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Lally School of Management & Technology

Roadmap for Innovation

Today’s corporate leaders are increasingly aware that growth and success depend on a company’s ability to tap external sources of innovation. Yet many find it difficult to translate that knowledge into action.

“There’s an enormous gap between awareness and execution,” says Satish Nambisan, associate professor in the Lally School of Management & Technology and co-author of The Global Brain: Your Roadmap for Innovating Faster and Smarter in a Networked World. “Our book is designed to close that gap.”

Published in October 2007 by Wharton School Publishing, The Global Brain is earning praise for a refreshing approach which recognizes that, when it comes to innovation, one size can’t possibly fit all. Instead, The Global Brain presents multiple models that companies can customize to fit their particular circumstances.

Nambisan and his co-author, Mohanbir Sawhney, use the term “global brain” to refer to sources of innovation that lie beyond a company’s boundaries: the network of inventors, scientists, researchers, small firms, customers and
suppliers — both within and outside the United States — whose ideas and technologies can spur significant growth. The authors urge companies to move from firm-centric to network-centric innovation. This externally focused approach optimizes the contributions of the global innovation partners and offers the greatest potential for success.

Nambisan is known worldwide for his research and insights in innovation management and technology strategy. Sawhney is the McCormick Tribune Professor of Technology and director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

With its rigorous analyses, real-world examples, and practical roadmaps, The Global Brain can be an invaluable resource for those within and outside company walls. Its messages are aimed at a diverse audience, from chief executives and senior managers to academic researchers, independent inventors, and third-party companies that help prepare innovations for commercialization.

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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590. Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute. ©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.