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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 'diversity'

The Last Dance

Posted by on May 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Five-time Grammy Award winner and disco icon Donna Summer died yesterday of cancer at the age of 63 at her home in Key West, FL.

Summer helped launch disco’s pop music craze in the 1970s, which served up a unique bass-thumping dance beat and unforgettable sing-along lyrics.

Summer was born in Boston as Ladonna Adrian Gaines in 1948, and was one of seven children. Her father was a butcher, and her mom, a schoolteacher who said that Ladonna always loved to sing. She began singing in church at the age of 10, and her talents were noticed and encouraged as she went on to perform in school musicals.

Weeks before her high school graduation in 1967, Summer left Boston for New York to sing in a blues rock band while trying to also pursue record labels, which failed to materialize. Her first break came a few years later when she auditioned for the rock musical, Hair. She lost out to Melba Moore who landed the original Broadway cast role, but Summer did get cast for the same part for the Munich production of the musical. She moved to Munich where she became fluent in German.

After appearing in several other musicals, Summer signed on as a back-up singer for the rock-and-roll band, Three Dog Night. During this period, she met record producer Giorgio Moroder, whom she partnered with to develop her first hit, “Love to Love You, Baby.” The song’s sexually provocative lyrics and her equally provocative performance drew global attention as some radio stations refused to air it. It went on to become the number two song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. And her 17-minute version of the song soon became a staple in disco clubs around the globe.

Years later she admitted in a Chicago Sun-Times interview that she would’ve preferred to have not recorded “Love to Love You, Baby,” and instead would have first recorded “Last Dance” which became her second big hit in 1978 and led to her first Grammy. She went on to record “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” “On the Radio,” and “She Works Hard for the Money” over the next few years which brought her more Grammys and accolades.

Although the disco era began to fade around 1980, Summer continued to sing and record up until her death. For my generation who spent our teenage years in the 1970s, we will forever hum and sing and dance to the songs made famous by this artist and trailblazer known as the “Queen of Disco.” And, we thank her for giving us the “Last Dance” and many others.

An Early Arrival

Posted by on March 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm

There’s only one thing better than the early arrival of an airline flight to lift the spirits, and that’s the early arrival of spring. And nothing says “spring” to me like the fresh blooms of the Forsythia shrub.

Its small, yellow starbursts of flowers are among the first signs of color in mid-March in many parts of the United States. Given our mild winter, this year’s Forsythia blooms arrived at least a week earlier than usual, much to my delight.

Forsythia is both the genus and the common name for this spring-flowering shrub. There are 11 species of Forsythia, which are also native to Asia and Europe. It is named after the Scottish botanist, William Forsyth.

For the remaining 50 weeks of the year, Forsythia shrubs are frankly unremarkable and tend to blend into the neighborhoods and parks where they commonly are found. Yet, come March, when the temperature and conditions are just right, this genus of shrub magically transforms itself overnight.

Plants like the Forsythia serve an important purpose. They indicate that a change for the better is at hand. They lift the mood and spirit. And they remind us that every plant or person has a valuable role to play if put in the right conditions, nurtured appropriately, and situated for the greatest benefit.

Look for the exceptional in what may otherwise appear unexceptional. Actively cultivate Forsythias and a wide variety of other flora within your organization. By doing so, you can turn a run-of-the-mill roadside nursery into a sustainable and highly productive garden.

Best in Show

Posted by on February 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm


I like animals, animals of all shapes, sizes and varieties. In fact, my husband jokes with me that I like animals more than I like humans. Of course, it depends on the human.

Earlier this week, a four-year old Pekingnese named “Malachy” was awarded this year’s “Best in Show” at the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show held in Madison Square Garden in New York.

As much as I like animals, including dogs, I must say that it’s hard for me to get that excited about the beauty-challenged Pekingnese as the top winner of the prestigious dog show. With all due respect to Malachy, he has the face of a vampire bat, with Linda Evans hair.

Others questioned this week whether the Pekingnese is worthy of the famed dog award, since Malachy beat out more seemingly popular dog breeds such as the Irish setter, the Dalmation, the German shepherd, and the Doberman pinscher.

This is not the first time that the mighty Pekingnese has taken home the top award. In fact, Malachy is the fourth such Pekingnese to win “Best in Show” since 1960.

Pekingnese and other canine enthusiasts are quick to point out that the long-lasting breed is worthy indeed, and has been associated with royalty for centuries. The origins of the breed date back to the 8th Century in China. Pekingnese are commonly referred to as the “Lion Dog” due to its long, fluffy mane of hair. Sounds like the work of a good publicist, if you ask me.

With that said, I respect Malachy and his accomplishment. Malachy may not “look” like a winner, but he’s proven that he has what it takes to compete against those perceived to be better apt to succeed.

