Global customers, supply chains and more integrated business functions mean that work now cuts across the traditional vertical silos of country and function. But the 'solution' of the matrix structure also brings multiple bosses, competing goals and higher levels of complexity. Traditional management training prioritizes clarity, predictability and control.
In a matrix we need to be able to balance this with the ability to tolerate ambiguity, manage uncertainty and decentralize control. Managers need an expanded toolkit to help them move from the hard to the soft, from the concrete to the ambiguous and back again depending on the situation. Making the Matrix Work introduces some new ideas and practical tools in 3 key areas:
* Leading people beyond clarity to flexibility A matrix trades clarity for flexibility. We need to create enough clarity on goals and roles and to align with others; but we also need to cope with ambiguity, manage complex trade-offs and dilemmas and deal with higher levels of conflict.
* Being connected and effective We set up a matrix to improve cooperation and communication across the silos but be careful what you wish for! It is easy to become over-connected to poor quality meetings, teams and communication. More teamwork, meetings and emails are not the answer.
* Creating control by giving it away. The complexity and diversity of the matrix can undermine trust and lead to an increase in central control and bureaucracy. We need to prevent this by building trust, empowering and creating commitment. Accountability without control and influence without authority are the norm.
Kevan Hall's new book will help you develop your matrix mindset and will show you how to establish and engage networks that do not depend on role, control or authority to get things done. This book gives individuals working in the matrix the tools to take control of their own goals, role and success and shows matrix managers how to lead others to make their matrix really work.
Watch for the author's new book Kill Bad Meetings - coming soon.