energizing breakthrough performance

Five Not-So-Easy Pieces of Matrix Management

Don’t resort to telegraphy or mental telepathy in implementing the matrix. It is unsafe for management to assume that staff, or management will understand the matrix easily and automatically. It is safer to assume that they will not understand what it is, what the roles are and how things are supposed to work unless there are deliberate negotiations, discussions, and briefings until the point is reached where the matrix becomes intuitive and habitual rather than a novelty requiring further explanation.

2.  Clarify priorities and implement a streamlined forum for priority-setting and resource allocation

Matrix management turns up the lights on organizational needs and resources and this is a distinct advantage for mature professionals who are long since weary of manic-panic bouncing off the walls when demand grossly and persistently outstrips resources. [Might it not be time for the advantages of "organization"? Stated differently, isn’t it time for systematic planning and united effort to displace adrenal fire-drills?] When vertical personnel interface with a horizontal team, the matrix is quite unforgiving of mismatches between needs and resources. In the matrix, these mismatches cannot be "finessed" at the management level between captains of two organizational stovepipes; these mismatches must be "lived" at the staff level and they cry out for resolution. Stated differently, if the heavy lifting of decision politics is not made at the top and at the front end of organizational processes, then there is risk of overwhelming the entire organization with dysfunctional politics that it is ill prepared to manage. The risk of dysfunctional politics is significant because there is considerably more need for service provision than there is a supply of resources to address such needs. Cross-divisional priority-setting and resource allocation needs attention if the matrix is to function effectively.

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