Dame Mary Perkins on the importance of company culture [Video]

The Specsavers founder on keeping a flat company culture and not having a private office

Dame Mary Perkins says “it’s very important to recognise what the culture of your particular company is”. At Specsavers, she was “very keen for it to stay a very flat organisation and not have all these different levels and all the things that go with that”.

Perkins explains that “you spend a huge amount of your life at work” and thinks people should “enjoy themselves”. To foster this kind of environment everything is “open plan”, she doesn’t “have an office” and everyone is on first name terms. This helps to break down the communication barriers that hierarchy can create.

Additionally, because the company is on a “partnership basis… there’s no big boss” and Perkins ensures that all the partners, board directors and senior management meet “every eight weeks for a week” to discuss “anything on the agenda… it’s a two way communication”.

This creates a culture where everyone is “working together… a family culture… by meeting them and talking to them”.

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