Recognised as ‘Britain’s Favourite Retailer’ in a hugely competitive industry, the
John Lewis Partnership have doubled net profits since 1999 and, even in these challenging
times, continue to outperform the sector average.
Formed into a partnership by John Spedan Lewis in 1928, the 70,000 employees at John
Lewis are now equal partners in a business that created a governance system, set
out in their constitution, intended to be commercially agile whilst also giving every
partner a voice in the business that they co-own. Partners elect 80% of the representatives
on their own Partnership Council, which in turn goes on to elect five of the directors
on the main Partnership Board.
Also, regardless of their level within the organisation, each partner receives the
same percentage bonus depending on profit. In a 1957 interview with the BBC, John
Spedan Lewis, spoke of his business beliefs and of his legacy saying that “…here
may be the new source of working energy of which our country is in such grave need.”
Wise words indeed.
People at the John Lewis Partnership are guided by what they call their ‘partnership
spirit’ which values that:
Profits are shared
Partners have a voice
There is a true sense of pride in taking responsibility for their business success
They build relationships with customers, suppliers and colleagues based on honesty,
respect and encouragement
This is just one of the many examples where Leaderful practice is occurring and over
time our library of stories will certainly grow. Please contact us if you know of,
or are part of, a Leaderful story that you would also like to share.