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The Network Imperative

Harvard Business Review is the leading destination for smart management thinking. Through its flagship magazine, 11 international licensed editions, books from Harvard Business Review Press, and digital content and tools published on, Harvard Business Review provides professionals around the world with rigorous insights and best practices to lead themselves and their organizations more effectively and to make a positive impact.
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About the Author

Barry Libert is Chairman and CEO of OpenMatters and a Senior Fellow at the Wharton SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. Libert is also an angel investor, board member, and has been a business model and digital adviser to companies such as AT&T, Microsoft, GE Healthcare, Deloitte, ESPN, and Goldman Sachs. Megan Beck is the Chief Insights Officer at OpenMatters, where she leads the firm's investor and business research, publications, and curriculum initiatives. She is also an associate on network initiatives at the Wharton SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. Previously, she was a Bain consultant. Jerry (Yoram) 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. He is internationally known for his pioneering research on networked organizations, mental models, marketing strategy, and marketing-driven business strategy. Join the network movement at


"...a tour-de-force read... a clear five-step process for leaders of organizations wanting to transform their own business models." -- Forbes "The authors of this book want to show how to transform even the most traditional business model into a digitized, networked operation." -- SUCCESS Magazine "This is at once a work of synthesis, innovation, scholarship, and insight rendered in clear, jargon-free prose with ample case studies that suggest actionable advice to "get the job done." This formative text provides a threshold for a better understanding of business models and the managerial imperatives required for success." -- CHOICE, the publication of the American Library Association "The Network Imperative offers the greatest value for companies that can start to rethink such issues as governance, HR and the allocation of their capital." -- Soundview ( 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 promise--and pitfalls--of 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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