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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 'economic'

Don’t Wait Until the New Year

Posted by on August 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

How about getting a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions?

It may seem odd to be talking about New Year’s resolutions in August, but humor me for a moment.

I would venture to guess that the last several years have been tough on your business, unless of course you’ve been doing business on a different planet. Cut-backs, lay-offs, salary freezes. Stop me if none of this sounds familiar.

Also, with an unemployment rate seemingly stuck forever over 8 percent, a U.S. Government in the red at record levels, and trade deficits larger than ever before — the near- and mid-term forecasts are still looking pretty cloudy.

As a result, an emphasis today on early planning, wise asset management, and creative thinking will help to ensure that your company not only survives, but thrives.

Your employees are your single most important asset. If you are not currently laser-focused on how to nurture and grow this asset, then you may be missing a once in a generation opportunity. Note that I’m not talking about growing the number of employees; I’m talking about the professional growth of each employee.

Within your current employee base resides the next great product or service idea, or process innovation. Small investments today in an employee’s professional growth via an innovative workshop, seminar, or event could provide just the needed creative spark.

By doing so, you not only stand to reap the benefits of your investment, but you also send an important signal to your most promising employees that they are worth the company’s investment, even during lean times – especially during lean times. This one act could also mean the difference in their staying, or moving on, when the economic climate does start to improve.

In sum, there’s no time like the present to get a head start on your company’s New Year’s resolution list, and in doing so, move ahead of your competitors.

The Day That Changed America

Posted by on September 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Today, we stop and remember those whom we lost a decade ago on September 11, 2001, and the families they left behind.

That day profoundly changed our country in so many ways. How we travel. How we view our enemies and ourselves. How we protect our citizens here at home. And, how we defend our country overseas.

As we begin the second decade after 9/11, let’s seek to leverage this change for the good.

Let’s start by tapping into our innovative spirit to rebuild our economy, our competitive might, and our standing with rest of the world.

That would be a fitting tribute indeed.

Keeping Your Cool

Posted by on July 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Things have gotten pretty hot in Washington, DC these days, and I’m not talking about the 100-degree heat index. The recent heated exchanges between the White House and the House Republicans have once again reminded us why the public approval ratings of our elected officials continue to hover around their all-time lows.

Yet there is something about the current debt ceiling debate that makes me think that there is much more at stake in this discussion than the usual Democratic and Republican skirmishes. The threshold question that confronts every American is whether our country should continue to ramp up historic and seemingly unsustainable debt, or should we take a meat axe to scores of federal programs that so many Americans have come to rely upon.

I’ll not use this blog to pontificate on my own personal political bias on this question, but I will say this: our country’s leaders need to find a way to talk to one another and work this out. I’m hoping for less hot rhetoric and finger-pointing and more substantive discussion and responsible leadership.

Whether it’s in a board room, a corporate conference room, a manager’s office, or in the Cabinet Room, heated and anger-toned debate serves no interests. I’ll put my money any day on the cool and level-headed executive or political leader than the hot-headed, barb-thrower.

Shareholders deserve this sort of cool-headed responsibility from corporate executives, and the American citizens deserve the same out of their elected or appointed government leaders.

Get a Head Start on Your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by on November 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm

It may seem odd to be talking about New Year’s resolutions now, but humor me for a moment.

First, we’re only a stone’s throw away from the end of 2010 with only seven weeks left on the calendar.

Second, I would venture to guess that the last two years have been tough on your business, unless of course you’ve been doing business on a different planet. Cut-backs, lay-offs, salary freezes. Stop me if none of this sounds familiar.

Third, with unemployment stuck at nearly 10 percent, a U.S. Government and most state governments in the red at record levels, and trade deficits larger than ever before — the near- and mid-term forecasts are still looking pretty cloudy.

As a result, an emphasis today on early planning, wise asset management, and creative thinking will serve as critical elements for your company’s eventual comeback.

