I spent a few years working in Paris, where the Seine River has played a pivotal role in the shaping of the city’s personality. As I stayed longer and got to know the city and its people better, one of the things that became clear to me was that the Seine River physically separated two distinct cultures of the city.
The left bank, including the Latin Quarter, Montparnasse, and Sorbonne, is all about creativity, design and ideation. The right bank is more sophisticated and upright (or uptight), and it’s the side that gets the job done. This is where you’ll find the Champs Elysees, the Royal Palace, and most of the larger banks and businesses. The two sides cannot exist without each other, but they are culturally and physically divided by the Seine.
It struck me recently that this picture of the Seine dividing Creative from Execution can provide a helpful metaphor for the relationship of Design to Production in a different setting — product manufacturing companies all over the world. In fact, any company that innovates probably has a river that runs between its design and production functions.