Thomas Edison was an undeniable genius. His processes and inventions still influence the way we live our lives today. Today’s conversation is one that will turn the lights on (no pun intended) for you and your manufacturing team if you’ll open yourself up to some ways of thinking about how you run your business. Today’s guest is Sarah Caldicott, author and great grandniece of Thomas Edison. Her new book “Midnight Lunch” profiles many of the strategies of collaboration and innovation that came out of Thomas Edison’s work teams, and delves into the ideas you can draw from his example to make your manufacturing company a game changer in the industry.
Don’t misunderstand, he was entirely “in charge” of the companies he created, but he was never a dictator or one who felt he had to come up with all the answers. He fostered a climate of cooperation and peer relationships that served to spark innovation and creativity in ways most manufacturing companies today can only dream of. Sarah Caldicott shares stories of Edison’s amazing work habits and approach in this episode of Making Chips, and in doing so provides practical ways you can adjust your approach to innovation and product development that could transform your place and impact on the manufacturing industry.
At first, the idea might sound a bit out of control, or difficult to manage. But we’re not talking about adversarial debate, here, we’re talking about challenging, constructive, goal-oriented debate that brings about new ideas and fresh ways of thinking. It’s the type of atmosphere Thomas Edison built into every one of his many companies, and the type of synergy that enabled him to bring so many world-changing inventions to the world. Sarah Caldicott highlights how that happened and provides ideas about how modern manufacturing companies can apply the same approach to become innovators in their niche of the manufacturing industry.
That’s a principle straight out of Thomas Edison’s own approach to building and working with teams. He found that having team members adequately trained to work in multiple areas and even on different projects enabled the team as a whole to come up with better ideas, see other options, and approach difficulties with fresh eyes. Nobody was allowed to stay locked in one area of expertise but rather was encouraged (even required) to step into other projects that grew and challenged their thinking and abilities. The end result is that Edison’s teams were able to pioneer 6 distinct industries within 30 years, all which are still with us today. Find out more from Sarah Caldicott as she discusses her newest book, “Midnight Lunch” on this episode of Making Chips.
Was it when they failed to reach a designated goal? Was it because they made a huge mistake? Was it because they failed to do what they’d been told to do? None of those are the reason. Thomas Edison only got angry with employees when they were careless. Carelessness means they weren’t “taking care” to think through the eventualities and possibilities of what they were doing and to safeguard against bad results as much as they were able. How does that approach shed light on your attitude toward employees? How can you adjust to make the environment in your company more amenable to cooperation and collaboration? Find out how Edison’s approach could help you grow in those areas, on this episode.
[1:06] Welcome and introducing Sarah Caldicott, great grandniece of THE Thomas Edison.
[1:40] Calls to action for this episode
[2:08] Introduction of Sarah, her background, experience, and current projects.
[3:47] Sarah’s summary of her newest book, “Midnight Lunch,” and how it came from the practices and experiences carried out in the workshop of of Thomas Edison himself.
[7:23] How a 5 person company could create great innovations in the Manufacturing Industry.
[8:00] The importance of hiring people who are not like you to be part of your team.
[8:20] The importance of dialogue and debate on a team.
[9:05] Trying to create “low social distance” in your manufacturing business - a non-hierarchical work climate.
[11:10] How Thomas Edison did cross-training and encouraged synergy among his teams.
[13:17] Taking the concept of the “midnight lunch” to a small manufacturing company.
[15:00] How dialogue and collaboration spark innovation in a company.
[16:51] Collaboration as “discovery learning.”
[17:38] How Thomas Edison created 6 industries in 30 years.
[18:36] The only reason Thomas Edison got angry with people on his teams.
Midnight Lunch - Sarah’s book
Or call us at 312-725-0245
The last episode of Making Chips featured a conversation with Hernán Luis y Prado, U.S. veteran and founder of Workshops for Warriors. This episode is a continuation of that important conversation. Hernán is passionate to see two things: the manufacturing industry rebuilt in a sustainable, truly effective way, and the reintegration of veterans into the American society and workforce. Hear how Workshops for Warriors is doing that in their San Diego training facility and how they have achieved 100% job placement - in this episode of Making Chips.
When Hernán Luis y Prado, the founder of Workshops for Warriors was asked that question, his answer was shocking and immediate. He said he doesn’t care who manufacturing leaders hire, he just cares that they hire and train people to prepare for the devastating problems that could hit the manufacturing industry if another huge demand were to hit. His heart is for veterans to be trained for the manufacturing industry because of their level of expertise and ability to produce on a level that is unmatched, and they are ready to be trained now. Find out more about how Hernán is changing the manufacturing industry on this episode.
