Lulu.com formed around a devoted team with a variety of unique talents critical to operation and adaptation within the highly competitive world of print on demand. The employees are well matched to their tasks and positioned within a horizontal organization with Bob Young and Gart Davis at their head setting the strategic direction. The structure allows for increased responsiveness and productivity within the company while giving the employees ownership of their ideas.
As often found within modern companies which have embraced the culture of innovation, Lulu.com has instigated a very open and relaxed workplace environment which focuses on fostering the creative potential of employees rather than forcing a more disciplined atmosphere. While this culture often seems unstructured to an observer, the relaxed office-free atmosphere allows for quick communication of ideas among co-workers and generates strong intrinsic motivation in employees. In addition, the yearly all employee “Gartfest” increases this culture of openness and employee participation in strategic planning. The company has also embraced the online consumer community as an integral part of customer service. This integration creates a very loyal base, a well of potential employees with a strong knowledge of the company, and an excellent communication system that helps keep consumer satisfaction high.
The work environment and culture have fostered excellent innovation capabilities. The wide interest and experience base of the employees creates a solid foundation of knowledge for innovation. The open office layout and sharing of ideas between the diverse employees creates strong work group encouragement. The internal trial system and yearly Gartfest planning meeting creates strong organizational encouragement. Although the resources provided by internal capabilities in need of updating are sometimes lacking, there is a strong encouragement from the leadership....