Organizational network analysis, using surveys and email analytics to map the informal channels of communication across a company, reveals how unevenly the ‘collaboration load’ tends to be spread across individuals. On the one hand this means a lot of wasted talent – according to extensive research by network expert and professor of Global Business at […]
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Extensive studies of communications traffic, and who actually talks to who, have identified unexpected practical information about what makes an effective network, and how this changes with time. Father of the field of ‘organizational network analysis’ (ONA), Prof Rob Cross’s decade of research has revealed that it usually takes 3 to 5 years for a […]
A hackathon: conjures up images of hundreds of techies furiously programming away in a room full of futuristic gadgets, coming up with amazing ideas for how to get us more addicted to our smartphones…. How does this relate to our own day-to-day world of matrix or complex organizations? What can we borrow from how they […]
Three decades ago we were worrying about silos, and we still are today. This is in part because as humans we’ve been hard-wired to build strong bonds with those in our immediate group – and disparage those who are outside (or ‘in-group vs. out-group’ bias as the social psychologists term it). It is also because […]
With Amazon set to clean up once again after this year’s holiday season spending spree – it is worth taking a moment to reflect on how they do it. What is powering them to exponential success is a super slick ecosystem-wide matrix organization. On the other side of the world, Alibaba is doing the same. […]
A lot has been made of the tech giant and Silicon Valley start-up culture of fail fast, take risks, experiment and learn (and rightly so). The question is, can this really translate into big traditional companies who are trying to keep up? Former Intel president Renee James is now CEO of a semiconductor start-up, so […]
With everything evolving at such speed nowadays, it is easy to feel out of control over what those we manage are up to. The temptation is to ask for more status updates, interim reports and quick briefing calls. Like many temptations, in the long term this is not good for us or the business, and […]
The business world loves an acronym and one that’s been doing the rounds in the last few years is VUCA – the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world we now work in. For many of us this probably does seem a pretty good description of our current internal and external environment. If this is the […]
As psychologists have been telling us for years, it is human nature for us to create groups and try and stay within them – whether that be in families, football teams or corporate functions. Yet today’s hyper-connected business world requires us to become ‘boundary-spanning leaders’. As this is contrary to our in-built human tendencies, this […]
The advantages and problems associated with matrix organizations are well-versed – but overall do the benefits outweigh the challenges? Researchers in South Africa were keen to answer this question. Despite looking out for issues such as: tendencies towards anarchy, power struggles, decision strangulation, unclear roles and excessive overhead costs, they found that the respondents rated […]
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