by: Coutu, Diane L.; Law, Andy
Source: Harvard Business School
Though only five years old, employee-owned St. Luke's Communications has become one of the most talked about advertising agencies in the United Kingdom, increasing its profits eightfold. Chairman and cofounder Andy Law attributes the firm's success to its determination to continuously reinvent itself in a world populated by dot-coms and mega-ad agencies. St Luke's intends to revolutionize the way business is done and provide a credible alternative to the capitalism of both the old economy and the new. To that end, it pushes its people to take enormous risks. As Law says in this candid interview, 'We're fundamentally convinced that there is a connection between co-ownership, creativity, collaboration, and competitive advantage.' Safety and fear play key roles. No one has ever been fired for poor performance, so employees can feel secure about their jobs, but the firm requires people 'to peel away all the levels of their personalities....That's truly frightening.' Self-knowledge, Law says, 'is the DNA of a creative company in the creative age.'
Link: Creating the Most Frightening Company on Earth: An Interview with Andy Law of St. Luke's
Publication Date: 2000-09-01