Matrix Management

Matrix Monday: Making the Matrix Work

In today’s ‘Matrix Monday’ post we preview Making the Matrix Work, the new book by Kevan Hall, due out later this year.

Global customers, supply chains and more integrated business functions mean that work in the 21st Century cuts across traditional vertical silos of country and function. The ‘solution’ of the matrix structure, however, brings higher levels of complexity including multiple bosses and competing goals.

Traditional management practise needs to be balanced with the ability to tolerate ambiguity, manage uncertainty and decentralize control.  Making the Matrix Work helps by introducing some new ideas and practical tools in three key areas:

Leading people beyond clarity to flexibility A matrix trades clarity for flexibility. Managers need to create enough clarity on goals and roles and to align with others, but still cope with ambiguity, complex trade-offs and dilemmas, and higher levels of conflict.

Being connected and effective A matrix may improve cooperation and communication across the silos but it is easy to become over-connected to poor quality meetings, teams and communication. More teamwork, meetings and emails are not the answer.

Creating control by giving it away The complexity and diversity of the matrix can undermine trust and lead to an increase in central control and bureaucracy. We need to prevent this by building trust, empowering and creating commitment. Accountability without control and influence without authority are the norm.

Making the Matrix Work, by  Kevan Hall, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

 Matrix Monday is Global Integration’s regular review of available literature on matrix leadership, management and working. Follow the link to see previous recommendations, or use the RSS feed on this site to ensure that you never miss out on another Global Integration post.

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