
  • How should a company organize to drive transformation effectively?

An indispensable guide for practitioners, this book proposes a profoundly different approach – one that orchestrates transformational change within highly complex internal structures and rapidly changing external environments to create a truly connected approach.

We use the metaphor of an orchestra to provide readers with an easy to understand, step-by-step framework to plan and execute a successful digital transformation,” said Michael Wade, Director of the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation and professor of innovation and strategy at IMD business school. “This book is not only about what the best companies do better than anyone else, but also about what everyone gets consistently wrong – and how to fix it.”

The follow-up to 2016’s award-winning “Digital Vortex,” the book includes fresh insights from years of applied research and engagement with executives around the world, as well as real-life case studies and helpful tools for success.

“Orchestrating Transformation” is available for purchase at


About the Authors

“Orchestrating Transformation” is co-authored by Michael Wade, director of the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center) and professor of innovation and strategy at IMD Business School; and by James Macaulay, Andy Noronha, and Joel Barbier, directors at Cisco and visiting scholars with the DBT Center.

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