LDA Design, a consultancy of designers and architects, has become a 100% employee-owned business through an employee ownership trust (EOT) to maintain its long-term independence.
According to the organisation, which has been working towards employee ownership for a number of years, the transition has enabled it to put in place new business structures designed to support its coaching leadership. These have been developed so that its 170 members of staff understand what employee ownership means for them.
LDA Design set up an EOT to acquire all the shares, build on everything achieved over the past 42 years, and promote and protect the long-term interests of the business, giving everyone the opportunity to feel invested in and well-equipped to contribute to its future. It will also assess its own progress against the trust commitments in a new charter, which will reflect the values and thinking of the entire team.
In addition to establishing the EOT, Jane Mitchell has been appointed as its independent chair to oversee the continued transition.
Frazer Osment, chair of LDA Design, commented that each member of the team now has a say in how the business is run and the direction it takes, with employee ownership an “important” way to unlock the “brilliance” of the collective and an expression of faith in each other.
“Employee ownership is about empowerment and being part of something bigger and is also a quietly radical challenge to market norms on many fronts, from governance to where profit goes. It gives us an independent future and enables us to put creativity front and centre. Everyone is trusted for the things they are good at, and it is through our projects, and the quality of our thinking, that the values of our employee owners will be most clearly revealed,” he said.