Achieving Collaboration Success in the Digital Era – What we can learn from Thomas Edison

Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Chicago

Marketing Roundtable

April 9, 2013: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

In today's rapidly changing environment, collaborative innovation is essential in all types of business organizations. Successful innovation can bring together multiple business functions – finance, IT, sales, marketing, human resources – around a common mission. Come join us for an opportunity to meet fellow alumni and guests from all walks of business life, and to learn from a leading innovation process author whose work is informed and inspired by the life of Thomas Edison.


Gleacher Center
Room 100
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Event Details

Thomas Edison remains one of the most prolific and successful innovators of all time. Although we often envision Edison toiling alone, history confirms that he collaborated through small teams of experts and generalists from his very earliest days as an inventor. In his storied Menlo Park laboratory, Edison engaged a practice known as 'midnight lunch' to embed collegiality in his workplace culture, connecting hundreds of workers by sharing experiments and creative insights. Learn from innovation process expert Sarah Miller Caldicott how you can begin applying Edison's four-phased approach to establishing a collaborative work culture in today's digital era, and propel your innovation success.

Ms. Caldicott's new book, Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success, from Thomas Edison's Lab (published by Wiley), focuses on innovation, and drills into the crucial role of collaboration as a key driver of innovation momentum today. Midnight Lunch was featured in the January edition of Fast Company (see and, and has received several favorable reviews from many quarters. A 20-page segment of the book is devoted to the role of social media in supporting the 4th phase of collaboration – complexity – and especially the reasons why teams often use social media incorrectly to drive collaboration or innovation, and how to address this.



$15.00 Members and Guests
$20.00 Others
Price includes hors d'oeuvres.  Cash bar will be available.


Register Online

Deadline: 4/7/2013


6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Networking and hors d'ouevres

7:00 PM-8:30 PM: Presentation, discussion / Q&A

8:30 PM-9:00 PM: Continued discussion and networking

Speaker Profiles

Sarah Miller Caldicott (Speaker)
CEO, The Power Patterns of Innovation

A 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.

Concerned that America was losing its innovation leadership as the new millennium dawned, Sarah spent three years researching Edison's innovation methods with experts at Rutgers University. She co-authored the first book ever written on the subject of Edison's world-changing innovation process, updating his approach for the twenty-first century. Entitled Innovate Like Edison: The Five-Step System for Breakthrough Business Success, Sarah's book has been translated into 5 languages and is used as an innovation textbook in graduate and undergraduate programs across the US.

An award-winning speaker and innovation process expert, Sarah travels all over the world inspiring organizations on how they can employ Edison's timeless Five Competencies of Innovation™ today. A selected speaker for the popular TEDx series, Sarah's speech was recently captured in an ebook she authored, entitled Inventing the Future: What Would Thomas Edison Be Doing Today? Dedicated to revitalizing America's global innovation leadership, Sarah also served on the Steering Committee of the Edison Awards, and was Chairperson for 4 years.

Innovate Like Edison has been featured in The New York Times, Fortune Small Business, Fast Company, USA Today, and American Express OPEN. Sarah has also appeared as an innovation expert on PBS television, CNBC, the Fox Business Network, and NPR. She 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 small and mid-size
for-profit and non-profit operations.

Sarah's newest book, Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success, from Thomas Edison's Lab (December 2012, Wiley) brings Edison's collaboration approach into the digital era, offering executives at every level new tools for driving innovation through collaboration. Midnight Lunch has been featured in Fast Company magazine and several other leading publications.

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


Scott McGarvey 

(312) 648-6275