Midnight Lunch

Sarah Caldicott

Thomas Edison’s innovations contributed a whopping 3% of global GDP at the time of his death in 1931. Edison created six multi-billion dollar industries that still exist today, ranging from document duplication to electrical power generation, recorded sound, the storage battery, and the movies. What many people don’t realize is that his innovations were generated through a focused approach to teamwork and collaboration. Authored by Sarah Miller Caldicott, Edison’s great grandniece and an innovation process expert, Midnight Lunch provides an intriguing look at how Edison’s world-changing collaboration methods can strengthen live and virtual teams today. Edison’s four phases of collaboration success offer a simple yet powerful way to deliver outstanding ROI in the digital era. Midnight Lunch reveals:

  •  – How to draw together individuals from diverse disciplines, ensuring multiple perspectives and rapid problem-solving
  • –  How to mix specialists and generalists on the same team
  • –  Why innovation stalls when collaboration is not present
  • –  How to apply the four “C’s” of collaboration in your innovation efforts: Capacity, Context, Coherence, and Complexity


Team members from any field can use Midnight Lunch as a handbook in their project meetings, draw immediate insights, and transform their innovation results.

About the Author

A great grandniece of Thomas Edison, Sarah Miller Caldicott is an innovation process expert and thought leader. 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 100 firms including the Quaker Oats subsidiary of Pepsi, 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.

Concerned that America risks losing its global innovation edge, Sarah spent three years researching Edison’s innovation methods with experts at The Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University. Sarah delved deeply into the innovation success Edison achieved at his Menlo Park laboratory, his West Orange lab, the Fort Myers botanical research lab, and the Edison General Electric facility in Schenectady, NY which later became GE.

Synthesizing insights from her research, Sarah released the first business book ever written on Edison’s world-changing innovation process. Using a business lens, Sarah translates Edison’s revolutionary methods for use by twenty-first century business leaders. Sarah’s first book Innovate Like Edison: The Five-Step System for Breakthrough Business Success (Penguin) has been released in 5 languages and is used as an innovation textbook in graduate and undergraduate programs across the US.

Sarah’s newest book, Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success, from Thomas Edison’s Lab (Wiley) brings Edison’s collaboration approach into the digital era. Midnight Lunch has been featured in Fast Company magazine, and offers proven tools for driving innovation through collaboration. The advent of smart devices and virtual teams requires every business leader to harness the power of collaboration in the digital era.

Dedicated to reinspiring innovation capability in today’s workforce, Sarah travels all over the world guiding organizations on how they can bring innovation to the center of their business practices. An award-winning speaker and author, Sarah has appeared in The New York Times, Fortune Small Business, and USA Today, as well as on CNBC and NPR.  Sarah also writes a popular innovation blog for Forbes.com.

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, Cisco, John Deere, Emerson, the Mayo Clinic, and Microsoft.

Sarah holds a BA from Wellesley College, where she was named a Wellesley College scholar, and received an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. She has four boys.

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