To master creativity and management you really need a company that’s well-balanced between an artist and an operator, and I think if you look at any really great brand, you always find that duo at work. Somebody who is a little bit more the visionary, the artist and somebody who knows how to really operate and make a company successful.
I think one of my favorite examples was Gap here in America. In Gap’s heyday during their incredible ride to creating this iconic brand, you had Mickey Drexler, who was the artist and you had Don Fisher, the founder who was the operator. My understanding is the two of them fought like cats and dogs. There was incredible tension between the two of them, but it was that wonderful balance of challenging each other that made that company and that brand so great. Mickey eventually slipped a little. Don fired him, and Don hired somebody who was just like Don, which is Paul. They no longer had that artist and that operator.
We have that here today where Adam and I are a bit the artist. I approach it more from a design background. Adam approaches it more from a management and sustainability background, and then we’ve got Drew, our CEO who is the operator and manager. Between us there is a wonderful healthy tension of pushing and challenging each other in creativity and management, but then we’ve tried to set that up to the entire organization.
If you look at our creativity and management leadership team, we’ve got people who are populated from more of a, what you call, an artists background, designers, creative. Then you have people who are populated more from a operating or a management background, and so then we’ve modeled that throughout our pods through the entire organization to get that balance of creativity and management. What that means is you’re never surrounded by yes people because whichever background you’ve come from, we’ve got a wonderful tension challenging and pushing each other. The end result is we want a company that has an incredible imagination, a vision, a clear point of view about its place in the world, yet that is just ruthless in its ability to execute and execute well.