The Network Imperative: How to Survive and Grow in the Age of Digital Business Models

By Barry Libert, Yoram Wind, Megan Fenley, Megan Beck, Yoram (Jerry) Wind
Digital networks are changing all the rules of business. New, scalable, digitally networked business models, like those of Amazon, Google, Uber, and Airbnb, are affecting growth, scale, and profit potential for companies in every industry. But this seismic shift isn't unique to digital start-ups and tech superstars. Digital transformation is affecting every business sector, and as investor capital, top talent, and customers shift toward network-centric organizations, the performance gap between early and late adopters is widening.

So the question isn't whether your organization needs to change, but when and how much.

The Network Imperative is a call to action for managers and executives to embrace network-based business models. The benefits are indisputable: companies that leverage digital platforms to co-create and share value with networks of employees, customers, and suppliers are fast outpacing the market. These companies, or network orchestrators, grow faster, scale with lower marginal cost, and generate the highest revenue multipliers.

Supported by research that covers fifteen hundred companies, authors Barry Libert, Megan Beck, and Jerry Wind guide leaders and investors through the ten principles that all organizations can use to grow and profit regardless of their industry. They also share a five-step process for pivoting an organization toward a more scalable and profitable business model.

The Network Imperative, brimming with compelling case studies and actionable advice, provides managers with what they really need: new tools and frameworks to generate unprecedented value in a rapidly changing age.


YORAM (JERRY) WIND is the Lauder Professor and Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School and the founding Director of the Wharton SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management, the Wharton Fellows program and co-founder of the Wharton Future of Advertising Program. He led the development of the Wharton globalization strategy, the creation of the Wharton Executive MBA program, as well as the reinvention of its curriculum. He has received numerous marketing awards, including the Buck Weaver Award (2007), the Charles Coolidge Parlin Award (1985), AMA/ Irwin Distinguished Educator Award (1993), and the Paul D. Converse Award (1996).

ADVANCE PRAISE for "The Network Imperative" Anant Agarwal, CEO, edX There is no question: in today s age, your network defines you. So many industries, from media to transportation, health care to education, are undergoing a digital revolution, moving from a traditional, in-person practice to a digital-everything, hyper-networked, global experience. "The Network Imperative" offers sharp insights into these disruptive shifts and discusses how businesses and leaders can best harness network effects to succeed in today s digital world. William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estee Lauder Companies Barry Libert, Megan Beck, and Jerry Wind brilliantly illuminate the promiseand pitfallsof our interconnected, interdependent age. An indispensable volume for leaders of all kinds and categories, "The Network Imperative" shows each of us exactly how to harness the power of networks to drive value and deliver results. Jeremy Rifkin, author, "The Zero Marginal Cost Society" and "The Third Industrial Revolution" "The Network Imperative" will change the way we think about the nature of business. The shift to a digitalized era, characterized by low marginal cost in the market economy and near-zero marginal cost in the network economy, requires a new type of business leader skilled in navigating distributed, transparent, and collaborative networks that are best optimized by creating lateral economies of scale across society s value chains. "The Network Imperative" gives a new generation of business leaders the road map they will need to chart a more democratic, sustainable, and inclusive economic journey. I highly recommend this book. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP If you have an uneasy feeling that the business of business is undergoing systemic change, and if you aren t at all clear about the nature of that change, let alone how to turn it to your advantage, you will find this a very valuable book indeed. John Winsor, founder and Chairman, Victors & Spoils There are few books that usher in a new paradigm in business thinking. "The Network Imperative" is one of them. For years many of us have been poking around in the dark, knowing that networks are powerful and that businesses could be built around them, but we had very few frameworks to guide us. Libert, Beck, and Wind have illuminated the cave. Knowledge can now be shared. And networks will only accelerate. Don Gagnon, CEO, AAA Club Partners "The Network Imperative" offers very practical advice for companies struggling to find their way in the digital revolution. The Ten Strategies for Creating Network Value are relevant to both long-established brands and those still establishing their identity. A valuable tool kit! "


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ISBN: 9781633692053

About the Hardcover

Publisher Harvard Business School Press
Publish date 06/28/2016
Pages 256
ISBN-13 9781633692053
ISBN-10 1633692051
Language English