Your employees are your single most important asset. If you are not currently laser-focused on how to nurture and grow this asset, then you may be missing a once in a generation opportunity. Note that I’m not talking about growing the number of employees; I’m talking about the professional growth of each employee.

Within your current employee base resides the next great product or service idea, or process innovation. Small investments today in an employee’s professional growth via an innovative workshop, seminar, or event could provide just the needed creative spark.

By doing so, you not only stand to reap the benefits of your investment, but you also send an important signal to your most promising employees that they are worth the company’s investment, even during lean times – especially during lean times. This one act could also mean the difference in their staying, or moving on, when the economic climate does start to improve.

In sum, there’s no time like the present to get a head start on your company’s New Year’s resolution list, and in doing so, move ahead of your competitors.

Heeding the Call on Energy Security

Posted by on June 15, 2010 at 7:21 pm

A small group of corporate heavy-hitters has come together to sound the alarm for increased spending and focus on energy research and innovation in the U.S. (New York Times, June 10, 2010).

Seven of the country’s most respected business leaders have formed the American Energy Innovation Council, including luminaries such as General Electric CEO, Jeff Immelt, and Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates. Their message: the U.S. Government needs to “triple investments in clean-energy technologies to boost the nation’s economic competitiveness and protect the environment.”

We’ve heard similar calls for action on clean-energy investment in recent years from a variety of voices from business and academia. What makes last week’s announcement unique, however, is the coming together of major corporate leaders from disparate sectors around a common “business plan.” And the fact that it was announced against the backdrop of our nation’s worst oil spill in history adds further to the uniqueness of the moment.

The plan calls for a tripling in clean-tech funding in nuclear fission, solar, wind and fossil fuels. It also proposes the formation of an independent energy strategy board, which would develop an energy plan and oversee large-scale demonstration projects as part of the “New Energy Challenge Program.”

The Council recommends a $20 billion commitment over 10 years for the Challenge Program, which would “unleash significant private sector resources as projects are developed.” Additionally, it suggests that the Federal Government create Centers of Excellence to “foster multidisciplinary collaboration amongst scientists, universities, federal laboratories, and other public and private institutions.”

In addition to Immelt and Gates, the Council also includes: Chad Holliday, Chairman of Bank of America (and former CEO of DuPont); Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox; Norm Augustine, Chairman of Lockheed Martin; Tim Solso, Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc.; and John Doerr, a leading energy venture capitalist and partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

The group clearly faces some stout headwinds in making the case to Congress and the Obama Administration to spend more federal money on energy research at a time of unprecedented budget deficits. Yet, we know that the barking dog is usually the one who gets fed first. And when you have seven notable best-in-breed barkers, it’s hard not to at least give the group and their plan a serious look.

At a time when the public is less inclined to believe our corporate leaders, I am ready to take these leaders at their word. They know the path to energy security will be long, and as Jeff Immelt puts it, “the world is not going to wait for the United States to lead. This is about innovation; this is about competition; this is about energy security.”

I hope someone listens and heeds the call.

The Freedom to Succeed and to Fail

Posted by on May 31, 2010 at 11:06 am

Today we all should take a moment to remember the tens of thousands of military men and women who died fighting for our country.

Memorial Day comes only once a year, but the freedoms we enjoy as a result of the ultimate sacrifice of others are with us every day.

Our country was founded on the principles of freedom as affirmed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides for five freedoms: religion, speech, press, to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government.

America is also home to the world’s best free enterprise system, which continues to serve as a beacon to those who want to take an idea and a dream and start a business. Our history books are replete with stories of individuals from every walk of life, from every corner of this country and the globe, who started businesses in the U.S. and took them to soaring heights and sometimes back again.

It is our freedom to both succeed and to fail in business that has long been the hallmark of our country’s strength and its economic might. And as long as we are able to preserve these important principles, we will continue to be a great and prosperous nation.

So a tip of the hat to those who made all this possible — our fallen soldiers, and to the families and friends they left behind.