Left Brain vs Right Brain = Management vs. Marketing


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I was reading the book, War in the Boardroom: Why Left-Brain Management and Right-Brain Marketing Don’t See Eye-to-Eye–and What to Do About It, looking for a few ideas on how to approach Lean concepts to marketing and more specifically CMOs. Of course, we all know trying to apply a discipline to a bunch of right brain thinkers is a difficult task but what I found might surprise you. Review this slide show for an introduction. As far as reading the book, it is fun read pointing to numerous examples of the disparity between the roles. However, I think the book falls short of pointing out what to do about it. The book champions the marketing cause with little supportive or quantize evidence. Oh, that’s the problem my left brain is working.

The book makes a case for every marketing mistake in the last couple of decades and blames it on management. Every success is attributed to right brain thinking and marketing, again lacking evidence. Left brain thinking or right brain thinking there is a place for both. The collaboration of them is what makes for success.

Can you really afford not to have supportive evidence in marketing? The dollars that are spent there are very often astronomical. However, you do little to accurately measure and improve YOUR OWN PROCESS. You do time studies, create entire departments and everything in between to evaluate a single hourly employee but never consider how to improve the sales and marketing process.

One of the strengths of Lean Marketing is the improvement of processes. I think that is where many right-brain thinkers get bogged down in their perceptions. Everyone has some type of process, So, if you don’t think you do, what you do have is a poor one.

Lean marketing will help you identify and as a result streamline your own processes. Working on a process is typically what they dread. A process is a structure that you identify but don’t think of it in a typical linear fashion. Think of is more in cyclic structure that is involving and growing everyday. That blend of right brain – left brain thinking. You may have to accept the fact that you need a little left brain to make the right brain more productive.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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