It seems that many organizations are responding to the downturn by creating more integrated central functions like IT, HR, Legal etc…

It is  a logical response driven by both cost cutting and the needs to get more synergies and share scarce skills across the organization.

In the past month we have been contacted by major companies in the Pharmaceutical, Financial services, FMCG. Energy and other industries who are actively restructuring their central functions to be more integrated.

Whatever the motivation this increased integration of central functions is leading to more and more matrixed, virtual and international working.

In most cases the focus right now is on the strategy and structural issues in making this happen, after this attention tends to move to aligning critical systems with the new structure. It can be a long time before anyone thinks about the skills implications- and it is the skills, not the structure, that makes these more integrated and complex organizational forms work. It is great to see some progressive organizations getting this on the agenda right at the start of the project.

Find out more about some of the people management challenges in operating more integrate central functions in our podcast Creating a more integrated IT function the focus is on IT but many of the challenges are relevant to other functions too.

See more about the skills needed to succeed in complex organizations.

Is your organization creating more integrated central functions too?

About the author:

Kevan Hall Kevan Hall is a CEO, author, speaker and trainer in matrix management, virtual teams and global working. He is the author of "Speed Lead - faster, simpler ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies, "Making the Matrix work - how matrix managers engage people and cut through complexity", and the "Life in a Matrix" podcasts, videos, cartoons and blog. He is CEO and founder of Global Integration. Company profile: .

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