Making the Matrix Work – the book

"Making the Matrix work: How Matrix Managers Engage People and Cut Through Complexity" - the latest book by business author Kevan Hall

Succeeding where multiple bosses, competing goals, influence without authority, and accountability without control, make work more complex.

(See: What is a matrix?)

Background to the book

As work increasingly cuts across the traditional ‘vertical’ business silos of function and geography, most large organizations have adopted some form of matrix organization to manage global customers and supply chains, implement common business processes and run more integrated business functions.

Making the matrix work book cover But structure solves nothing by itself. It is the way people work together that makes the difference between success and failure.

We usually set up this kind of structure:

  • increase flexibility and responsiveness – but this can mean competing goals, faster change and increased conflict. Despite this, people want clarity of goals and roles and to be aligned with their colleagues. We need both clarity and flexibility.
  • increase cooperation and communication across the business – but be careful what you wish for! This can lead to increased bureaucracy and poor quality cooperation. We need to be both connected, and effective.
  • tcoordinate complex operations. This requires trust and empowerment but complexity makes control difficult. Trust is harder to build and sustain and managers often respond by increasing central control. We need both control and trust.

A well run matrix organization creates higher levels of goal and role ownership, demands empowerment and trust and creates rich opportunities for learning and development. All of these are powerful levers for increasing employee engagement, but they require people to develop the right mindset and new skills to take advantage of these opportunities.

You can download an executive summary: HERE

What this book will do for you

Making The Matrix Work is based on 18 years of consulting and training experience with over 50,000 participants in more than 300 leading organizations around the world.  It will show you how to establish and engage networks that do not depend on role, control or authority to get things done. It will help you to cut through complexity and build the skills you need for success.

“Another great book from Kevan. I read it on vacation at Christmas in just a few days. I particularly recommend “Clarifying Decision Rights” in chapter 4 and “The Five Choices Framework” in chapter 6.” Neil Marshall , Global Director, Quality & Food Safety at The Coca-Cola Company

“We recommend that you pick up Kevan Hall’s practical management guide and equip yourself with a toolkit that is designed for practise, not theory.” Ann Tavis, editor, People and Strategy (Professional Journal of HRPS)


Buy your copy of Making the Matrix Work here

Global Integration

Last update: July 2014

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