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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 'creative'

Innovation Starts in August

Posted by on August 7, 2016 at 12:42 pm

August has traditionally served as the most popular month for vacations in Corporate America and throughout many parts of the world. August to most employees means time away from the office, more time spent with family, time spent at the beach or on a lake or quietly at home.

On one hand, this makes August one of the least productive months of the year in terms of business output. On the other, I would contend that vacation time in fact contributes to a more productive employee upon his or her return.

So I would recommend that managers encourage employees to take some time off this month, and they should lead by example. Get away from the office. Step away from your smartphone. Clear the head and refuel the batteries, and come back to work in a more creative and innovative frame of mind.

In doing so, your executive team may soon have a new respect for August and how it can contribute to a more promising and profitable second half of 2016.

A Cut Above

Posted by on October 2, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Fiskars PowerGear2 Pruner
Among the 35 finalists in this year’s Fast Company’s annual Innovation By Design Awards was the PowerGear2 Pruning Tools from Fiskars. The award winners were announced last month and are featured in this month’s magazine now on newsstands.

In Fast Company’s own words: “The pruning tools are ingeniously designed with a rotating gear that provides a boost of power in the middle of the cut, where branches are thickest. Additionally, the latest models are easier on the hands, as their handles have been modified with a more oval shape and a gel skin that prevents blisters.”

Now I realize that pruning products may not get all hearts to racing, but as an avid gardener, I couldn’t be more pleased with Fast Company’s selection. I’ve used Fiskars pruning tools for years, and look forward to purchasing its PowerGear2 pruner.

Fiskars trip to the innovation awards stand this year was no cake walk. It faced some serious competition from 1,500 submissions across 14 categories. Other finalists included Adobe’s Ink and Slide, Google’s Cardboard VR, Janinge’s multi-purpose stackable chairs, Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool’s Swash System, and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

For those of you who think innovation only comes from Silicon Valley startups or leading technology companies, think again. Fiskars was established as an ironworks company in Finland in 1649. This is not a typo. For nearly 366 years Fiskars has been churning out some of the finest cutting, shearing, and pruning products on the planet. And, as indicative of its 2015 Fast Company award, Fiskars has proved that it still knows a thing or two about good design and innovation.

Today, Fiskars has 8,600 employees in 30 countries and sells its products in over 100 countries. So celebrate good design and longevity today by purchasing one of Fiskars’ products. It just might help you stay a cut above the competition.

Design Worthy of Our Planet

Posted by on March 28, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Istanbul's Vakko Fashion Center

Last week, the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced its 35 design award winners for 2015. This year’s winners were selected from a pool of 391 applicants across four categories: architecture, interiors, projects and urban design.

In addition to design quality and innovation, particular weight was given this year by the judging panel to “demonstrated consideration of ecological responsibilities” according to the AIA-NY press release.

Top awards went to the SsD firm for its Songpa Micro Housing Project in Seoul, South Korea; Davis Brody Bond’s National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, NY; NADAAA and John Wardle Architects‘ Melbourne School of Design in Melbourne, Australia; and REX’s Vakko Fashion Center in Instanbul, Turkey (as shown in above photo).

Bravo and congratulations to this year’s winners for making our planet more aesthetically pleasing and ecologically responsible at the same time.

The works of the award winners will featured at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, in New York, NY from April 23 to June 20.

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.

Corporate Culture 2.0

Posted by on April 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Is your corporate culture what it should be? If you are like most companies the answer is probably “no.”

A corporate culture reflects an organization’s character, its values and the vision of its management. The culture serves as an unseen GPS for employees, customers, and partners – signaling who you are as a company and how you do business.

Too many companies place a glossy mission or values statement on their website, but don’t work to build a corporate culture that truly lives up to the words.

Senior management cannot impose a desired corporate culture on an organization. It must be earned and built brick-by-brick. Management must create a culture that treats employees as the company’s single best asset. Employees need to know that performance will be measured and appropriately rewarded. Conversely, they need to know that under performance has its consequences. And employees need to know that the same performance yardstick will be used fairly throughout the entire organization.

A culture that places loyalty to management over performance is a company abusing the shareholders’ trust. Likewise, a culture that tolerates — or worse yet – rewards an attitude that says, “all I need to do is keep my head down, go along with the flow, and not cause any waves,” is doomed to failure.

Jump-start your corporate culture starting today. Let employees know that their talents and value to the company matter. Provide a vision and a clearly defined set of goals for which all employees will share responsibility in achieving. Let employees know that risk-taking, an entrepreneurial spirit, and challenging the status quo are strongly encouraged. And make it clear that a strong sense of ethics is an integral part of your company’s DNA.

If you are able to do the above, your corporate culture will change for the better, your future will be brighter, and shareholders will happily reap the benefits.

Innovation By Design

Posted by on October 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I draw your attention to this month’s Fast Company magazine, which it refers to as its “Design Issue.” The entire issue focuses on the important role that design plays in business innovation as a positive disruptive force.

As the magazine points out, the marriage of design and innovation is not a new concept. For it was the legendary CEO of IBM, Thomas Watson, Jr., who noted almost 40 years ago that “good design is good business.” And scores of companies since then, including IBM, have ably demonstrated the truism of these words.

The magazine spotlights the latest social media darling, Pinterest, and its 30-year-old CEO, Ben Silbermann, as shown in the cover photo above. Silbermann has leveraged the power of the Internet to turn the age-old idea of the scrapbook into a must-go-to web destination. In the last year alone, the number of monthly unique visitors to Pinterest has soared from 600,000 to over 20 million.

Of course, 20 million users is a drop in the bucket compared to the social media behemoth, Facebook, which just past the 1 billion mark in users. Yet, Pinterest tops both Facebook and Twitter in its ability to translate visitors into product sales.

Fast Company also uses this month’s issue to highlight its “2012 Innovation By Design Award” nominees at 1,700 strong across nine categories. Nominees include companies and products such as Boeing’s fuel efficient 787, Nike’s lightweight Flyknit shoe, and Nest Labs’ slick and simple-to-use “smart” home thermostat. Winners will be announced on October 16 in New York City.

I urge you to spend more time in Q4 and in 2013 thinking about good design and how it can be good for your business. It might just be the best decision you make over the coming year — and could lead to your company’s nomination in a future Fast Company’s Design Issue.