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Culture Wars

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

page 3 of 12

Within any given company, there are often walls between profit centers and expense centers. By treating them differently, they become divided. And dividing two lobes of the same brain—these centers are responsible for most of what happens downstream—is never a good idea.

These centers, as a whole, plan and trigger execution of product concepts and launches. Therefore, the more the two lobes talk to one another, the better the whole works and the better the final outcome. In addition, the better both sides communicate (left and right, rational and creative), the more flexible the thinking and the more adaptive the behavior.

Consider, too, R&D and marketing both work for the same end result. They are both key to the good functioning of the same entity. The goal is always to make the company more profitable, and that happens by developing and selling well.

So why do they tend to be segregated?

First, the labels created make the segregation almost inherent—calling one an expense center and the other a profit center.