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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Right Brain/Left Brain in Business: a CBSAC/NY Event

I recently attended a Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York (CBSAC/NY) event titled "Right Brain/Left Brain MBA". The title intrigued me. Furthermore, two of the participants were classmates from Columbia Business School [and another a classmate from Smith College!]! I had to go.

I wasn't disappointed.

As Claire Steichen, organizer of the event, explained, the idea for this event came from contrasting the traditional MBA career paths in Financial Services or Consulting to those in more creative environments. The event's participants included:

Claire Steichen, a coaching and leadership development consultant, worked in cosmetics and luxury goods.

Mike Rataczak pursued human resources at Cole Haan, Limited Brands, including Victoria's Secret and Henri Bendel, and as a consultant. 

Celeste Gudas, an entrepreneur and recruiting industry innovator, launched her company 24 Seven as a strategic, creative workforce solutions partner for Fashion, Retail, Advertising, Marketing, Design, Interactive/Digital, Media, Beauty, CPG and Entertainment industry companies. 

Right Brain/Left Brain MBA
Terri Meyer, co-founded her company The Terri & Sandy Solution, after 25 years on Madison Avenue to bring brand-igniting communication platforms to clients in faster, smarter, more cost-efficient ways for companies such as Nestle, Kodak, Kraft, Gerber, Campbell’s, Clairol, and American Standard...
Andrew Goldman has pursued an intense passion for the movie industry ever since seeing Jaws as a kid. He now lives it at HBO/Cinemax.

Each panelist answered questions such as:
  • How did you get into the industry?
  • How did you know it was right?
  • How does creativity manifest itself in less creative environments?
Although the focus was on creativity in the business workplace and finding the ideal working environment and position, several insights seemed particularly relevant for businesses eager to embrace marketing with social media and content marketing...

Right Brain/Left Brain in Business, CBSAC/NY Event
Creativity generates positive energy that touches everyone involved.

There's a melding of creativity in every role and job.

Many of us are ambassadors between creativity and business.

Do everything with integrity

Motivation requires intense interest [i.e., passion].

You need to have passion.

Know yourself and your business.

Listening skills are critical. It's okay to say you don't know the answer.

Mike stated the following - which I found profound!

Right Brain/Left Brain in Business - CBSAC/NY Event
"Building a brand is like making a movie. You need to know how you will contribute to building the brand. It takes both right and left brain to tell a movie. Figure out your role in the movie and draw a picture for others of how you contribute."

I love the image. It's completely relevant to creating engaging content for end users and figuring out how to answer the questions our customers have. We're trying to understand their movie and find a role for ourselves that makes credible sense.

The panelists suggested the following books to read:
Have you read any of these books? Which did you like best?

Comments, reactions, questions? How do you meld right and left brains in your business? How do you bring creativity into problem-solving and business? How do you stay motivated?

Thank you, Claire, Mike, Andrew, Celeste and Terri. I really enjoyed the conversation!

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