Oct 31, 2007

The Global Brain - Network Centric Innovation



Satish Nambisan and Mohan Sawhney have come out with a new book on harnessing external sources of Innovation called The Global Brain.

In their search for innovative ideas and technologies, companies are realizing the importance of reaching out to a diverse set of external innovation partners. This includes customers, suppliers, amateur or independent inventors, academic researchers, scientists, as well as different types of innovation intermediaries who facilitate the innovation process (for example, idea scouts, invention capitalist, and innovation capitalist). The authors refer to this vast creative potential that lies beyond the boundaries of the firm as the Global Brain.

The term ‘Global Brain’ signifies two things. First, the external innovation partners are diverse in terms of not only their industry expertise or creative input but also in their geographical location. Second, the innovation partners form the nodes on a network – i.e. the innovation network – and it is through their continued interactions that the innovation would emerge. In sum, the global brain reflects both the global scope and the inter-connectedness of a company’s external innovation partners.


I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the book, specially since I'm very interested in innovation driven by consumers and other partners and secondly because Nambisan is an alumnus from XLRI ;-). I wonder if he'll send me a copy to review?

I wonder how the principles are different from Prahalad's views on Co-Creating Value or John Seely Brown and John Hagel's views on innovation across enterprises.