Having been immersed in a mixed environment for many years, I started to be curious about the dynamics that groups of people with different skills create when they work together.
In the context of our sector, digital sports, what we create is a mix of content, user experience, and technology, hence the need for a variety of skills cooperating together for the final results.
Very often different groups of skills do not integrate natively well together, they tend to have not the highest consideration for people that are different. This is human nature. But not right, not great and definitively not smart.
Ask techies about designers, ask marketers about techies, etc…
Luckily enough this is not everybody, and it’s improving recently because multi-disciplinary teams are becoming the norm.
Personally, I have covered most of those roles in my career.
I have never found anything more inspiring than, when working with mix-skilled people, you achieve something new and you also learned while doing it.
We all need each other to succeed, and the ultimate goal is making fans experience the sport they love in the most engaging way possible.
What is the problem
- For creatives: everybody has an opinion about your work. I mean, literally, everybody in the room and potentially even their families at home. If you are in product management, design, and strategy even managing the conversation in a room could prove to be a tough task.
- For techies: everybody else is creating stuff that you will eventually have to build, deliver and run, very often with tight deadlines. They tend to underestimate the feasibility, efforts, and risks of what they are imagining they want.
- For marketers: everybody thinks that marketing is about tricking people, it’s never measured and it’s a disturbance to their job. Why do we need to change that beautifully designed screen to embed a call to action?
What should we do?
- Break the silos, create (small) multi-disciplinary teams and make them work aligned on the objective
- Create a cross-functional culture. We want T-people, expert and passionate in one field BUT well educated in all other areas of interest. Nurture respect, do not accept behaviors that neglect it.
- Data. Create a data-based culture in which with extreme discipline data are used not to prove a pre-conceived point but really gain insights and drive decisions.
Be patient. This will need work. Or maybe, you are lucky and live in an environment where this is not a problem anymore.
Some fun articles to read: