How do managers who are used to working with corporate employees in three-piece suits and wing tips deal with the company's more creative types -- those software engineers, copywriters, scientists, and art directors who tend to show up at work on bicycles, in tennis shoes and blue jeans, with dogs?
Some managers may decide, in the interest of peace and harmony, to keep their creative divisions as separate from the business side as possible. Integrated Genetics Inc. took a different tack. The $5-million bioengineering company in Framingham, Mass., recently devised a strategy "to prevent the scientists from becoming an esoteric group shut off from the rest" of the company, says Pat Connoy, vice-president of sales and marketing. Integrated Genetics employs 100 scientists and 30 administrative employees. Each Friday, one of the scientists gives a presentation to the company at large, on subjects ranging from his own in-house work to a new development in biotechnology. Once a month, an employee from the selling, mrketing, or administrative side takes a turn speaking to the scientists on anything from finance to strategic planning. The company also runs a weekly in-house seminar called "Science for Non-Scientists," in which scientists explain their work in detail to about 20 administrative employees. "The formation of separate cliques, with their own little cultures, is a danger at companies like ours," says Connoy.