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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 'performance'

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.

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.

A Labor of Love

Posted by on September 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Labor Day was first celebrated in 1882 as a day set aside to commemorate the “social and economic achievement of the American worker,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Labor Day has since come to represent the end of summer, the beginning of football season, and one of the last opportunities to get in those picnics, barbecues, and backyard family gatherings before the chill of autumn sets in across many parts of the country.

This year, Labor Day for your company should serve as a reminder to re-invest in your employees. Your employees are your company’s single most valuable asset. You already invest heavily in your employees through wages and benefits, but are you truly getting a solid return on that investment? Most likely you are not, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

Treat your employees like a valuable resource, and you will in turn reap the benefits. Nurture their talents, encourage risk-taking, and incent creativity and innovation.

Developing talent within your organization does not happen overnight. It takes persistence, a sustained dose of right-brain stimulus, and a senior management team who is willing to provide a culture where talent and creativity can take root and thrive.

Let New Lantern help your company mine and grow the talents of your employees through creative leadership training, performance-based compensation and incentive programs, and other inventive business innovation methods.

The pay-off for your company could be the next hot product or service offering, which is all the more reason to love your employees.

The Tomato Paste Playbook

Posted by on February 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm


Have you ever wondered how your company can get more customers, “likes” on Facebook, or attention with ads?

I tell people that it’s important to share your story.

But what does this mean?

Each day your company goes about doing its job, which to some may seem quite routine.

To customers, especially new ones, they may not recognize or see the everyday highlights of your company. They may not know your company’s history or how it’s gotten to where it is today.

The trick is to look within your company. Look at it with fresh eyes and find those hidden gems — those stories that should be shared with customers. Many times companies overcome great odds or complete huge tasks, and quickly move on to the next challenge. Look closer, as these may be just the stories that should be told.

I recently took notice of a television commercial by Hunt’s. Yes, I’m talking about the 100-year-old company known mainly for its canned tomato products.

So how did Hunt’s get my attention? By sharing a process known as “flash steaming.”

Now I’ll admit I don’t know much about this steaming process. It’s apparently used by Hunt’s prior to canning, when it removes parts of the vegetable you wouldn’t want included in your can of tomatoes.

How do other companies complete this same process you may ask? According to the Hunt’s commercial, they use chemicals, specifically lye — the same potash-based substance used to make the very pungent Norwegian Lutefisk (a.k.a. aged stockfish). Lye is also used in soaps, oven cleaners, and drain openers. Yum.

This is just one small story shared by a century-old company, simply explaining a process they use daily to can vegetables. Hunt’s looked within the company, found something they did every day, supposedly better than their competitors, and highlighted it.

Now I know something I didn’t before, and will look for Hunt’s next time I need some canned tomatoes. And that’s no lye.

You Can Get There From Here

Posted by on January 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm

You Can Get There From Here photo

“You can’t get there from here.” Chances are you’ve heard this oft-repeated phrase all your life. Admittedly, I’ve used it myself on many of occasions. Yet, when I stop and really think about what I’m saying, or what someone may be saying to me with this phrase, I actually take issue with it.

From where I sit, I can get to anywhere. Whether it’s to an actual place or state of mind, I can get there. Just ask Google Maps, or Bing Maps, or MapQuest, or your shrink, or your partner or spiritual guru. They’ll all tell you the same thing. “Yes, you can.”

Now this is not to say that your desired destination may not be hard to get to. It very well may.  But that didn’t stop Rosa Parks from getting on that bus in Alabama in 1955. It didn’t stop Neil Armstrong from stepping out onto the moon’s surface in 1969. And it didn’t stop 64-year-old Diana Nyad from swimming from Cuba to Florida last year – after failing to do so in her four previous attempts.

Likewise, it shouldn’t stop you, your company, or your organization from going to wherever you need or want to go.

So the next time someone cavalierly tells you that you can’t get there from here, set them straight. Tell them they’re wrong. Hell, take them with you. They may learn something on the way.

Fear No More

Posted by on December 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Have you ever had a good idea for your company, but felt if you raised it to your management, they might scoff at the idea – or worse, tell you to mind your own business? Fear is one of the biggest obstacles to innovation in any company. Fear of ridicule. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of being told that your idea is stupid.

Too many companies unfortunately promote an environment that embraces this fear. It starts with managers who fear that their direct reports might actually outshine them with a creative or ingenious idea. These fearful managers exist at the lowest levels of the company, at the highest levels of the company, and every level in between.

There are also structural factors that promote innovation-killing fear in a company. “We’re the Office of Corporate Strategy.” “We’re the Office of Innovation.” “We’re the Office of the CEO.” Or, “We’re the number one product group for the company.” “You stick to your day job, and let us worry about the company’s new ideas or innovation strategy.” Sound familiar?

These are also the same companies which many times find themselves slipping from first, to second, to way back in the pack, while younger, hungrier, and more fearless companies eat their lunch.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Start by leveraging the laws of statistics. Challenge every single person in your organization to stretch his or her thinking. Promote a culture that holds to this axiom: no idea is a bad idea. Of course, you’ll need to point out that only a few ideas will be worthy of pursuing. Yet, your odds of finding a pearl are increased as you open up a larger number of oyster shells.

Try it. You have nothing to fear, but fear itself.