What happens when you ask a bunch of left-brain thinkers to work with a bunch of right-brain thinkers?
If you answered chaos, mayhem and a whole lot of frustration, you might be right.
But as more companies begin to merge the creative thinkers in a company with the technical side, they’re finding that if done correctly, such a working relationship doesn’t have to be frustrating or chaotic. In fact, it can lead to higher productivity, efficiency and more innovative solutions.
Recent research by The Creative Group and Robert Half Technology finds that 55% of advertising and marketing executives are collaborating more closely with technology leaders within their company compared to three years ago. In addition, 33% of chief information officers report the same of their marketing counterparts.
Despite the increasing demand for creatives to work with IT, there are ongoing challenges to such relationships, the survey finds. Chief among them: poor communication.
“You have these creatives who are right-brain thinkers who think in a very conceptual, circular way,” says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Then you have these IT people who are left-brain thinkers and have very linear, factual thinking.”
Another challenge is the logistics of getting these two groups physically close enough to work together. Domeyer says some companies are putting cross-functional teams together in the same area, forming a team around a common goal such as improving customer experience. She says these groups may use a “bridge” – someone who understands both functions and can ensure their efforts are tied to the company’s strategy.
Further, these teams may come together and disband based on projects. The key is giving them the flexibility to innovate, collaborate and work on a common goal without having to take the time to break down organizational barriers so the groups can work together as needed.
“Working cross-functionally successfully can be much more difficult in a big organization than a small company where you can move faster,” she says. “But those who figure it out will have a competitive advantage.”
Still, Domeyer says that (read more here)