Collaborate like Edison

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management,Profiles in Leadership,Team Building


Having published Innovate Like Edison, author Sarah Miller Caldicott, great-grandniece of the inventor, is working on a second book about Thomas Edison’s collaboration methods.

EL: Why did you choose collaboration as a topic?

Caldicott: Edison believed in collaboration not only as a way of accelerating the innovation process, but to expand the solution set. He liked to create diverse groups of people from diverse disciplines. So if you had a collaborative effort versus having all experts and like-minded people on the project, you’d have a better product and be able to create it faster.

EL: What did Edison’s teams look like?

Caldicott: Edison’s teams were small, nimble groups—three to eight people—that had budgets. He believed in establishing them as nonhierarchical. There was virtually always a leader, but beyond that, people were asked for their ideas and contributions regardless of tenure and skill set. Edison liked to h...(register to read more)

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