New Lantern

About the blog

Light from the
New Lantern blog

Welcome to the New Lantern blog. Our goal is to shine light on leading innovators and creative artists, and how your business can learn and profit from them. Companies large, medium, and small can benefit from employees who think more creatively. New Lantern may be just the source of inspiration your company needs to spark more innovative products, services, and processes.


Fast Company cover



RSS Buttons






Follow New Lantern on Twitter
Archives

Archives


Archives

To Text or Not to Text? (Im in mtg, will call u bak)

Posted by on November 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Texting photo

Are you the person looking down at your phone while a boss, co-worker, or dare I say, a customer is talking to you?

If that’s you, we should talk.

It’s time to set the device down.

Granted not every meeting is groundbreaking, but are you sure that you want to be texting during a meeting?

Do yourself a favor and try not texting for a few minutes at a time, and slowly build up your resistance until you can make it through an entire meeting. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that you didn’t have an iPhone or similar smart phone constantly begging for your attention.

I’m all for multi-tasking, but heads up – a recently released study says multi-tasking may shrink your brain!  So unless you want your brain to shrink, I offer up these three suggestions:

1.  Find an App that will automatically respond to any incoming text with a message that simply states you’re busy and will get back to them when you can.

2.  Pay attention during meetings.  Be sure to use this time with your boss, co-workers or customers to its full potential.

3.  Remember that your boss is probably watching, and there’s a good chance that he or she will notice your lack of attention while texting.

As I witnessed first-hand at the White House, when President George W. Bush asked for follow-up information during a meeting on a specific topic, the pertinent advisor took ownership at the meeting in getting that information back to the President.

What would have happened if this same advisor was texting during those meetings and was not paying attention? I expect he would be a former advisor.

So put the device down, look up and make the most out of each meeting.

How the Vietnam War Saved My Life

Posted by on April 14, 2014 at 7:12 pm

It was the summer of 1983, and the Police, Men at Work, and Duran Duran were playing on the radio. I was 12-years old and about to start the seventh grade. I had made the decision not to return to my dad’s home in South Dakota, but instead live with my mom in Maryland and go to a new school. A few days before school started my mom took my brother and me to the mall for new clothes.

About a mile from the mall is where my life changed forever.

Our car was violently struck by an 18-wheeler. The mammoth truck had run a red light, crashing broadside into our car. It crushed and flipped our vehicle like a toy, critically injuring myself and my older brother. My mom was not as lucky; she didn’t survive the initial impact.

I woke sometime later in the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland hospital in Baltimore. My brother and I had been “medevaced” by helicopter directly to this world-class trauma center. We were surrounded by doctors and nurses working on our wounds in a controlled chaos. They were all wearing their trademark pink scrubs, the uniform of these “special forces” of the medical world.

The predecessor of the University of Maryland’s trauma center opened in 1960s, and was the first of its kind. It was the brain child of R Adams Cowley, MD, who is known as the “father of trauma medicine.”

After treating the wounded in World War II and working for years studying traumatic injury, Dr. Cowley came to the conclusion that treating critically injured patients during that first hour was crucial to survival, referring to this time as the “Golden Hour.”  He determined this first hour was the difference between life and death.

But how does the Vietnam War play a role in my survival?

At the time that Dr. Cowley’s trauma center was becoming fully functional in Baltimore, the Vietnam War was coming to a close. And it was during the Vietnam War that the use of helicopters for medical evacuations was perfected. Dr. Cowley recognized the value of helicopters, and they quickly became an integral component of the new trauma unit. This innovation, combined with top notch teams of trauma doctors and nurses, soon made the center a huge success. And this success has carried on to this day as the center remains a world leader.

As for me, my severe injuries in 1983 kept me in the hospital for months, followed by even more time spent at home recovering. I ultimately did fully recover, and 30 years later, I am married and have three children of my own.

It’s thanks to Dr. Cowley’s innovation to the medical world that people like myself, who are able to make it through that critical “Golden Hour,” survive traumatic, life-threatening injuries.

Dr. Cowley passed away in 1991, but you can help him receive the recognition he deserves by honoring him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Click the link to sign a letter of support.

The Tomato Paste Playbook

Posted by on February 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm


Have you ever wondered how your company can get more customers, “likes” on Facebook, or attention with ads?

I tell people that it’s important to share your story.

But what does this mean?

Each day your company goes about doing its job, which to some may seem quite routine.

To customers, especially new ones, they may not recognize or see the everyday highlights of your company. They may not know your company’s history or how it’s gotten to where it is today.

The trick is to look within your company. Look at it with fresh eyes and find those hidden gems — those stories that should be shared with customers. Many times companies overcome great odds or complete huge tasks, and quickly move on to the next challenge. Look closer, as these may be just the stories that should be told.

I recently took notice of a television commercial by Hunt’s. Yes, I’m talking about the 100-year-old company known mainly for its canned tomato products.

So how did Hunt’s get my attention? By sharing a process known as “flash steaming.”

Now I’ll admit I don’t know much about this steaming process. It’s apparently used by Hunt’s prior to canning, when it removes parts of the vegetable you wouldn’t want included in your can of tomatoes.

