New Lantern

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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.


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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.

I Still Love Lucy

Posted by on October 15, 2014 at 8:13 pm

The I Love Lucy television show first aired on this day in 1951. It starred then-Hollywood legend Lucille Ball, whose zany and fresh comedic antics helped turn the sitcom into the most watched television show of its era.

Ball’s trademark blazing red hair and slapstick humor was an unlikely pairing with her co-star, Desi Arnaz. Arnaz, who played Lucy’s husband Ricky Ricardo, was also her real-life husband during the run of the show. Arnaz was a dark-haired Cuban American singer and bandleader, whose memorable heavy accent and exclamations on the show continue to resonate to this day.

CBS executives at the time questioned whether the U.S. television audience would accept the idea of an All-American redhead married to a Cuban. Those fears quickly turned to celebration as I Love Lucy went on to become one of the most popular television sitcoms of all time. Sixty-three years after its debut, reruns of I Love Lucy are still viewed by more than 40 million Americans each year.

On the show, Lucy and Ricky were joined by co-stars Vivian Vance and William Frawley, who played Ethel and Fred Mertz. Vance and Frawley were perfectly cast as the Ricardos’ neighbors, landlord, and best friends. To this day, I still laugh thinking about the scene of Lucy and Ethel working in the chocolate factory on the production line.

Lucille Ball not only broke new ground as a leading female character of a television sitcom, she also served as the first woman to head a television production company, Desilu, which she and Arnaz formed. As a very active studio head at Desilu, Ball “pioneered a number of methods still in use in television production today such as filming before a live studio audience with a number of cameras, and distinct sets adjacent to each other.”

Whether it’s a television studio, and large corporation, or a small or medium size business, chief executives need to be willing to move outside of their safe zone in order to innovate and try new approaches. Success in business comes from bold leadership, a strong team, and promoting a culture that embraces an inventive spirit.

A Labor of Love

Posted by on September 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Labor Day was first celebrated in 1882 as a day set aside to commemorate the “social and economic achievement of the American worker,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Labor Day has since come to represent the end of summer, the beginning of football season, and one of the last opportunities to get in those picnics, barbecues, and backyard family gatherings before the chill of autumn sets in across many parts of the country.

This year, Labor Day for your company should serve as a reminder to re-invest in your employees. Your employees are your company’s single most valuable asset. You already invest heavily in your employees through wages and benefits, but are you truly getting a solid return on that investment? Most likely you are not, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

Treat your employees like a valuable resource, and you will in turn reap the benefits. Nurture their talents, encourage risk-taking, and incent creativity and innovation.

Developing talent within your organization does not happen overnight. It takes persistence, a sustained dose of right-brain stimulus, and a senior management team who is willing to provide a culture where talent and creativity can take root and thrive.

Let New Lantern help your company mine and grow the talents of your employees through creative leadership training, performance-based compensation and incentive programs, and other inventive business innovation methods.

The pay-off for your company could be the next hot product or service offering, which is all the more reason to love your employees.

The Longest Day

Posted by on June 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

For all you earth dwellers, today is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Well, technically the day is no longer than the other 364 days, but the amount of daylight today is at its annual maximum. Officially called the “summer solstice,” the tilt of the earth is in its most inclined position today toward the sun.

Of course, this is not news to most people. Most of us know that we can enjoy the most hours of sunlight today and the least hours of sunlight around December 21, which is the winter solstice. And I’m betting that you are like me and enjoy more light rather than less.

More daylight brightens more than just your room, it brightens your attitude and frame of mind. Sunlight is also good for our physical well-being in providing us with more Vitamin D, which our bodies need for greater bone health among other things. More daylight also means we need less artificial light – and the electricity it burns – as we go about our daily lives in our homes, work places, and the out-of-doors.

Which brings me to my point. With longer days and more daylight, one has less need for a light or a lantern, or a “new lantern” if you will.

So a consulting business that might provide services intended to provide light or new thinking to business customers, let’s say, might be less inclined to enjoy this time of year? Well, figuratively speaking that might be true. In reality, we like the summer solstice and the long hours of daylight as much as the next non-cave dweller.

Whether it’s supplied by the sun or a lantern, businesses and other organizations need creative thinking and the ability to see new ways of working year-round, 365 days a year.

And there’s no better time to embrace this notion than on the longest day of the year.

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.