Getting New Things Done

Our world is faster-paced, more unsettled, yet more opportunity-filled than ever before. Whether driven by an unmet market need, a rapidly shifting business context, or bringing something entirely new into the world, those with the ability to lead innovation have the power to transform business, social, and artistic landscapes.

In a world of accelerating change, social brokers who connect people and organizations in the pursuit of creative projects lead the way.

About David

David Obstfeld is an Associate Professor of Management at College of Business and Economics, at California State University, Fullerton, an Affiliated Research Scientist at the USC Center for Effective Organizations, and Founder of the Social Capital Academy.

He is a recognized authority on driving creativity, innovation, and change through the power of networks and is the author of Getting New Things Done: Networks, Brokerage, and the Assembly of Innovative Action (Stanford Business Press, 2017).

David’s Core Ideas

Breakthrough innovation is inherently social. The genesis of all innovation is a creative project that starts small, breaks with the past, and leverages inventive, network-based collaboration. My work explores how social brokers drive these unfolding projects, reshaping today’s business, educational, and artistic landscapes.

Books & Publications

David is the author of Getting New Things Done: Networks, Brokerage, and the Assembly of Innovative Action (Stanford Business Press, 2017) as well as a preeminently cited thought leader in the area of network-based innovation.

Work With David

How we bring our connections and resources into play, beyond what is obvious, immediate, or traditional, is the vital spark that drives the creation of something new. David works with corporate, entrepreneurial, and educational leaders and newly emerging advocates for change in any arena seeking to bring new solutions into the world.

Getting New Things Done

Obstfeld’s scholarly tour de force is truly practical. … A must for academics and professionals who are interested in audacious innovation.
Amy Edmondson

Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School

… a crucial conceptual foundation for understanding the new world of exponential changes that we are navigating.
John Seeley Brown

Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation

Our networks―and how we work them―create vital ties that bind. Organizations recognize and reward this fact by leaning ever more heavily on collaboration, particularly when it comes to getting new things done. This book offers a framework that explains how innovators use network processes to broker knowledge and mobilize action.