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Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success from Thomas Edison's Lab Hardcover – December 10, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118407865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118407868
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Thomas Edison created multibillion-dollar industries that still exist today. What many people don't realize is that his innovations weregenerated 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 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 shows how to:

  • Build a team from diverse disciplines, ensuring multiple perspectives, rapid problem-solving, and a foundation for collaboration to thrive

  • 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, organizationsmust make true collaboration a priority ifthey 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.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Midnight Lunch

"Caldicott powerfully updates Edison's collaboration process for use by organizations operating in today's hyper-competitive global economy. If you're looking for a way to accelerate growth through innovation, this book offers deep insights on why collaboration is the 'superskill' that will drive success."
—Verne Harnish, CEO, Gazelles; coauthor of The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time

"Sarah has added an indispensable contribution to the success formula for business. Midnight Lunch magnifies one of Thomas Edison's most treasured traits—collaboration. This incredible piece of work provides insightful, yet practical guidance for all who desire to innovate their way to success."
—D. Keith Pigues, coauthor of Winning with Customers: A Playbook for B2B ;Dean, North Carolina Central University School of Business

"Innovation is not about individual heroes with a vision, it is about collaboration. Edisonunderstood this well, and Caldicott is a skilled guide to how he really got so much done.Applying Edison's four phases of collaboration will bring new power to your team efforts."
—Chris Trimble, coauthor of Reverse Innovation and The Other Side of Innovation

"Organizations today often fail to engage collaboration as a crucial part of their innovationprocess. Caldicott reminds us that Edison's world-changing success stemmed in largemeasure from his collaborative culture. Midnight Lunch updates Edison's approach for the twenty-first century, offering a practical guide for developing nimble collaborations."
—Vijay Govindarajan, Earl C. Daum Professor of International Business,Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College; coauthor of Reverse Innovation

"As in her earlier work, Sarah digs deep into her kinsman Thomas Edison's actual practices. We hear so much talk about 'innovation.' Well, here was the ultimate innovator, straddling fields and decades in his prodigious output. How did it really happen? Edison saw it as a team game. Sarah tells us how it was played."
—Nigel Cameron, President, Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies

"Midnight Lunch inspires action to orchestrate and groom multidisciplinary rock bands in an organization, not just individual rock stars, creating extraordinary results."
—Manish Tangri, Associate Director, New Business, Intel Corporation

"In an evermore complex and rapidly changing digital world, Caldicott effectively demonstrates the importance of collaboration as a crucial 'superskill' necessary for rapid innovation today. Read Midnight Lunch. Engage your people. Build collaborative networks. And innovate!"
—Maria Thompson, Director of Innovation Strategy, Motorola Solutions

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
Words like re-invention, non-hierarchical, collaboration etc..
Trevor B. Lee
I highly recommend MIDNIGHT LUNCH for CEOs, all C-Level and mid-level executives (in any kind of organization), plus members of Boards of Directors.
Frank Feather (CEO Futurist)
All driven by Edison's "dedication to elevating the performance of every team member."
Lori Lovens

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Cook on January 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Midnight Lunch offers a comprehensive guide to collaboration using fundamental research from the way in which Thomas Edison ran his laboratories. The author, Sarah Miller Caldicott, has unique access to Edison's approach through her connections as a family member.

The myth of the lone inventor is exposed in this book. Like much modern invention and innovation, it's a team game and Edison's principles are widely transferable to a modern context where much innovation is cross-disciplinary, requiring the collaborative efforts of many experts over time.

The 4 C's of collaboration form a backbone through Midnight Lunch: Capacity; Context; Coherence and; Complexity.

Capacity: How do we create the basic components for true collaboration to flourish? This includes the capacity to improvise at the highest levels such that innovation does not ossify and that organisational renewal can take place.

Context: How can our collaboration team reframe the problem at hand, driving the greatest range of creativity and new, breakthrough solutions? Changing the context is a core skill of innovation leaders, using curiosity to shift minds and creating compelling goals that others can engage with.

Coherence: Can the collaboration team stay the course and continue forward despite disagreements? Edison understood the value of conflict, saying "I believe in criticism because it brings out the cold facts about a thing and promotes discussion, which is always beneficial". This is an enlightened view on conflict, which many organisations would do well to learn.

Complexity: How can our collaboration team navigate internal and external networked resources nimbly, and with speed?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trevor B. Lee on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There has been much said, and written, of late about the very nature of work and how it needs to evolve from the industrial to the internet age. Words like re-invention, non-hierarchical, collaboration etc.. are frequently used as if these concepts were both new and revolutionary.

In fact nothing could be further from the truth. In Sarah Miller Caldicott's seminal work ..."Midnight Lunch" she deeply examines the huge importance of collaboration efforts undertaken by her fore bearer Thomas Alva Edison. Through what Caldicott describes as Edison's four phases of collaboration - Capacity, Context, Coherence, and Complexity - he gave birth to what is now being put forward as the holy grail of 21st century corporate endeavour.

From a personal and professional perspective I can attest that to attract the best employees, workplaces need to be more collaborative, supporting the ways we want teams to connect. Of course the drive is innovative technology - most clearly manifest in the internet - but also of how we define progress, meaning, and purpose in our work. Making connections, either formally via company facilitation or informally via social (business) media means the world at all levels is becoming increasingly interconnected. That is only encouraging the formation of more and more relationships and the sharing of knowledge. As Caldicott describes in Midnight Lunch, collaboration at its core is about creating knowledge assets, deepening the bonds between colleagues, and creating collective intelligence that puts knowledge not in the hands of the few, but the many.

Edison would have embraced these powerful tools of the internet age without hesitation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew C. Marshall on February 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I knew picking up this book that the author, Sarah Caldicott, is the grand niece of Thomas Edison so I fully expected a love letter of sorts. What I found appealing was the immediate and direct application of Edison's practices to current day collaborative innovation efforts. Caldicott is passionate about her distant relative because she believes wholly in the great potential inherent in the successful collaboration he practiced:

"Edison's dedication to collaboration crystallizes what we are capable of at our best. His astonishing contributions inspire us to achieve more, to embrace more, to explore the richness of our mental capacities. Edison's achievements consistently defied the boundaries of what the scientific community believed was possible-- indeed, what was believed to be humanly possible."

Midnight Lunch is focused on collaboration and on grounding Thoman Edison's belief that collaboration is a key ingredient in successful innovation. Edison's collaboration methods are relevant to strengthening live and virtual teams today and the title referes to one such practice--late night gatherings of team members at Edison's workshop and laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey--leading to collaborative sessions that served as the genesis of inventions and innovations that have become famous the world over and resulted in 1,093 US patents.

Edison did indeed touch millions of people through his inventions--inventions he acknowledges he would not have gotten credit for had it not been for the hard work of his laboratory teams. This book directly tackles the knock on Edison's reputation that he was self-aggrandizing.
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More About the Author

Sarah Miller Caldicott is a great grandniece of Thomas Edison, and specializes in translating Edison's world-changing innovation methods for use in the 21st century. Drawing upon her 15-year career as an executive with Global 500 companies, Sarah's work offers practical frameworks for driving innovation and collaboration in organizations of all sizes. An inspiring speaker, Sarah travels all over the world teaching executives how they can bring Edison's revolutionary methods of thinking and working into the digital era. A graduate of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the world, Sarah's work is designed to deliver immediate relevance and ROI.

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