What Is A Midnight Lunch? Edison Webinar Feb 11 2013


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In celebration of Thomas Edison's 166th birthday, learn how Edison created a practice known as "midnight lunch" to drive collaboration in his laboratory. Workers staying after hours shared food together and ran experiments with Edison, instilling a deep sense of collegiality and ingenuity across his workforce.

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What Is A Midnight Lunch? Edison Webinar Feb 11 2013

  1. 1. Midnight Lunch with Thomas Edison:How Collaboration Propels InnovationSuccess Sarah Miller Caldicott CEO, Power Patterns of Innovation Great grandniece of Thomas Edison © 2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott
  2. 2. America’s Greatest Innovator, Thomas Edison: 1847-1931 © 2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott
  3. 3. Miller/Edison Heritage Robert Anderson Miller Mina Miller Edison Lewis Miller © 2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott
  4. 4. Edison’s Botanic Laboratory - Ft. Myers, FL © 2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott
  5. 5. Researching Edison’s Life and WorkThe Edison Papers Archives at Rutgers University © 2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott
  6. 6. Happy birthday, Thomas Edison! “Anything that won’t sell,I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” - Thomas Alva Edison
  7. 7. “I would like to live about 300 years. I think I have ideas enough to keep me busy that long.” - Thomas Alva Edison
  8. 8. Edison Built New Markets Pioneered 6 industries: Document duplication (1873) Telecommunications (1876) Recorded sound (1877) Electrical power (1879) The Movies (1893) Storage Battery (1903)Midnight Lunch © 2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott
  9. 9. Without Collaboration, Innovation Stalls Today’s Conversation• Shifts in global environment• Why collaboration is crucial• What is a midnight lunch?• Creating collegiality
  10. 10. World Innovation Forum (2009) Changes in global playing field for business• C.K. Prahalad: “Global Reset”• Familiar business models shifting – Auto, Finance, Energy, Retail• Merging of strategy, innovation, value creation• New ability of organizations to create with customers• “Anticipate and create” vs. “Sense and respond”
  11. 11. Trends Propelling Collaboration Collaboration central to staying relevant• Rishad Tobaccowala - VivaKi  Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer 1. Staying relevant 2. Innovating 3. Attracting and retaining talent• Collaboration essential to all 3
  12. 12. Trends Propelling Collaboration Shifts in composition of the global workforce• 1 billion working age adults: 2020 - Gen Y to dominate: 2025• Proliferation of smart devices: - > 5 billion mobile phones globally - Desire to “be connected”• Virtual teams increasingly popular - 40% now in virtual teams (Forrester, 2012) - 56% in three years• Organizational hierarchies flattening
  13. 13. New Book: Midnight Lunch (Wiley)Learn how to collaborate in 21st CenturyHow did Thomas Edison developwinning innovation teams?What new skills would Edisonadvocate for the digital age? Midnight Lunch in Dec/Jan ‘13 edition of Fast Company! bit.ly/VY7GkP Book bit.ly/TlUz9r Article
  14. 14. Edison’s 4 Phases of True Collaboration™ Collaboration powered Edison’s innovation success• Phase 1: Capacity (TODAY)• Phase 2: Context• Phase 3: Coherence• Phase 4: Complexity
  15. 15. Edison Saw Collaboration As… Applying discovery learning within a context of complexity, inspired by a common goal or a shared purpose. © 2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott
  16. 16. Collaboration vs. TeamworkCollaboration and teamwork are NOT the same“Collaboration is not the same thing as teamwork. Teamwork is simply doing your part. Collaboration involves leveraging the power of every individual to bring out each other’s strengths and differences.” - Greg Cox, President, Dale Carnegie Training - Chicago © 2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott
  17. 17. Phase 1: Capacity Create the foundations for collaboration to thrive• Small teams of 2 to 8 people• Common “experiences” - Midnight lunches• Diverse expertise, styles• Practiced taking risks together, and “discovering”
  18. 18. Common Ritual: Midnight Lunch Edison transformed employees into colleagues• Ritual blended social, scientific language• Low “social distance”• Order in food• Generated trust, deep exchange
  19. 19. Complex Adaptive SystemsMidnight lunch helps teams adapt, address complexity• Nimble communication• Share “private information”• Casual exchanges, social setting - Anne Donnellon: “Team Talk”
  20. 20. Midnight Lunch: Start With QuestionsForming master questions“How do substances burn?”“How does the eye perceive motion?”“How can I capture sound so it can be replayed again and again?”
  21. 21. Form HypothesesCreate new context – and future states• Explore master question via hypotheses: if/then - If we could minimize…then… - If it would be possible to… then… - If we could increase the amount of … then … - Inventing from the future, not incrementally from the present
  22. 22. Edison Valued Experimentation Context emerges when solutions are still forming• Don’t lock down too soon• Platform of discovery, not tasks• Sharing of outcomes, scenarios• “No experiments are useless.” - Thomas Edison• Practiced risk-taking
  23. 23. Midnight Lunch Drives Discovery LearningRapid learning cycles and “flat-ness”• Faster “learning cycles”• Experimentation allows us to “anticipate and create”• Could you hold your own midnight lunch?• Practice questioning, hypotheses, experimenting, risk-taking!
  24. 24. Collaboration a Crucial SuperskillMidnight Lunch: Foundation for Collaboration to Thrive• Connecting small, diverse groups• Create collegiality• Casual dialogue, and food!• Experiments, questioning, hypotheses• Share “private information”• Collaborative language – we/us• Deeper than brainstorming…creates new context• Release ingenuity!
  25. 25. How Collegial Are You? Edison modeled collegiality “He conversed, argued and disputed with us all as though he were a colleague on the same footing.” - Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin
  26. 26. What Is Your Edison Story? Celebrating Edison’s Birthday – Midnight Lunch• Post on my Facebook page: Power Patterns of Innovation - Qualify to win a free signed book!• Do a Team.Read™ - free workbook!• Purchase 8 copies of Midnight Lunch - www.powerpatterns.com/Books - email me scanned receipt at info@powerpatterns.com 2/11 to 2/18• Tweet your Edison story and follow me at @SarahCaldicott, use #midnightlunch
  27. 27. Expand Your Smart Layer Sarah Miller Caldicott CEO, The Power Patterns of Innovation info@powerpatterns.com | www.powerpatterns.com Twitter: @sarahcaldicott | LinkedIn: Sarah Caldicott Facebook: Power Patterns of Innovation YouTube book trailer: bit.ly/UTBFN8 Book Slideshare: slidesha.re/YpH0wz Book purchase: www.powerpatterns.com/Books Midnight Lunch (Wiley) also available from Amazon, major book sellers©2007 - 2013 Sarah Miller Caldicott