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Culture Wars

By: Marie Alice Dibon
Posted: January 5, 2010, from the January 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 2 of 12

It is the fight between technology and marketing. The never-ending feud between two sides of a business coin—each thinking it knows the answers. It is the war between science and finance, between facts and concepts, between rationality and creativity—or so you would like to think.

It’s not a new battle, but what’s been done to make it better?

Understanding the dynamics of the struggle between these apparent dichotomies—these cultural differences—can allow them to be leveraged in a positive way. The energy they carry with them can be harnessed, and the way in which society and the nature of business are evolving may very well open doors for a positive change.

If unaddressed, too, the struggle costs time, efficiency, energy and, ultimately, profits. But there are opportunities to turn these struggles into profit generators. There is an incredible, often untapped potential in most companies. Yet today, many companies are unable to manage that potential.

Why? Because it is best managed by people who have been hanging around on both sides of the fence and those people are rare. There also seem to be a lot of very deeply ingrained power and ego issues rotting at the core of technology vs. marketing struggles, and those are not easy to debunk. For most, maintaining a crabby peace is often more comfortable than addressing the problem up front. Again, solving these problems and breaking the status quo always means taking a risk. And few are willing to take it. It is, however, a very costly compromise.

Measure Performance; Incentivize Creativity