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 'innovative'

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.

The Longest Day

Posted by on June 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

For all you earth dwellers, today is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Well, technically the day is no longer than the other 364 days, but the amount of daylight today is at its annual maximum. Officially called the “summer solstice,” the tilt of the earth is in its most inclined position today toward the sun.

Of course, this is not news to most people. Most of us know that we can enjoy the most hours of sunlight today and the least hours of sunlight around December 21, which is the winter solstice. And I’m betting that you are like me and enjoy more light rather than less.

More daylight brightens more than just your room, it brightens your attitude and frame of mind. Sunlight is also good for our physical well-being in providing us with more Vitamin D, which our bodies need for greater bone health among other things. More daylight also means we need less artificial light – and the electricity it burns – as we go about our daily lives in our homes, work places, and the out-of-doors.

Which brings me to my point. With longer days and more daylight, one has less need for a light or a lantern, or a “new lantern” if you will.

So a consulting business that might provide services intended to provide light or new thinking to business customers, let’s say, might be less inclined to enjoy this time of year? Well, figuratively speaking that might be true. In reality, we like the summer solstice and the long hours of daylight as much as the next non-cave dweller.

Whether it’s supplied by the sun or a lantern, businesses and other organizations need creative thinking and the ability to see new ways of working year-round, 365 days a year.

And there’s no better time to embrace this notion than on the longest day of the year.

How the Vietnam War Saved My Life

Posted by on April 14, 2014 at 7:12 pm

It was the summer of 1983, and the Police, Men at Work, and Duran Duran were playing on the radio. I was 12-years old and about to start the seventh grade. I had made the decision not to return to my dad’s home in South Dakota, but instead live with my mom in Maryland and go to a new school. A few days before school started my mom took my brother and me to the mall for new clothes.

About a mile from the mall is where my life changed forever.

Our car was violently struck by an 18-wheeler. The mammoth truck had run a red light, crashing broadside into our car. It crushed and flipped our vehicle like a toy, critically injuring myself and my older brother. My mom was not as lucky; she didn’t survive the initial impact.

I woke sometime later in the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland hospital in Baltimore. My brother and I had been “medevaced” by helicopter directly to this world-class trauma center. We were surrounded by doctors and nurses working on our wounds in a controlled chaos. They were all wearing their trademark pink scrubs, the uniform of these “special forces” of the medical world.

The predecessor of the University of Maryland’s trauma center opened in 1960s, and was the first of its kind. It was the brain child of R Adams Cowley, MD, who is known as the “father of trauma medicine.”

After treating the wounded in World War II and working for years studying traumatic injury, Dr. Cowley came to the conclusion that treating critically injured patients during that first hour was crucial to survival, referring to this time as the “Golden Hour.”  He determined this first hour was the difference between life and death.

But how does the Vietnam War play a role in my survival?

At the time that Dr. Cowley’s trauma center was becoming fully functional in Baltimore, the Vietnam War was coming to a close. And it was during the Vietnam War that the use of helicopters for medical evacuations was perfected. Dr. Cowley recognized the value of helicopters, and they quickly became an integral component of the new trauma unit. This innovation, combined with top notch teams of trauma doctors and nurses, soon made the center a huge success. And this success has carried on to this day as the center remains a world leader.

As for me, my severe injuries in 1983 kept me in the hospital for months, followed by even more time spent at home recovering. I ultimately did fully recover, and 30 years later, I am married and have three children of my own.

It’s thanks to Dr. Cowley’s innovation to the medical world that people like myself, who are able to make it through that critical “Golden Hour,” survive traumatic, life-threatening injuries.

Dr. Cowley passed away in 1991, but you can help him receive the recognition he deserves by honoring him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Click the link to sign a letter of support.