The Geek Gap: Why business and technology professionals don't understand each other

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Zetlin: I think the thing that we talked about having cross-functional work teams, and also especially having people work in each other's areas for a while are very good ways of building respect, because they get to see, each the geeks and the suits, get to see what the other job consists of. The geeks get to see that running a business isn't really just like falling off a log. You actually do have to know what you're doing and you have to think about how to do it. And suits need to see that technology work demands a lot of creativity and insight. They tend to think of it as very mechanical, and it actually isn't. Another thing we highly recommend that would also help build trust and respect between the two groups is to have the two groups learn something about each other's disciplines. And this is something technology people have become suddenly aware of in the last two years because they had to learn the acronym ROI and they're scared that their jobs are going to be shipped off to Bangalore, and one of the ways to avoid that is to learn enough about business to become essential, non-disposable to the business. But business people also do need to learn some technology. And both, without changing what your job is, both technology people and business people can take a course or two, learn how to do some of the simple skills that are involved in other disciplines. And learning how to do it will help build respect.

Geer: Thank you, Bill and Minda. For more about these experts and their work, visit www.thegeekgap.com.  

This story, "The Geek Gap: Why business and technology professionals don't understand each other" was originally published by ITworld.

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