One of the roles that I have played in my career has been to be a translator between the language of technology experts and executives in business organizations. It often feels like the two groups are speaking different languages.
Humor can be a great teacher
There is great value to the organization if the two groups work together and understand each other. The importance today of collaboration is greater than ever. There is a humorous video that illustrates the lack of communication in a sketch.
The person who can truly bridge the gap between the technical and business communications can dramatically improve outcomes and nurture innovation. Too often business sees technologists as focused on all the reasons something cannot be done or will take forever. The technologists see business as being too general or not understanding the scope of what they are asking to have done. Fortunately, common ground can be found.
Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Information Officer Need to Work Together
One dramatic shift in the need to work together is the dramatic change in the relationship between the CMO and the CIO. Matt Ariker, Martin Harrysson and Jesko Perrey from McKinsey report: Getting the CMI and CIO to Work Together as Partners
“The situation reflects a central truth in today’s big data world: both the CMO and CIO are on the hook for turning all that data into growth together. It may be a marriage of convenience, but it’s one that CMOs and CIOs need to make work especially as worldwide volume of data is growing at least 40 percent a year, with ever-increasing variety and velocity. That’s why many CMOs are waking up to the fact that IT can’t be treated like a back-office function anymore; rather, the CIO is becoming a strategic partner who is crucial to developing and executing marketing strategy.”
We have successfully worked with several hundred technology leaders over the last thirty years to help them effectively come to the table. They need to learn to make things simpler and clearer in senior business terms. We see the marketing side of the equation needing to be much more concrete, more respectful of the technology expertise, and be more data oriented to make the needed adjustments. The successful companies will find a way to make this team work together.