Recently I was reading The Global Brain: Your Roadmap for Innovating Faster and Smarter in a Networked World by Satish Nambisan and Mohanbir Sawhney.

Satish Nambisan    Amazon - The Global BrainMohanbir Sawhney

In their book Satish and Mohanbir provide their solution to the quoted problem: “Most of the smart people don’t work for our company“. They present examples from industry leaders like 3M and P&G who developed unique network centric solutions to gain new ideas from around the world using “The global brain”.

The global brain refers to the internal and external resources of knowledge which are available to companies now days and the authors presents examples and define tools to be used by companies seeking for innovation in today’s world.

My favorite part of the book was the music analogy used to define the innovation network environment. Four mucic-based models are optional when defining a Network Centric environment:

  1. Creative Bazaar
  2. Jam Central
  3. Orchestra
  4. MOD Station

These models differ from one another by the parameters of Network Leadership and Innovation Space.

Creative Bazaar (Emergent, Centralized)

The company, like a studio, is the dominant member of the network. The innovative ideas comes from a diverse network with the constraint that it should fit the company’s target market and portfolio

Jam Central (Emergent, Diffused)

The network’s members get together to improvise their innovation as in a Jazz club. The innovations evolve from the continued interactions between the players/ members. The leadership is diffused, whoever has the muse with him may lead the session

Orchestra (Defined, Centralized)

One leader conduct the music/ innovation process and each member is responsible on a different type of activity. Like in in orchestra the relationships are formal and the structure of the innovative contributions is provided ahead of time.

MOD Station (Defined, Diffused)

A well defined architecture is the base for this innovation network. The innovation is carried among the community of members and experts. Similar as modifying of an existing computer game.

To my perspective innovation will have a greater part in the business world in the coming years and the music of the global brain will be important.

Update: A short time after publishing this I saw this post Cisco and BT Use Collaborative Innovation To Foster Sustainable Innovation.