Innovate Like Edison

The recent book Innovate Like Edison by Michael Geb and Sarah Caldicott provides an excellent schematic to both individuals and businesses looking for a systematic approach to innovation.

Thomas Edison is without question the greatest inventor in American history. Edison generated 1,093 United States and 1,293 international patents over a 62 year period.

Many of his innovations have become multi-billion worldwide industries.

Edison established General Electric and a world first: General Electric’s industrial research laboratory. In doing so, GE pioneered the lighting, movie, phonograph, cement and battery industries.

According to Peter Drucker, “Every organization – not just business – needs one core competence: innovation.”

What other more powerful means exists for differentiating yourself or your business from the rest than through innovation?

Caldicott is a great-grandniece of Thomas Edison.

Edison’s had Five Competencies for innovation:

1. Have a solution-centric mindset

2. Use “kaleidoscope” thinking

3. Engage full spectrum engagement

4. Develop and harness a mastermind collaboration

5. Focus intensely on creating value

Each of his five competencies has an additional five performance benchmarks.

Through their book, Geb and Caldicott show how Edison may have been an even greater innovator of procedures than products by delineating what steps Edison took to produce innovation.

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