Regular readers will know that our research shows a drift towards increasing central control in many matrix organizations and also that matrix organizations require decentralized control to function.
There are many small factors that subtly undermine trust in matrix organizations – distance, cultures, timezones and communicating through technology can all create or magnify misunderstanding and many managers respond by getting more involved and tightening control.
If your organization feels like the one in the cartoon then you need to put in place a systematic process to increase empowerment and enable local decision making. If you don’t then eventually all decisions will be escalated to the centre – causing delay, cost and dissatisfaction.
On the other hand, it is hard to empower people you don’t know can do the job or don’t really trust. Thats’ why it needs to be a systematic, managed process and not just an exhortation to increase empowerment again.
Find out more about how to do this