Matrix Management

Matrix Cartoon #2 – Lack of communication?

This cartoon is based on a real conversation I had with a matrix manager.

Companies set up a matrix organization structure in order to connect people across the traditional silos of functions and locations. We spend time and effort to get people to communicate more.

Unfortunately, once people get the message, there is often an explosion of communication on the basis that if communication is good, then more communication must be better!

In many organizations “a lack of communication” is now a problem of the past. The problem today is too much, poor quality, communication. Increasing the volume of communication will not help this problem.

Research has shown that team effectiveness and communication have a curvilinear relationship – too little communication can cause problems with performance, but so can too much.

On average people tell us they spend 40% of their time in meeting (or which less than 50% is relevant) and receive 56 emails per day (half of which are not necessary). See how you compare with our survey of over 1,100 people here

We believe the challenge today is to reduce the volume and then work on improving the quality.
Has your company found any smart ways to do this? Or do you disagree – join the debate!

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