To make sure employees don't clown around with the customers who fueled the growth of Sequent Computer Systems, president Scott Gibson depends on one of the most famous clowns of all, Bozo. One hundred "Bozo boxes" are strategically located within easy reach of most conversation spots, such as conference rooms and hallways. Anyone caught by a fellow employee criticizing a customer or supplier must drop a quarter in the nearest box.
As the Beaverton, Ore.-based computer manufacturer grew from $4 million to $145 million over the past five years, Gibson admits, "we had drifted a bit into the arrogance that comes from success." The boxes keep employees humble, and proceeds go to the needy.