December 16, 2003

St. Luke's Profile

Why does Fast Company magazine call St. Luke’s "the ad agency to end all ad agencies"? Since the late Nineties St Luke's has forged a reputation as one of the UK's hottest creative agencies; also one of its most idiosyncratic. The company still operates as non-hierarchical cooperative - all employees have an equal shareholding in the business. There are no personal desks, a completely mobile phone system, and rooms dedicated to specific clients rather than to its personnel. Does the system work? Well, despite its utopian management style, the agency has built a strong portfolio of leading clients such as British Telecom, a Clarks, HSBC, Ikea, amongst others.

"Creating The Most Frightening Company on Earth"
Sinopsys of Andy Law's interview, Chairman e Co-founder of St. Luke's to Harvard Business Review:

"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".

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