On matrix teams

In the 24 hours after our emailer on Tuesday (see post on interruptions below) over 300 people came to the blog and 250 more went to the Global Integration site and downloaded one of our articles.

The most popular article was The Teamwork Myth which was published in Human Capital magazine recently (it’s a 2MB pdf so be patient if it takes a while to download).

The article challenges the role of teamwork in matrix organizations. The collective ‘true team’ way of working where everyone is involved and connected can be great, but it can also be expensive to organize and can slow things down.

We call these ‘Spaghetti teams’ (thanks to the way that information flows like spaghetti when lots of people are involved).

In many organizations teamwork has become a corporate value; people are appraised on their ability to work in teams and if you are ‘not a team player’  it is the end of your career. But how did ‘teamwork’ become a value – surely it is just a technique, like appraisal, and you never see ‘appraisal’ as a corporate value.

We believe that teamwork is important in a matrix – just not as often as many people think. Identifying where you are not a team can be one of the most useful things to do in speeding up the way we work together in a matrix.

The article outlines some guidelines on how to do this and introduces some simpler and faster ways to organize

Based on our work with clients this article could save you a day per week.

Please let us know what you think about the article or any experiences implementing the ideas – they really do work!

On matrix teams

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