Have you ever wondered why certain design/architecture studios that continue to upgrade their tools, hire younger people, and purchase the latest set of publications available, just don't make it anymore?
Even with the proper tools, best people and latest updates, if you lack the mindset, you cannot get there... The great example scientists provide is that of the Greek, and how, they could never breed the scientific method, even though they had basically the same tools we did. The Greek were too busy thinking about their gods, and wrote all their observations based on that mindset, to get anywhere else.
In the world of design, we have the Spanish firms from the 90's as a good contemporary example. They were only into the fad of the programmatic-redefinition discourse. They still handled themselves as factories, so when new tools and new people came, they were expected to keep the status quo of those at the top. Anything from the younger updated mindset crowd was used as a gimmick. And it is sad how they get exposed when put in the same context as the truly contemporary-mindset firms [campus justica madrid].
It is few firms which can outlast one mindset. It is those firms who don't think of their organization as a factory. It is those firms who are curious enough to go to places they don't know, and understand when to take half a step back and take it to that level in which it is most effective in that moment. [If they are only led by curiosity they become avant-garde and fade out just as fast, since this is another type of fad.] These firms are known as trendsetting. These firms get to lead. These firms don't write about history, they get to write history. These firms are not only in fashion, they are fashion! These firms are those who get to celebrity-icon-status, who get to be more than just a design firm.