The Network Challenge (Chapter 9): Network-Centric Innovation: Four Strategies for Tapping the Global Brain

By Satish Nambisan (Author), Mohanbir Sawhney (Author)


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Most companies realize the need to “look outside” for innovation. However, few have a clear understanding about how they can make such a shift toward network-centric innovation–an innovation strategy that is centered on external networks and communities.

Managers need more than anecdotal success stories about externally focused innovation, and they need more specific guidance than the “one size fits all” prescriptions of open innovation. The authors argue that every firm needs to find its own roadmap for tapping the “Global Brain”–the creative potential of the world outside its four walls. There are many different approaches and opportunities for network-centric innovation, based on the nature of the innovation space and the nature of network governance. In this chapter, the authors present a framework for structuring the landscape of network-centric innovation. They describe four models of network-centric innovation–Orchestra, Creative Bazaar, Jam Central, and MOD Station–and outline how companies can select, prepare for, and pursue the approach that best fits their particular business and innovation context.