Sarah Caldicott: The Future of Collaboration

Follow Sarah Caldicott on Twitter: @SarahCaldicott

Sarah CaldicottA great grandniece of Thomas Edison, Sarah Miller Caldicott is an innovation process expert. Inspired by a family lineage of inventors dating back five generations, she has been engaged in creativity and innovation throughout her life. Sarah spent the first 15 years of her 25-year career as a Marketing executive with Global 500 firms including Quaker Oats and the Helene Curtis subsidiary of Unilever. As a leader of global innovation teams, Sarah was responsible for major brand launches in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Dedicated to revitalizing America’s ingenuity and innovation leadership, Sarah travels all over the world inspiring organizations on how they can employ Edison’s timeless Five Competencies of Innovation™. An award-winning speaker, she was selected for the popular TEDx series, and her speech was captured in her ebook entitled Inventing the Future: What Would Thomas Edison Be Doing Today?

Sarah is President of her own Chicago-based consultancy, The Power Patterns of Innovation, offering expert training and guidance on how to build innovation and collaboration capabilities in organizations of all sizes. Her clients include Intel, John Deere, Emerson, the Mayo Clinic, and Microsoft as well as numerous non-profit operations.

Most Significant Links:

GE and innovation, the Internet of Things:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/24/technology/internet/ge-looks-to-industry-for-the-next-digital-disruption.html?_r=2&

New job realities:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/opinion/sunday/friedman-need-a-job-invent-it.html?smid=tw-share

Recent Innovation Survey from Accenture:
http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Why-Low-Risk-Innovation-Costly.pdf

A Favorite Quote of My Own:
(In Midnight Lunch, Phase 1):
“Edison viewed the creation of diverse teams as a powerful vehicle for magnifying the innate creative capacities of each team member. Instead of groups capable of linear thought processes randomly strung together, Edison saw diverse teams as interweaving and blending multiple thought styles. This intermingling served as the fundamental spur that activated the team’s innate creative abilities. Building a diversity of expertise into each team allowed Edison to continually pull the best from the creating brains of his employees.”

A Favorite Quote from Another:
Thomas Edison (Feb 27, 1927 published in the NY Times)
“If you cant think a thing out yourself, get as many other people as you can to thinking on the subject. Somebody may find some facts that have eluded you and through them come to the solution. Who thinks a matter out is of no importance whatsoever. The important thing is that the problem should be solved.”

Most Impactful Business Book I Have Read:
Competing for the Future by Gary Hamel and C.K Prahalad.
With this work, Hamel and Prahalad positioned innovation as an area worthy of study not only by business leaders, but by employees as well. The term ‘core competence’ was first coined in this book, resonating deeply with readers, and emerging as a central term in the business landscape which remains nearly 20 years later. As well, the notion of engaging trends in the innovation process became a powerful tool for intercepting new behaviors, and inventing the future…an philosophy that aligns with Thomas Edison’s own worldchanging methods

Most Impactful Non-Fiction Book I Have Read:
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
Friedman lays out new forces and trends that will impact the global economy for the early decades of the 21st century. It was a book that awakened me to realize that innovation competencies are not a casual, passing fad, but rather factors that must be integrated into the very fabric of our educational and governance systems.

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