Many companies use virtual teams in order to promote communication, sharing of resources and “horizontal” activity across the traditional geographic and functional silos.
In the early stages it is common for financial reporting, local objectives and problems with alignment and legacy power structures to discourage people from working in virtual teams that cut across the traditional “silo” organizations.
When virtual teams are not as effective as companies hoped it is common to introduce dotted line, or even dual solid line reporting structures to allow the virtual team managers to exercise more control and power to counter the influence of the traditional silos. In project driven organizations the main power may eventually lie with the horizontal or project stream of activity.
In virtual teams we have “matrix working” even where we don’t yet have a formal matrix organization structure.
If we can find away to make virtual teams work effectively we may not need the formal matrix structure to support them.
How well do virtual teams work in your organization?