Jason Sanders, Ivy Exec’s Vice President of Executive Search, recently interviewed Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott. Lippincott is the brand strategy and design consultancy division of Oliver Wyman. Founded in 1943, the company enjoys an enviable track record in solving the most complex challenges facing corporations today as they shape their brands for tomorrow. Lippincott has partnered with over 3,000 clients worldwide to create proprietary brand identities, environments and image management programs in every major industry.
Jason Sanders: In which area of your company do you expect the most growth over the next 12 to 18 months?
Rick Wise: We continue to see growth in the US and in key markets like Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Moreover, in terms of the kind of work we do, we’re seeing an increase in demand beyond traditional brand engagements like positioning, brand portfolios, naming, and design to services like employee engagement, customer experience, and immersive design.
Jason: What changes and challenges do you think your company and industry will see in the next five years?
Rick: Hyper-connectivity and radical transparency have created a new set of challenges for corporations as they look to build enduring relationships with consumers. We’re expecting this to continue to accelerate. The brands that will succeed in the next 5 years will be those who tell a simply, authentic story, brought to life through inspiring, delightful experiences. These brands will balance what is true and genuine with what is new and vital to keep their brands relevant and loved. Lippincott will be there to help make this happen.
Jason: What attracted you to Lippincott?
Rick: The ability to help companies express themselves in creative and high impact ways
Jason: What three words best describe your culture?
Rick: Optimistic, pioneering and demanding.
Jason: What are the two best perks that employees get at your company?
Rick: We get to help the world’s leading brands tackle the most challenging issues. Even junior staff will find themselves working with household brand names from day one. A culture of constant learning and development. Whether through structured training and development, monthly MindShare sessions or less formal brainstorm and design crits, there is tremendous opportunity to learn something new every day. OK, I have to add one more. In the interest of work/life balance and keeping our staff energized, we have Summer Fridays. Staff can leave early—provided their work is done—and get an early start on the weekend
Jason: Which leadership qualities best ensure success at Lippincott?
Rick: Creative problem-solving skills
Jason: What gets you excited about going to work each day?
Rick: I’d say the people. Our staff possesses a diverse range of backgrounds. We have strategists, marketing scientists, business advisors, anthropologists, sociologists, graphic designers, illustrators, MBAs, PhDs, linguists, architects, writers and more. All working together to build tomorrow’s best brands.
Jason: If you had to compare your organization to a car, what type would it be?
Rick: Jaguar XKE – classic but timeless, beautiful and high performance