New Lantern

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New Lantern blog

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 'inspiration'

A New Lantern Defined

Posted by on July 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm

New Lantern Defined

Bing’s Online Dictionary describes the word “lantern” as follows:

1. portable lamp: a portable case with transparent or translucent sides that protects and holds a lamp
2. lighthouse room: a room containing the large lamp at the top of a lighthouse
3. structure with windows: a structure with windows on all sides, resembling a lantern, e.g. one at the top of a dome

A “new” lantern, therefore, provides the maximum amount of light given the glass of a new lamp, lighthouse, or architectural structure is at its most pristine state.

Lanterns have been used for centuries to provide a source of light to guide those seeking a particular path, direct those aiming toward a certain objective, or to generally add light to an otherwise darkened state.

Our goal at New Lantern is simple: shine light on artists, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs from which we in business can learn.

This is what defines our company and our name.

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.

When It Pays to Take a Second Look

Posted by on July 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Have you ever walked into your hotel room and looked at the art? No, I mean really looked at it, not just the casual glance. Have you ever wondered who created the art hanging inside your hotel room? In most cases your answer is “no,” and the truth is, the hotel has probably given you more reason to focus attention on the wall color than the art on it.

In all my years of traveling there was one instance when this wasn’t the case.

A few years ago I had taken my family half way across the country, reaching the mid-point of our trip near Chicago. Thanks to, we found a great hotel room at the Intercontinental O’Hare in Rosemont, IL.

This stylish hotel blended modern design with comfort and luxury — including its collection of art, mostly from local Chicago artists. Some terrific, large-scale pieces hung in the common areas. The fact that this hotel was using original art made for a nice change, considering the numerous establishments filled with never-ending bland art and decor.

Our room was just as luxurious and well-appointed as the common areas, including the art that featured a limited edition print from a Chicago screen printer, Jay Ryan, who creates works from his local “Bird Machine” studio.

This whimsical piece is called “Intercontinental,” and depicts a number of Winnie the Pooh-type creatures who’ve have taken residence in a large tree. My son thinks these are bears looking for their kite, while my wife feels the creatures represent residents in the hotel.

The work is printed on a distinctive light brown paper, and includes great touches of color with the red birds, hints of silver and yellow bears. The leaves on the tree look like one mass, but up close you see each is separate and distinct. Ryan mixes all of these elements together with a child-like playfulness drawing the viewer into his art.

At this point another journey began, one that would last long after our trip. It started when I inquired about purchasing the print I had seen in my room. I was told by the hotel they had commissioned the piece for their rooms and that it was unavailable. I wouldn’t let my search end this quickly.

Struck by this hotel-commissioned piece, my wife and I purchased several other Ryan prints, while still longing for the piece we had first seen in that Chicago hotel. About two years later and after almost giving up hope, we came across the “Intercontinental” print offered on Ebay. It was a heated auction, but in the end we were victorious and now proudly hang the “Intercontinental” in our home.

Jay Ryan’s work is a pleasant reminder of my family’s trip across the country, our visit to Chicago and our discovery of this great artist.

Sometimes it pays to take a second look.

Aiming for New Heights

Posted by on July 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Later this month will mark the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing on July 20, 1969, when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the moon’s surface. Upon doing so, Armstrong then uttered those immortal words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That day in history represents one of the world’s most famous examples of successful human achievement as a consequence of setting a seemingly unachievable goal. It was on May 25, 1961 when President John F. Kennedy spoke before a joint session of Congress and laid down a challenge to the country and the U.S. space program: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

Forty-three years ago was indeed a mighty proud moment for our country — frankly one of the proudest moments of a decade that otherwise had been stained by a long war and the assassinations of two Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pride comes from accomplishment, teamwork, and reaching a worthy goal in the face of adversity. Great corporate leaders and managers provide a vision, a common set of meaningful objectives, and a credible game plan on how to get there.

And it is in the most challenging times that organizations should call on employees to share in the risk and reward of trying to achieve an important goal that may appear just out of reach. It may very well lead to new heights for your company and the pride that comes from real accomplishment.

How to Lead a Creative Life

Posted by on December 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Fast Company magazine’s cover story this month is “How to Lead a Creative Life,” which includes a “Complete Guide to Making Your Inner Genius Your Greatest On-the-Job Asset.”

The article features über Hollywood movie director Martin Scorsese as possessing the “vision thing” needed to achieve the “trifecta of a fulfilling, creative life: enough money to do only what truly interests him, enough freedom to attack those projects in a way that is satisfying, and enough appreciation from his peers to tame the neurotic beast of self-doubt.”

Scorsese provides important advice to those in business who are trying to achieve the creative life: respect the past, trust your confidants…but not too much, play the corporate game, defy them when you must, find another outlet – or eight, and give back and learn.

All successful creative artists need others who serve to inspire them, and Scorsese lists six other filmmakers “whose bold risks changed cinema” — Orson Welles, Roberto Rossellini, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, John Cassavetes, and Robert Altman.

Who inspires you to be more creative? What helps you tap into your inner genius? Let New Lantern help you lead a more creative life that’s worthy of box-office hit.

Cobbler to the Gods

Posted by on August 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Nike CEO, Mark Parker, is featured in Fast Company’s September edition cover story, “The World’s Most Creative CEO.” It chronicles Parker’s internal rise to Nike’s chief executive and his recipe for success by using “elite athletes, artists, and his own shoe designs to drive a $34 billion business.”

Parker is not a household name outside of Nike and the sports industry, compared to co-founder and chairman, Phil Knight. Knight was CEO for almost 40 years until he stepped down in 2004, when he brought in an outsider from S.C. Johnson, William Perez, to replace him. Perez lasted only 18 months before hanging up his cleats, saying that the culture at Nike was too difficult. That’s when Nike turned to Parker, a long-time Nike executive and über footwear designer.

Parker came to Nike in 1979 as a product designer and footwear tester. It wasn’t long before executives realized his talent in creating some of the most memorable and profitable Nike shoe products in the company’s history. His creations have adorned some of the globe’s most celebrated athletes, including John McEnroe, Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, and Kobe Bryant – a veritable “cobbler to the gods” as described by Fast Company.

An avid marathoner himself, Mark Parker knows a thing or two about athletes and footwear. Most important, he brings a creative mind to the CEO role, which he continues to nurture every day. According to the article, he “regularly hosts dinners for about 25 artist friends to just talk and kick around ideas.”

It’s no surprise that Parker stays laser-focused on Nike’s design and R&D work. He frequents the company’s secretive “Innovation Kitchen” sessions, an internal think tank of sorts, “where athletic ambition, art, and a bit of mad science are cooked into the stuff that made Nike the dominate player in sports shoes and apparel.”

Parker also spends a lot of time and attention on sustainability and cutting product waste. And, Parker recently outlined some pretty big goals of increasing sales by 40 percent by 2015. He’ll have his work cut out for him, but stretch goals and competing hard are nothing new for a company which aligns itself with world class athletes and sports.

If you want a little insight into what makes this successful corporate executive tick, take a look at his choice for the new company mission statement nine years ago: “To bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world.”

Since becoming CEO, Parker has also developed nine “maxims” that he wants to serve as guiding principles at Nike. His favorite is No. 6, “Be a sponge. Curiosity is life. Assumption is death.” Parker says that was one his grandmother taught him.

Parker’s approach demonstrates that curiosity and a hearty appetite for creativity are a powerful combo for Nike — and for any other company seeking to compete and win.