You don't need special permission to walk through the door to Mark Serrianne's office.

That's because there is no door "” his desk is cubed off just like those for the rest of Northlich's team.

And as the successful CEO of a company that ranks among the top 35 independent advertising and public relations firms in the United States, with reported capitalized billings of approximately $125 million, it's certainly not because he can't afford one.

The open office setup is intended to reflect the vision that has launched Northlich's national and international success under Serrianne: an open, honest atmosphere that encourages teamwork, innovation and the idea that anything is possible.

Serrianne's affection for Cincinnati was fostered in his undergraduate days at the University of Cincinnati, leading him to eventually apply at Northlich, where he would find a common passion for creativity. Even when Serrianne joined in 1974 as an assistant account manager, Northlich was known as what he refers to as a "small creative hub" with only 23 employees.

Now, 30 years and roughly a hundred employees later, CEO Serrianne doesn't hesitate when asked whether Northlich still has a reputation for being creative. "It's our soul," he says. This "soul" has enabled Northlich to serve 17 clients on Fortune Magazine's "Most Admired List" and four clients on Business Week's "Top 50 Performers."

When asked how he was able to advance from account manager to CEO, he replies, "I don't want to pontificate ... I hate pontificating ... but I would have to say 'raw ambition.' And resilience. If you can't bounce back in this industry, it's not the career for you."

The cutting-edge brand strategy and new product development consulting group that Serrianne boasts for Northlich is called Brandstorm, based on the concept of taking a brand and "storming," or vaulting, it onto the market. It consists of two overlapping areas: "brand planning on steroids" and "big ideas, small egos." They come together to form "insight to action."

Serrianne believes strongly in breathing life into Northlich's mantra "Anything is possible," which he coined after becoming president in 1996. "When people come to work every day, these should be the first words they see. It sets the stage for expectations."