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CEOs are from Mars . . .

The Mars-Venus divide's got nothing on the mile-wide chasm that separates "creatives" and "suits."

An accomplished and relatively senior media executive once admitted to me that he had no $%#&! idea how to evaluate the creative work presented by two competing graphic design firms. Subjective elements like style, tone, emotion, and voice were totally lost on him.

"If you weren't here, I guess I'd pick the blue one," he said matter-of-factly.

Before that day, I firmly believed that my more quantitatively-oriented colleagues understood creativity and design but, relative to operational and financial concerns, simply considered "soft" elements secondary. In a moment, it became painfully apparent that many otherwise savvy business thinkers have a creative blind-spot the size of an H2.

The same is true for creative thinkers who have spent years dodging anything with decimal points, charts, or footnotes. It doesn't take long for business muscles to get flabby and weak. The time has come for both sides to drop their long-standing and overly dramatic antagonism, hostility, and resentment. The future of the media & entertainment industries depends on visionary and proactive creative + business collaboration that draws inspiration from the senses as often as it does spreadsheets.


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