The human brain is divided into two distinct cerebral hemispheres — left and right. Scientists have long contended that each side possesses certain characteristics. The left side of the brain is believed to make us more “logical” while the right makes us more “creative.”
As a Traffic Manager, I like to think that I use a good mix of both sides of my brain — logical and creative. Lets first think about the logical… well, logically.
A project enters an agency via an Account Executive. S(he) outlines its various aspects — concept mandatories, budget considerations, timing — via some type of document (e.g. Client Contact Report or Creative Brief). The document is routed to the Traffic Manager, so a Job Number can be opened and a Critical Path formulated (i.e. “linear thinking”). Each step of the project’s lifecycle is assigned a due date, status and responsible employee(s)(i.e. “sequencing”). As the project moves through the agency, tasks are completed (i.e. “facts”), due dates are rearranged (i.e. “computation”), and budgets are monitored (i.e. “mathematics”). These are all steps that require left-brain thinking.
You may think, as a Traffic Manager, that you don’t have a creative bone in your body. Ever said, “I can’t even draw a stick figure” to anyone? Don’t think of your right brain in the traditional sense — playing a musical instrument or giving DaVinci a run for his money. The right brain is the powerhouse behind creativity, imagination, holistic thinking, intuition, motor skills, tone, non-verbal communication, feelings, visualization, daydreaming…
Have you ever had to creatively figure out how to push four jobs through the workflow pipeline at the same time? Have you ever been asked what you thought of a creative concept (i.e. “imagination”)? Have you ever had a “sense” that the workload is about to get crazy and had to creatively assign (and reassign) jobs in order to get ready (i.e. “intuition”)? You interact with team members throughout the course of each and every day. Their non-verbal communication cues help you understand the pressure they’re facing. Having feelings yourself (at least I hope so), you want to help them get the work done without losing their minds (and yours) in the process.
See, you DO have a creative bone in your body. And, you have a logical brain to help interpret everything — the best of both hemispheres!