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Midnight Lunch: The 4 Phases of Team Collaboration Success from Thomas Edison's Lab by Sarah Miller Caldicott

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Chapter 3

Phase 1

Capacity—Creating the Foundations for Collaboration to Thrive

Diversity helps drive discovery learning at different levels. It allows you to see things from different angles and ask new questions.

—Moises Norena, Global Director of Innovation, Whirlpool Corporation

As you begin your true collaboration endeavor in Phase 1, examine your willingness to bring a discovery learning orientation to the project you’re undertaking. Are you intending to operate more like Team B or Team A? Are you willing to run the three-legged race and deeply contribute to the success of your group rather than merely playing a predefined role? Regardless of whether you are already on a team that has initiated a project or whether you are beginning Phase 1 from scratch, start by answering these questions:

  • Is there an opportunity to create new knowledge through our team’s efforts?
  • Could sharing the learning we generate benefit others beyond our team?
  • Could our efforts result in an expansion in market value, customer value, product value, or service-related value?
  • Can we balance both tasks and learning in our team project?
  • Does each individual anticipate receiving new skills that will be valuable to him or her both in the short and long term?

If you’re able to answer “yes” to a majority of these questions, you’re starting out on the right foot. By being willing at the outset to engage in a discovery learning perspective rather than a sheer task-driven perspective, you are activating the ...

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