This is part 1 of a 2-part series on the importance of collaboration and the introduction of the Midnight Lunch™ Lab at The Hardware Store.
"When compared with the awesome power of fission, vividly demonstrated in an atomic bomb or an exploding star, gravity works softly, and with a more velvet hand."
The quote above is from Sarah Miller Caldicott's book, Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success from Thomas Edison's Lab. It highlights exactly why a powerful tool like collaboration is often times put on the back burner. Gravity is so important in our daily lives, but since it's not as thrilling as something like an exploding star, it often goes unnoticed.
"It is a force that we rely on daily. But we don't think about it very much because it's in the background," states Caldicott.
Collaboration is very similar. We understand that it's important, but teams and organizations still underestimate how valuable it truly is to success.
Caldicott is the great-grandniece of Thomas Edison. At a young age, she became passionate about decoding Edison's way of thinking by digging deeper into his work notebooks and doing further research. It didn't take long to realize that most of Thomas Edison's great ideas rooted from a significant amount of team collaboration. But Edison wasn't the only one who believed in collaboration.
"We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done." –Alan Turing
One of this year's Oscar nominated films strongly brings the importance of collaboration into perspective. Based on a true story, The Imitation Game, mathematician Alan Turing successfully cracks the Nazi enigma code by inventing a powerful machine. He had the idea in his mind, but to execute, he needed to collaborate with others. He worked with a brilliant cryptography team to make this machine work.
But something so powerful couldn't be done overnight. And the impact wasn't seen until months later. But Turing continued to spend time on thinking and brainstorming with his team. In the end, the machine worked, with studies showing it ended the war approximately two years earlier than if it was non-existent, making the value of the time spent collaborating crystal clear. Turing is often perceived as the father of computing — what's more innovative than that?
True collaboration is a necessity — not an option.
It's remarkable how much collaboration impacts ideas. Unfortunately, many businesses and teams don't fully understand its true potential.
The story of Turing and the cryptography team demonstrated what Caldicott coined true collaboration — unlocking the potential not just within an individual, but for the whole team or organization.
By studying Edison's strategies like Caldicott did or learning the process of how other great minds work, such as Alan Turing, we see collaboration is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. And even though we don't necessarily see the impact of the time spent on collaboration, it is always brought up in success stories: I couldn't have done it without my team, I came up with the idea while talking with a friend of mine, I found the solution during a dinner conversation with a colleague — we hear similar statements about innovation all time.
The Bi-Link team has already seen the impact true collaboration has on shaping the future of manufacturing. In our next post, we'll be shedding light on The Midnight Lunch™ Lab at The Hardware Store, and how it will put the process of true collaboration into action.