While Marketing’s Becoming More Left-Brained, Is Process Becoming More Right-Brained?


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I just read an interesting article titled, “The Service Dominant Mindset,” describing the demands and risks faced by marketing professionals because their industry is evolving from “product logic” towards “service logic.” I wasn’t far along before realizing the same story fits process professionals facing a similar shift from “production logic” to service logic. In both cases customers are driving change, and in both cases that’s forcing a new perspective and a new way of thinking.

The big question is, can the same people see and think differently?

I’ve watched the marketing transition from both inside and outside perspectives – and as I predicted early on, the answer is largely “no.” And watching the process world struggle with change now, I’m coming up with the same answer.

Why? Because brain wiring is hard wiring. While process approaches can be torqued around to do what they were not designed to do, the people implementing them aren’t nearly as malleable. The traits that make someone adept at dealing with process statistics, algorithms, sophisticated models and the like are not the traits that make someone effective intuitively understanding how to design work based on customer needs, wants and aspirations. In fact, the thinking comes from opposite lobes. Not many of us have ambidextrous minds, and definitely not me.

Are you seeing the same?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. Dick: great points. Can you ping me the URL for the article? My 2 bits on your points:

    In my experience the same people *can* see and think differently, but they need help doing so. Changing behaviors is hard work for everyone involved. We find that metrics which show the suicidal path of failing to change make a huge difference. Real-time metrics are best. They shrink the time it takes to see how small changes, made day-to-day, can add up to a big effect over time. Make the change seem small, contain the risks, and show people they can improve results by changing their behaviors and *some* will actually take the leap.

    The approach we’ve found works well is akin to the ‘Destination Postcards’ metaphor that Chip Heath talks of in his latest book, Switch. Show people the outcomes they’re headed for, visually, in ways which resonate both logically and emotionally, and in ways which show how they can affect where they end up. With such viewfinders, motivated and skill people take action. The rest? You know who they are.

    Trust this adds some value. – John


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