Photo: Mikhail Metzel/ AP
Ralph Lauren is a visionary who completely changed how Americans dress, but it took shrewd business sense to build a company that brings in $6.6 billion in revenue.Creative companies don’t just succeed based on their ideas.
“Twelve years ago, we needed to go outside the company a lot more than we really wanted, to enable us to do the kind of things we wanted to do, like global expansion. That is no longer the case. We have a lot of fabulous people at the senior level. … We’ve been at this game in the past six, seven years. We had to make very serious global efforts to put in place programs to really move our people internally to get them ready for more complex, multidimensional assignments. …
“The real secret sauce is how can you create an environment where there is a full-blown creative expression that at its peak is operating in a highly disciplined and rigorous environment. It’s easy to talk about but very difficult to do. This is why most creative companies don’t generally grow very large and don’t go public. It’s not a linear, one-step-follows-the-next process. It’s gets a little messy and a little complicated.”
Kosh said that because RL has succeeded at this, “rarely do you hear about Ralph Lauren people wanting to leave.”
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