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Global Brain, The

Global Brain, The

Your Roadmap for Innovating Faster and Smarter in a Networked World

Satish Nambisan, Mohanbir Sawhney

Nov 2007, Hardback, 304 pages
ISBN13: 9780132339513
ISBN10: 013233951X
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All the talk about "open innovation" and externally-focused innovation assumes that "one size fits all" in terms of what network-centric innovation is and how companies should harness external creativity. But the reality is that there is no one right way to master this tool. For instance, loosely governed community-based innovation projects are a very different animal from tightly-orchestrated development projects driven by a large firm. As the landscape of network-centric innovation becomes more diverse and more confusing, there is a desperate need to structure the landscape to better understand different models for network-centric innovation. This book brings clarity to the confusion. Further, it argues that managers cannot rely on anecdotal success stories they read about in the press to implement a network-centric innovation strategy. They need rigorous and analytical advice on what role their company should play in an innovation network, what capabilities they need to create, and how they need to prepare their organization for this significant shift in the innovation approach. This book offers a practical and detailed roadmap for planning and implementing an externally-focused innovation strategy.

Foreword xvii

Introduction 1

Part I From Firm-Centric to Network Centric Innovation 9

Chapter 1 The Power of Network-Centricity 11

Chapter 2 Understanding Network-Centric Innovation 29

Part II The Landscape of Network-Centric Innovation 49

Chapter 3 The Four Models of Network-Centric Innovation 51

Chapter 4 Innovation Networks: The Players and the Plays 67

Part III The Four Models of Network-Centric Innovation 83

Chapter 5 The Orchestra Model 85

Chapter 6 The Creative Bazaar Model 113

Chapter 7 The jam Central Model 139

Chapter 8 The MOD (“MODification”) Station Model 157

Part IV Executing Network-Centric Innovation 175

Chapter 9 Deciding Where and How to Play 177

Chapter 10 Preparing the Organization 197

Part V Globalization and Network-Centric Innovation 217

Chapter 11 Globalizing Network-Centric Innovation: The Dragon and the Tiger 219

Chapter 12 Concluding Thoughts & Actions for “Monday” Morning 237

References 253

Index 267

A detailed and practical roadmap to figuring out how to apply the power of network-centric innovation to business.

  • Companies can innovate faster, cheaper, and better by taking advantage of internal and external networks of individuals, communities, and partners.
  • Introduces several unique innovation roles for firms to play in network-centric innovation.
  • Includes examples from a diverse set of companies: IBM, Procter and Gamble, DuPont, 3M, Dial, Staples, Unilever, Sun, Merck, and others.
  • Satish Nambisan is a professor of technology management and strategy at the Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He is a globally recognized researcher and thoughtleader in the areas of innovation management and technology strategy, and his recent research work has focused on customer co-innovation, network-centric innovation, and IT-enabled product development. His research has been published in premier management journals such as

    Harvard Business Review

    , MIT Sloan Management Review, Management Science, and Academy of Management Review. Through

    his consulting work and executive lectures, Satish has helped many companies in the United States, Singapore, and India in managing innovation and product development. Prior to joining the academia, Satish held executive positions at the consumer-products giant Unilever Plc. in Mumbai, India. More details about his research and consulting are available at

    Mohanbir Sawhney is the McCormick Tribune Professor of Technology and the Director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He is a widely published expert in the areas of innovation, marketing, and strategy. He has authored several influential articles in publications like the Harvard Business Review and the MIT Sloan Management Review. His contributions to the literature on innovation include concepts like mediated innovation, community-centric innovation, and collaborative innovation with customers in a networked world. He consults with and advises dozens of Global 2000 companies around the world. This is his fourth book.