One of the main problems that our clients experience in making their matrix structures work is the difficulty in aligning conflicting priotiries and objectives from the different “legs” of the matrix.
If objectives are not aligned people can feel pulled in different directions like the character in our first cartoon.
But a matrix deliberately sacrifices some clarity for flexibility. The point of the matrix is to cope with complexity – not everything can or should be made clear!
We have to make clear what we can but also get more comfortable with balancing competing priorities and managing multiple bosses and divided loyalties.
What experiences have you had in aligning your objectives (or not). Please share your stories and ideas and I will try to provide some tips or observations that may help?
We are planning a series of these cartoons – if you have a story or idea that illustrates the issues of life in a matrix please leave a comment – I will have the best ones made into cartoons and posted on this site.
Every 4-6 weeks I email out a more in-depth look at a particular issue to do with working in complex companies – if you would like to receive these please sign up here