Interview with Jaroslav Dokoupil - C-level at OpenExO

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

Today’s blog is linked to the Podcast “Exponential Organisations” and is a loose transcript of the interview I had with Jaroslav Dokoupiul. It won’t be a word-for-word transcript of the interview but will rather be me highlighting some key things that Dokoupil said during the interview. I hope you enjoy it.

Introducing Jaroslav

Jaroslav works with people and organisations to build a

better future.

He was born in a former communist country meaning the range

of options to do this was limited at first but shortly after 1989, he won a scholarship to study at a prestigious US high school which has had a profound impact on his life and career. While pursuing 2 Master Degrees during his university years, he worked for the world’s largest youth-lead organisation with more than 50,000 members spread in over 100 countries, working for over 70 years to achieve its long-standing ambition of ‘Peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential’. At various local, national and global leadership roles, he could improve the future for thousands of young people all around the world. The quest for better future lead him to the field of learning and development where he worked for over 10 years on multiple large-scale leadership development, training and culture-change programs. He has traveled to UK, Netherlands, India, Mexico, Argentina and Brasil, trained over 2,000 and coached over 200 people to advance their careers, reach their goals and improve their organisations. In 2012, he was selected for a 10-week future studies program at Singularity University, aiming to leverage modern technologies to positively impact one billion people. While learning about the many opportunities technological progress brings to us, it also became clear to him that building a better future requires our leaders to have the right support to steer us away from the dangers ahead towards the positive future we want. In addition to continuing to design and delivery of innovative leadership development programs, in 2016 he joined Salim Ismail to build a global movement of entrepreneurs, consultants and thought leaders to help society adapt to the rapid pace of disruption. The community today has more than 2,500 people in 100+ countries and is playing an active role in shaping the future of organisations and institutions globally. At present, he is building a better future in the following ways:

  • Designing and delivering virtual certification programs for hundreds of people globally

  • Delivering keynote presentations and workshops on Future of technology and society, Disruptive Innovation and Future of Leadership

  • Designing innovative leadership development and innovation training programs

  • Running 1-on-1 virtual coaching programs for C-Suite executive, senior managers and entrepreneurs

Have you seen success using the ExO model and attributes?

The model really works

“When the ExO model was created it wasn’t an imaginary model but actually a descriptive model. Salim Ismail and the team went around and analysed quite a few organisations that were already succeeding and so the model really works. The book “Exponential Organizations” has reached almost 500,000 copies sold and we have lots of stories where people within companies have just read the book and applied it. This has often revolutionised their business and created much higher profits.”

ExO companies in your country

“In our current certification program we ask the students to go and find 5 exponential organisations in their countries. It is amazing how many people are surprised how many exponential organisaitons they have in their own countries and how common these companies are.”

Where does the ExO model fit in within an organisation?

The business model canvas and the ExO canvas working together

“We find a lot of usefulness in putting together the business model canvas and the ExO canvas. The business model canvas gives you the foundations of a sustainable business and then the ExO canvas helps you to do it in a scalable way. The whole premise of exponential organisations is that you can scale a business as fast as you can scale technology and software. To do this you need to apply the 11 ExO attributes. When you start a company it is good to take both at the same time and design them together. I don’t think you should make a profitable business first and then try to scale it. I think you need to combine them from the very beginning. Some of the attributes from the ExO model will help a company become profitable faster.”

How effective is the ExO Sprint in overcoming the immune system in a company?

How do we transition?

“Many companies, and business leaders, hear from all sides that they will be disrupted and the need to avoid being Kodak. Everybody knows this and people are getting sick of it. The question still is – if I have an established company what do I do? How do I start? I understand that disruption is coming but I do have an existing model which is working okay. I know that in ten years it won’t be the right one but how do I transition from where I am today especially if I have 50,000 employees and their income depends on it? We actually tell companies not to try and become an exponential organisation overnight because it can actually be dangerous. The corporate immune system can be helpful because it protects the old model. It is unhelpful when it attacks the seeds of powerful innovation.”

The ExO framework

“To assist here the ExO structured framework works well and it works for a number of reasons:

  1. At the beginning of the process we run an “Awake” session that tries to involve as much of the organisation as possible. Essentially it is to introduce people to the type of world we now live in – 4th industrial revolution, exponential technologies and changing business models and customer expectations. Normally the cost of changing is more than not changing. We as humans don’t like to change. After they hear what is happening in the world then it switches and the cost of not changing is higher than the cost of changing.

  2. We have two streams which one is called the ExO Core. This isn’t changing the existing business model it is just enhancing it. This means that a company can keep their current business model while adopting new ones. This gives them time to believe in the ExO methodology. The second stream is called the Edge where disruptive innovations takes place but only at the edge of an organisation and outside the immune system.

This is just a short extract from the interview I had with Jaroslav. Listen to the full interview for the discussion we had here Exponential Organisations.

Thank you Jaroslav for being my guest in this blog and podcast. If you would like to contact Jaroslav then here is his Linkedin profile è or visit his website è To listen to the full interview subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, spotify or listen on

I hope you have enjoyed and found this blog valuable. If you would like to talk about any of these concepts further, then let’s chat. You can book me online using Calendly at, contact me through my website at or email me directly

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