Though the work they’re doing is amazing and powerful, Workshops for Warriors is a very small part of the help the manufacturing industry needs. At this point there are 150 locations around the United States where a similar training facility for veterans could be established and thrive. And Hernán Luis y Prado believes those 150 facilities are vitally needed. What can you do to help meet the need the manufacturing industry is facting? Find out on this episode of Making Chips.
has been an ongoing problem since the organization first began, and it’s a responsibility he takes squarely on his own shoulders. He is disappointed that he’s been unable to effectively communicate, to successful, intelligent people, why they need to be active in ensuring that the manufacturing industry is supplied with competent, trained workers not only now, but for generations to come. In his mind, if the manufacturing leaders of today don’t get on board to help supply a vast pool of qualified workers for the industry, the entire industry will fall prey to some terrible effects in the near future. Find out more about how you can get involved, on this episode of Making Chips.
What does that mean? It means that when the demand for skilled workers for the industry is so great, like it is right now, the tendency is for the larger companies to entice workers at smaller companies away from their jobs, which clearly benefits the large company short-term, but could be a devastating blow to the smaller company, which will hurt the entire industry in the end. The fact is that there is plenty of work to go around and every company that is producing quality products is needed to meet demand. What is needed is effective and thorough training of a new workforce for the manufacturing industry, and Workshops for Warriors is leading the way. Learn how you can avoid that kind of short sightedness by supporting Workshops for Warriors, on this episode.
www.TKMNA.com - The Tyssen Krup website (sponsor). Use the code CHIPS2 to get 15% off!
www.MakingChips.com/WFW - Make your contribution to help Workshops for Warriors
Or call us at 312-725-0245
After sacrificing a great deal to protect their homeland, U.S. Veterans often struggle to find their place in civilian society. It’s especially difficult for those who are injured or disabled and come home to industries and jobs that are not suited to their newfound disability. Many fall into drug use, crime, and other non-productive walks of life. Workshops for Warriors is the vision of one man, a veteran himself, who saw the need and stepped into the gap to make a way for those oft forgotten heroes to find a place of productivity in the society they have given so much to serve. This episode of Making Chips highlights the efforts of Hernán Luis y Prado, founder of Workshops for Warriors.
Hernán Luis y Prado came face to face with the debilitating problems many wounded warriors face when trying to reintegrate into American society when he encountered a fellow serviceman who’d lost his legs in service to his country. It was at that point that he realized that many have made tremendous sacrifices in service to their country, and through nobody’s fault, are being left to fend for themselves when it comes to the rest of their lives. That’s when he began developing a plan to train and equip disabled veterans to move into the manufacturing industry as productive workers. Find out more on this episode.
That’s a question Hernán Luis y Prado asks when he is asked why veterans make ideal candidates for important careers in the manufacturing industry. He’s making the point that their experience in the military has trained them to take technical demands and needs very seriously, and they know how to put that expertise to use. It’s second nature, and one that can be redirected to energize and reinvigorate the U.S. manufacturing industry. The slogan of Workshops for Warriors (Hernán’s organization) is, “Rebuilding Manufacturing, one veteran at a time.” Find out how he’s doing that on this episode of Making Chips.
That’s one of the many steps Workshops for Warriors has taken to make it possible for those who have given it all for their country to be able to do valuable jobs in the manufacturing industry so they can once again serve their country with distinction. WFW also provides training in many areas, computers, machinery, welding, all with a focus on enabling veterans to continue to provide value to the country in important ways. If you, or someone you know is in need of this kind of specialized training, listen to this episode to find out more about Workshops for Warrior’s varied programs.
We’re just getting started. Part 2 of this important conversation will publish next week, and Hernán Luis y Prado will reveal more of what Workshops for Warriors is doing for disabled and returning veterans, the kinds of training they provide, and how you and others you know can get involved with their programs and training school to build a career in the manufacturing industry. It’s a continuation that you won’t want to miss, so listen to part 1 here, and watch for part 2 next week.
[0:01] Welcome to this episode of Making Chips - THE Podcast to equip manufacturing professionals!
[0:17] Introduction to today’s guest - founder of Workshop for Warriors
[1:04] Featured audio from Workshop for Warriors - a look into what the organization does.
[4:15] Introduction of Hernán Luis y Prado, founder of Workshops for Warriors.
[6:02] Hernan’s service in the U.S. Military and his journey to starting Workshops for Warriors.
[11:42] The specialized welding equipment for disabled veterans Workshops for Warriors has created.
[13:28] How the dream began in Hernán’s garage and moved on from there.
[15:59] The U.S. problem with equipping veterans to reintegrate into society.
[17:45] The problem with drug abuse and crime among U.S. veterans.
[19:34] Hernán’s transition to working with WFW full time.
[22:35] The first training programs WFW was able to begin.
[23:02] The Workshops for Warriors facilities - what they have and the programs veterans can take advantage of to receive training.
[25:34] How the U.S. Military uniquely equips veterans for the manufacturing industry.
Or call us at 312-725-0245