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Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success from Thomas Edison's Lab

ISBN: 978-1-118-40786-8
284 pages
December 2012
Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success from Thomas Edison
How Thomas Edison's system for collaboration can benefit any team

Thomas Edison created multi-billion dollar industries that still exist today. What many people don't realize is that his innovations were generated through focused approaches to teamwork and collaboration. Authored by the great grandniece of Thomas Edison, Midnight Lunch provides an intriguing look at how to use Edison's collaboration methods to strengthen live and virtual teams today. Edison's four phases of collaboration success offer a simple yet powerful way to see how different combinations of live and digital resources can multiply results and deliver outstanding ROI now.

  • Shows how to draw together individuals from diverse disciplines, ensuring multiple perspectives and rapid problem-solving
  • Explains how to mix specialists and generalists on the same team, preventing groupthink and discouraging a culture of "superstars"
  • Reveals the steps needed to reskill team members for collaboration in the digital era

Team members from any field can take Midnight Lunch to their project meetings, engage instantly, identify action steps based on the book, and generate high-impact results.

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Foreword Matthew Greeley xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 What Is True Collaboration? 1

Is It True Collaboration, or Is It a Team? 4

Team A versus Team B 5

Thomas Edison Mastered Collaboration as a Force for Success 12

Tracing Edison’s Collaboration Beliefs and Practices 17

Edison’s Four Phases of True Collaboration 18

True Collaboration Fosters a Growth Mindset: Balancing Learning and Performance 25

True Collaboration Is a Superskill That Builds a New Type of Knowledge Asset 32

Chapter 2 Why Is True Collaboration So Crucial Now? 35

Shift #1: The Rise in Complexity Due to Massive Generation of Data and Real-Time Data Synthesis 40

Shift #2: The Rise of the Metalogue as a Tool for Creating Purpose and Connection 47

Shift #3: The Need for Reskilling Workers in the Innovation Age 53

Chapter 3 Phase 1: Capacity—Creating the Foundations for Collaboration to Thrive 57

Part i, Phase 1—Capacity 60

Part ii, Phase 1—Capacity 72

True Collaboration Toolkit: Hands-On Exercises—Phase 1 89

Chapter 4 Phase 2: Context—How Context Accelerates Collaboration and Innovation 92

Part i, Phase 2: The Solo Meld 98

Part ii, Phase 2: Group Meld 119

True Collaboration Toolkit: Hands-On Exercises—Phase 2 146

Chapter 5 Phase 3: Coherence—Building Coherent Teams 150

Part i, Phase 3: Coherence 153

Part ii, Phase 3: Coherence 169

True Collaboration Toolkit: Hands-On Exercises—Phase 3 194

Chapter 6 Phase 4: Complexity—Forming Smart Layers and Developing Collective Intelligence 198

Part i, Phase 4: Complex Systems and Smart Layers 202

Part ii, Phase 4: Footprinting Captures Collective Intelligence 237

Chapter 7 True Collaboration: A Look into the Future 250

Notes 255

About the Author 271

Index 273

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SARAH MILLER CALDICOTT is a great-grandniece of Thomas Edison, and a seasoned executive with years of hands-onexperience driving growth in new and existingbusinesses. Coauthor of Innovate Like Edison, a groundbreaking book on Thomas Edison's innovation best practices, Sarah inspires audiences around the world through her keynote speeches and executive programs on how to integrate Edison's Five Competencies of Innovation in organizations today. Sarah also advises leaders on how they can use Edison's time-tested methods to create a culture of innovation, as well as accelerate the development of individual and team capabilities that propel collaboration success.

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January 11, 2013
Relative of Thomas Edison Offers Team Collaboration Secrets from Edison's Lab

Thomas Edison created multibillion-dollar industries that still exist today. What many people don't realize is that his innovations were generated through the power of collaboration. Edison's collaborative approach propelled him to generate a record-breaking 1,093 US patents and 1,293 international patents over 62 consecutive years. Authored by Edison's great-grandniece, Midnight Lunch provides an intriguing look at how you readers can use Edison's collaboration methods to strengthen face-to-face and virtual teams today.

Leaders need to know how to design teams for maximum innovation impact, "rewire" their organizational culture to create growth, and hire collaborative employees that will thrive in an innovation-driven enviroment. Midnight Lunch outlines Edison's four phases of collaboration success, and demonstrates how different combinations of live and digital resources can deliver outstanding ROI.

Through action steps that yield high-impact results, Midnight Lunch shares how to:

  • Build a team from diverse disciplines, ensuring multiple perspectives, rapid problem-solving, and a foundation for collaboration
  • Mix specialists and generalists on the same team, preventing groupthink and discouraging a culture of "superstars"
  • Encourage dialogue and experimentation
  • Craft physical space that supportstrue collaboration
  • Focus your team's attention on progress and small wins
  • Reskill team members for collaboration success in the digital era
  • Footprint your team's work, generating collective intelligence others can follow

In the coming decade, organizations must make true collaboration a priority if they want to remain nimble in the face of constantly shifting economic forces. Midnight Lunch brings Edison's legacy into the twenty-first century, offering us an imperative to embrace our collaborative spirit and achieve astonishing results.

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