Making the things that make communications work
A Lucent Technologies case study

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Page 2: New start-up company

Lucent Technologies 4 Image 2Lucent Technologies designs, develops, manufactures and markets communication systems and technologies, ranging from microchips to whole networks. It became a fully independent company on April 4th 1996 when its shares were publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. At the end of the first day of trading, $3 billion-worth of shares had been sold - the largest initial public offering in American history.

One of the earliest challenges for any new company is selecting a name and corporate identity for the new corporate business. The name 'Lucent Technologies' was chosen for several reasons. Lucent means 'glowing with light' and 'clarity of vision'. This provides strong, positive images which are appropriate for an innovative and energetic company. The red symbol, the innovation ring, is hand-drawn and represents human innovation.

The starting point for any newly formed organisation is to set out what it wants to achieve. A mission is an overriding statement in line with the expectations of shareholders. Lucent’s mission is 'to provide customers with the world’s best and most innovative communication systems, products, technologies and customer support. Powered by excellent people and technology, we will strive to be a customer-driven, high performance company that delivers superior, sustained shareholder value.'

Values help to provide more of a focus for action and show how the organisation wants to satisfy the needs of its customers. Lucent’s values are 'an obsession with serving our customers: a commitment to business excellence (speed, innovation and quality): a deep respect for the contributions of each person to the success of the team (integrity and candour, mutual respect, teamwork and personal accountability): a strong sense of social responsibility.' Lucent demonstrates these values in an acronym - GROWS.

G Global growth
R Results focused
O Obsession with customers and competitors
W Workplace that is open to ideas and communication
S Speed

All employees are encouraged to demonstrate these values in their daily work life and outstanding performances are duly rewarded.

Lucent wanted to focus its resources on customers in the fastest growing areas of world-wide markets. Shortly after becoming an independent company, therefore, it announced the business was to be reorganised. The reorganisation helped Lucent to concentrate on areas such as wireless, semiconductors, data networking and optical networking.

A Chief Executive Officer and two new Chief Operating Officers were appointed to support the newly-organised business and eleven new business units were formed, ten of which are present in the UK. Unusually for a US-based company, one of the Chief Operating Officers is a European. Through reorganisation, Lucent has become a group of eleven businesses tightly focused on customers, markets and competitors.

Lucent Technologies | Making the things that make communications work