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Culture Wars

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

page 4 of 12

So a lab costs money, and a marketing department makes money? What about the lab’s achievements and its ability to produce beautiful, efficient, stable products that fit marketing’s requirements?

Both must be considered equally, profit and expense centers. Look for a way to bring the value back where it belongs—in the semantics and in the incentives.

Acknowledge that objectives should not be just for people who sell and understand that marketing, too, needs its quality control. Rigor and controls can be applied at all levels, as can rewards and incentive.

It is the split vision of these two lobes that influences you to apply different standards and treat people within these lobes differently—even while overseeing essential management aspects in each of them.

Incentivizing creativity at the technological level is not an impossible pursuit. But it takes some thinking and some willingness on both sides to work together. Only a lab will be able to determine what it can or cannot do, but only a functioning lab will do so in good faith. Productivity, as it’s understood in commercial operations, is not always very high on a researcher’s agenda, and for good historical and cultural reasons. You can’t measure it in the same fashion as marketing measures its own productivity.