And isn’t this an important lesson for all of us?

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is an oft-used axiom, which many of us seldom take to heart – but maybe we should. How many times do we assume that the colleague who looks the part will be the first to succeed?

The role of a good manager – and the organization broadly — is to provide for a work environment where everyone feels they have a shot at succeeding, not just the popular “show dogs.” This type of inclusive, nurturing culture will result in greater teamwork, higher productivity, and more sustained success for the company and the shareholder, every time.

So find ways to excite and draw out every employee to do his or her best. And you’ll soon find that your next “best in show” just might surprise you.

Here’s Looking at You, Kid

Posted by on August 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm


On this day, Swedish film star Ingrid Bergman was born in 1915; and it was on this same day she died in 1982 from breast cancer on her 67th birthday.

Bergman was one of the most accomplished and recognizable actors of the 20th century. Winner of three Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Emmys, and a Tony Award, Bergman is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.

She is best known for her role as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942), in which she starred alongside Humphrey Bogart. It was in that iconic movie that Bogart uttered one of the most famous lines in cinema to Bergman, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Bergman’s movie career spanned six decades from 1939 to 1982. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Gaslight in 1945, Anastasia in 1957, and A Woman Called Golda in 1982. She was nominated for an Academy Award in For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1944, The Bells of St. Mary’s in 1946, Joan of Arc in 1949, and Autumn Sonata in 1979. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1975 for Murder on the Orient Express.

Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm in 1915 to her Swedish father, Justus Berman, and to her German mother, Friedel Berman. Her mother died when Ingrid was three. Her father, who was an artist and photographer, died when she was 13. She went on to live with two different aunts, and later studied at Stockholm’s Royal Dramatic Theatre School, where actress Greta Garbo had studied years before.

During the 1930s, Bergman starred in more than a dozen films in Sweden and one in Germany. Unable to speak English, she was brought to Los Angeles by Hollywood producer David Selznick in May 1939 to appear in Intermezzo: A Love Story. She fully expected to return to Sweden after the film, but the American public quickly accepted her as one of its most promising stars.

Biographer Donald Spoto described Bergman as “arguably the most international star in the history of entertainment.” She successfully acted in five languages and won top awards for her work on stage, screen, and television. Director George Cukor once said to Bergman, “The camera loves your beauty, your acting, and your individuality. A star must have individuality. It makes you a great star.”

Today, global appeal and individuality also are key to success in business. Identify what makes your product or service unique, and talk about it in a language that a customer can understand.

Like it did for Bergman, it will likely make your company a great star.

The Smell of Success

Posted by on July 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air.”

When the Eagles released the song Hotel California as a single in February 1977 (from the album by the same name), the band had already released four other albums, and had enjoyed numerous weeks at the top of the charts during the mid-1970’s. Yet, it was Hotel California that helped solidify the Eagles’ place in rock and roll history.

In 1977, Hotel California spent eight weeks as the number one album in America, and landed the Eagles two Grammys. Since its release, over 16 million copies of the album have been sold. Rolling Stone magazine ranks Hotel California at #37 on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The song still resonates in my head today as freshly as it did in 1977, and why is that? It is timeless, memorable, and generally appealing to a wide and diverse audience.

Are there corporate equivalents to Hotel California? Maybe so. Kleenex, Gatorade, and Harley Davidson come to mind.

Good marketing, strong product performance, and dogged customer focus keep great products and brands at the top of the charts year after year.

One-hit wonders and flashy products come and go each year, but the truly deserving survive.

If your company gives considerable attention to these important fundamentals, the sweet smell of success will follow. Or is that the smell of colitas?

A Reliable Early Indicator

Posted by on March 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Nothing says “spring” to me like the fresh blooms of the Forsythia shrub. Its small, yellow starbursts of flowers are among the first signs of color in mid-March in many parts of the United States. And given the recent cold, harsh winter, this year’s Forsythia blooms are a feast for the eyes indeed.

Forsythia is both the genus and the common name for this spring-flowering shrub. There are 11 species of Forsythia, which are also native to Asia and Europe. It is named after the Scottish botanist, William Forsyth.

For the remaining 50 weeks of the year, Forsythia shrubs are frankly unremarkable and tend to blend into the neighborhoods and parks where they commonly are found. Yet, come March, when the temperature and conditions are just right, this genus of shrub magically transforms itself overnight.

Plants like the Forsythia serve an important purpose. They indicate that a change for the better is at hand. They lift the mood and spirit. And they remind us that every plant or person has a valuable role to play if put in the right conditions, nurtured appropriately, and situated for the greatest benefit.

Look for the exceptional in what may otherwise appear unexceptional. Actively cultivate Forsythias and a wide variety of other flora within your organization. By doing so, you can turn a run-of-the-mill roadside nursery into a sustainable and highly productive garden.