The peacemaker. The moderator. The go-to compromiser. We all have someone we go to when trying to encourage teamwork for effective outcomes for all parties. (All of these terms could also easily fit under the definition of “mom,” but I digress…)
One of the many reasons I love this business so much is working with teams that come from very different skill sets, experiences, and backgrounds. Not only do I work alongside diverse and talented people, I also bring them together to create cohesive marketing plans and initiatives.
Researchers, engineers, art directors, copywriters, contractors, graphic designers, and geeks-of-all kinds (said lovingly of course!).
No, it’s not the start to a bad joke. It’s actually the many types of professionals I work with to make our engine – GO!
If you get them all together in a room—or chat channel—it can immediately become clear that different stakeholders have different expectations.
And I’m the one that knows how to set those expectations from the start because I speak multiple languages!
Maybe not the kind that can be found on Rosetta Stone or Duolingo. But the kind that matters for collaboration. I know how to effectively communicate each person’s needs regardless of their job title. This requires a vast knowledge from decades of experience working with eclectic teams and knowing their needs.
It’s the kind of needs that get lost in translation.
Knowing those needs means going beyond the stereotypes we find in our industry.
Stereotypes such as:
- Engineers are too process-oriented, linear thinkers.
- Marketers are extremely social.
In fact, I’ve written extensively about making sense of marketing in technical collaboration, where you’ll even find multiple case studies that show how we can all work together.
Read more about it here: Lost in Translation
The truth is, our industry is traditionally a technical environment and utilities are embracing and tapping into creative marketing strategies to generate program awareness and build participation. But, these connections don’t always run smoothly, as you can imagine. Technical staff (engineers, researchers) and marketing staff (art directors, graphic designers) often seem to speak different languages and can disagree on effective customer engagement strategies.
For instance, it could be difficult for a designer to parse down a very technical concept enough to create an effective infographic, pamphlet or social media graphic. Especially one that needs to be concise enough for the general public (or consumers) to understand.
That’s why knowing how to prevent tasks from getting lost in translation is key.
Because, ultimately, our titles and needs may be different, but our goals are the same.
We all want to produce successful energy programs that garner excellent participation and achieve or exceed the energy savings targets.
How do we ensure that our team collaboration works?
There are some simple keys steps that you should apply in every collaboration to make it successful:
- Understand your Audience
- Adjust as Needed
- Become Bilingual
Reach out to me here if you want a bilingual speaker on your team.