New Lantern

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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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Archive for Tag 'competition'

Here’s to the Winners

Posted by on October 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Congratulations to Fast Company’s 2012 “Innovation by Design” award winners announced earlier this week.

Eleven winners were chosen from among 56 finalists and 1,700 entrants in nine design categories: consumer products, industrial equipment, interactive, service, transportation, spaces, concepts, student, and 2-D.

The 2012 winners included: Nike, BioLite, Microsoft, Sheehan Partners, Continuum Innovation, Fisker, Softwalks, and Embrace Global.

According to Fast Company, this year’s awards celebration in New York, NY featured “the best and brightest in the industry, judged by the best and brightest in the industry,” and showcased “design innovations from bootstrapping student teams to mega corporations.”

Celebrate Your Employees

Posted by on September 3, 2012 at 9:46 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 would indeed be cause to celebrate the fruits of your company’s labor.

Your Company’s Golden Opportunity

Posted by on August 6, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I admit, I feel a bit nostalgic when I watch the Olympic Games. There’s something about watching the world’s best athletes compete their hearts out, not for a paycheck or a corporate sponsorship, but for the sole purpose of winning — and standing on a podium to proudly represent his or her country.

It boggles the mind to think about the thousands of hours and years of practice that many athletes invest to become the best at what they do. And more boggling is that all that work may come down to a mere 60 to 120-second performance.

What drives a person to work that hard for a reward only of recognition?

The Olympics are unique in this regard. A company or organization could never, ever replicate this level of drive and dedication from its employees. Employment is work. It is a compulsory activity whose purpose is to make a living, provide for one’s family, and ideally save towards retirement.

With that said, there’s a lot that a company could learn from the Olympic ideal. Creating a healthy, competitive environment is a good thing. Rewarding those employees who excel and distinguish themselves is a worthy exercise and will drive increased performance across the ranks.

A corporate culture that celebrates achievement, both of individuals and of teams, is one that will lead to long-term success. It also creates an environment where employees are more likely to enjoy their work, and not dread coming to it.

Seek to ignite a fire within your employees. Light a cauldron that can serve to fuel creativity and innovation. I bet you’ll like the results and the golden opportunity it will provide your company to best your competitors.

Reinforcing a Good Idea

Posted by on April 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm

The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) announced its 2012 design award winners last week based on aesthetics, innovation, engineering achievement, functional excellence and economy of construction.

CRSI has been recognizing excellence in reinforced concrete structure design through its award program for almost 40 years. This year’s winners were chosen across three categories: multi-family residential, commercial, and education facility. Winners in each category, respectively, included Cary Kopczynski & Company of Bellevue, WA; DeSimone Consulting Engineers of New York, NY; and Atlantic Engineering Services of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Robert Risser, CEO and President of CRSI, noted that “the winning projects showcase the innovative design possibilities and qualities of using reinforced concrete and the exceptional collaborative management required during the construction of these outstanding structures.”

According to CRSI’s website, its Design Awards program is open to architects, engineers, contractors and fabricators. The entrants may be individuals or teams, and eligible structures must be located in the United States, Canada or Mexico.

The CRSI awards help reinforce the point that beauty is, in fact, more than skin deep. Many times, it’s what you don’t see that distinguishes an ordinary structure – or an ordinary company — from an extraordinary one.

It pays to take the time to regularly recognize and honor those responsible for extraordinary performance, no matter what the field and no matter how obvious or non-obvious their contributions.

The Power of Competition

Posted by on April 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, died on this day 65 years ago in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford is credited for revolutionizing factory production with his assembly-line methods. Most importantly, he helped change how people lived and where they lived by developing the Model T, the world’s first affordable, mass-produced car.

Ford first produced the Model T in 1908, which sold for $850, according to And by the time the last Model T came off the assembly line in 1927, over 15 million had been sold. However, like many corporate trailblazers, Ford’s market dominance began to wane in the 1920s when it fell behind General Motors, which was responding more quickly to consumer demand with newer models.

To this day, Ford still trails GM in automobiles sold annually, but only by a narrow margin. Ford’s star has risen particularly in recent years under the leadership of former Boeing executive, Alan Mulally, who has helped make Ford profitable despite the country’s near economic meltdown. In late 2008 and early 2009, GM took bailout money from the U.S. Government; Ford notably did not.

The Ford and GM 100-year rivalry is longer than any in U.S. corporate history and will surely continue. There is no better fuel for innovation than competition, and no industry better illustrates this cause and effect than the automotive industry.

Thanks to GM’s and Ford’s long-term rivalry – and the competitive threats from Japanese and German car brands over the last three decades – consumers have a lot to be thankful for.

One wonders what Henry Ford would think today if he were behind the wheel of one of Ford’s latest models, such as a Ford Fusion Hybrid (gas and electric), in which he could control much of the dashboard with voice commands.

I bet he’d like the company that still bears his name.

The Power of Losing

Posted by on February 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Last week, syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker wrote an op-ed entitled “The Power of Losing” about the trials and tribulations of the 2012 Presidential campaign. In it, she notes that the recent losses by Mitt Romney to Rick Santorum in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri on February 7 could actually help to successfully re-focus Romney and his campaign as he seeks the Republican nomination.

Parker asserts that Romney’s concession speech that evening was the best speech to date of his candidacy, saying it “was touching and sweet and true.” She goes on to compare other major concession speeches by Presidential candidates, like Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, as their best speeches of their respective campaigns.

Of course, Romney’s February 7 loss was but one step along the way, and not an ultimate concession for the final prize like that of Gore and Kerry. And that’s the point. Romney still has a chance to leverage that night’s loss.

Parker goes on to say, “The moral of the story isn’t that one must lose to win, but that one try to harness the spoils of loss for the road to victory.”

Clearly, we can apply this same “power of losing” concept to the business world. Whether for an individual senior executive at a company, or the company at large, there is nothing like losing to a competitor or suffering your company’s first quarterly loss to get the juices flowing.

But success will turn on how that executive or how that company chooses to react to that loss, and whether they are successful in summoning a renewed winning spirit to take the next hill.

Loss is inevitable at some point for anybody and any company. Prepare yourself to respond to it accordingly, and turn the power of losing to your ultimate advantage.

And, seek to harness the spoils of loss for your road to victory. It might just lead to a bit of “Hail to the Chief” for you and your company.