What is different about working and managing in a matrix organization structure?
This is the model we base our skills for matrix working training program around.
The first skill essential to making the matrix work is networking. I am not talking about ‘social’ networking to get to know people in case it may help in the future, but the active development and maintenance of a network to get your job done.
These networks take time and effort to create and to keep active. It’s a paradox that the more complex the structure, the more you need relationships to make it work.
Constant job and organizational change can disrupt these essential networks, so the search for structural solutions to matrix problems (by constantly reorganizing) can often make matters worse.
Here are three simple tips to get started:
- Define the purpose of your network. What is it for? (Write it down.)
- Draw the network on paper: use different thickness of lines to denote the relative strength of the network relationships you have with the people in your network
- Discuss it with a colleague: is it healthy / complete / functional?
Just this simple exercise will help you start to identify strengths and gaps
Is this how things work in your organization? Have you developed any tools or ideas on how to make this work?