How do other companies complete this same process you may ask? According to the Hunt’s commercial, they use chemicals, specifically lye — the same potash-based substance used to make the very pungent Norwegian Lutefisk (a.k.a. aged stockfish). Lye is also used in soaps, oven cleaners, and drain openers. Yum.

This is just one small story shared by a century-old company, simply explaining a process they use daily to can vegetables. Hunt’s looked within the company, found something they did every day, supposedly better than their competitors, and highlighted it.

Now I know something I didn’t before, and will look for Hunt’s next time I need some canned tomatoes. And that’s no lye.

The Art of Managing (The White House)

Posted by on February 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Can you imagine having 300 people counting on you to keep daily operations running smoothly? Now imagine one of those people is the newly inaugurated President of the United States, and the rest are his closest advisors and staff.

If this isn’t enough to think about, remember the country and world are watching.

Here are 10 strategies I learned during my five years serving as the Operations Manager for the White House, Executive Office of the President.

1.  When the Oval Office or anyone in the West Wing calls, you make things happen, quickly.

2.  Treat all who need your help as if they too work in the the West Wing.

3.  Get to know your customers and act as their liaison. Be the bridge between your customers and the experts who will help you solve their problems.

4.  View each challenge as an opportunity to showcase your skills and learn new ones. With each challenge comes risk for great success and equal failure. Commend others who helped you be successful, and own your failures.

5.  Always have a back-up plan so that any failures are quickly fixed.

6.  It can be prudent to ask questions such as, “Why are we doing it this way?” If the answer is, “I can’t remember,” or, “This is just the way it has always been done,” it could be time to rethink your solution.

7.  Change is constant – be able to adapt and improvise. There may be times when the best plans go south, this is when you must think on your feet, move fast or get run over.

8.  There is a solution for every problem; use your imagination and creativity to find those solutions.

9.  Mentor and train others – this is both challenging and rewarding. Showing someone the ropes and training them will ensure their success, while also ensuring your team’s legacy will continue.

10.  Lastly, one of my favorite sayings I used while working in the White House – “The impossible is possible, it just takes a little longer.”

The photo above was taken by Tina Hager (former White House photographer).

‘Twas Right Before Christmas

Posted by on December 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm

‘Twas right before Christmas, and not before then,
We were dreaming about Art Basel, Miami, not Switzerland.
The art was hung on the walls with great care,
In hopes that patrons and art critics, soon would be there.

The artists were nestled not far from the beach,
While visions of greatness would come from their techniques.
With Guccis on her feet and my Persol’s set just right,
We would settle down for dinner, a Cuban fusion delight.

Then out by a white tent there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the restaurant to see what was the matter.
Away toward the sound I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and threw the hostess some cash.

The sun outside was all glittery and aglow,
Gave lustre to a late afternoon pop-up below.
When what to my wandering eyes should appear,
But the greatest of exhibits, not close, not near.

We used Bing maps and found the place quick.
Now we needed a ride, which one would we pick?
With the help of Uber, onwards we came,
So happy were we, we shouted artists by name!

There’s a Banksy, a Fairey, other street artists too!
There’s Warhol! and traffic, oh what a zoo!
Now over a billion was spent, that we did know.
We Tweeted, this was not just a fair, this was “The Show.”

As the week of Art Basel came to an end,
We would say goodbye to Jay-Z and our newest best friends.
Thank you to all, who showed us a world full of art.
Looking forward to next year, can’t wait for Art Basel 2013 to start.

The Art of Politics

Posted by on September 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm


Will you vote in the coming election?

Now that the Republican and Democratic Conventions have ended, the official race for President has begun! At the end of the race, millions of Americans will cast their vote for the next President of the United States.

Will one vote make a difference?

Can one person change the outcome of this election?

Could the work of one artist, one image affect the election and leave a lasting impression that sways votes?

We’ve seen many images used in politics over the years from cartoons and caricatures to photos and paintings, including this early American cartoon (shown above) from one of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin.

Over two hundred and fifty years later in 2008 another artist made a dramatic impact producing one of the most memorable, if not the most effective works used by a political campaign in modern history. This piece became synonymous with the campaign, representing the candidate and his message during the election.

The image was of the candidate with a four-letter word that simply read, “HOPE.” This work was created by street artist Shepard Fairey. Fairy had created other well-known works including the Andre the Giant “Obey” image seen on many walls and stickers around the country. Fairey’s work conveys a dramatic message with a quick glance, leaving the viewer with a lasting slogan that is hard to forget.

Whether you agree with the politician, the image and message Fairey created is effective in its simplicity. Fairey has since gone on to become a well-known contemporary artist.

Other artists have followed Fairey’s lead with their own versions of campaign-themed art for the 2012 election cycle.

One artist, Jon McNaughton, has used art to take a critical view of the President’s time in office. McNaughton’s art takes a complex approach, leaving the viewer with an encyclopedia of symbolism. His work is so detailed that he’s created an impressive interactive guide on his website to help explain the meaning behind each image; yet, the overall message leaves little for interpretation.

It may never be known if artists have changed or will change the outcome of any past or future elections. What is known is that the work and expression of one artist can leave a lifelong impression of an important moment in time.