Why Matrix? Flexibility through faster decisions

Continuing our blog series looking at reasons to introduce a matrix. Improved cooperation and communication across the old functional and geographic silos.

With immediate effect, the company separates responsibilities for the core brands and supports the regional leaders with strengthened and consistent teams of area specialists such as finance & control, IT, purchasing, HR, sales & marketing, revenue management, and technical development.

An optimized organization with clear responsibilities will improve our portfolio management.

We aim to work in an efficient and profitable way, to be fast responding and quick decision making.We are confident that our optimized organization structure and the adaptation of a more decentralized management approach will help us to boost both performance and profitability.

Within the new areas, all support structures are operated in a matrix type organization with the position heads reporting hierarchically to each Area Vice President and functionally to the central Vice President of the relative function.
Rezidor EMEA 2012

Like Rezidor, many organizations introduce matrix management because they think it will offer them faster and more flexible decision making.

This presents an interesting paradox. Unified command and control and strong vertical reporting should lead to faster decisions. Yet in a matrix, many more people can be involved in the decision-making process  – which adds complexity and usually takes longer.

However, if the critical decisions you are trying to make have strong multifunctional, multi-geography or multiproduct implications, you have no choice but to involve a range of people in the decision-making.

In the Rezidor case, the matrix at least provides a structure for involving people.

The matrix itself does not speed up decision making. It is the behaviours and ways of working that will bring the accompanying speed.


If this subject matter is of interest to you, you may also enjoy these videos:
Creating alignment

– Too connected to be effective

Influence without authority

If matrix structure is of interest, you may also be interested in the one day open access course looking at Matrix Structure at Ashridge Business School on June 19 2012.

Why Matrix? Flexibility through faster decisions

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