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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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Stack ’em, Pack ’em, and Rack ’em

Posted by on September 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm

In watching the weather reports today, which show three to four hurricanes lined up in the Atlantic heading toward the eastern coast of the United States, I am reminded of one of the more memorable lines in American cinema.

In the 1990 “Die Hard 2: Die Harder,” the actor and former U.S. Senator, Fred Thompson, plays the Chief of Air Operations at Washington Dulles Airport and utters the great metaphorical line, “stack ‘em, pack ‘em, and rack ‘em.” With this line, he gives the order to his air traffic control staff to keep all incoming aircraft in a holding pattern until hijackers are no longer controlling the airport. The intent is to buy time until Bruce Willis (John McClane) can save the day.

So when I saw the colorful, eye-popping flight path this week on our television screens of the incoming hurricanes and tropical storms — Earl, Fiona, and Gaston, I thought of Fred Thompson’s 20-year-old line and the image of the jetliners lined up over the dark skies of Dulles Airport.

Whether it’s turbulence as a result of Mother Nature or man-made disasters, companies are best served by executives and managers who are able to keep their cool and focus in response to both seen and unforeseen events. These necessary attributes can only come through experience, effective training, and a corporate culture that values and cultivates them.

When crisis strikes, do not bet the company on managers knowing what to do. Spend time and resource to make sure they have the tools and know-how at the ready.

Have a safe and restful upcoming Labor Day weekend.