energizing breakthrough performance

Hot Intersections: Using the Matrix to Decide What’s Hot and What’s Not

By Ronald A. Gunn, Strategic Futures principal

All of the interfaces between horizontal teams and vertical functions are “not created equal.” (I am not referring to the specific employee who functions as an interface here, but instead to the cross-cutting issues which need to be matrix-managed at the structural interface or intersection between a goal team and a discipline, or between a customer team and a function, etc.) You can display the relative importance of interfaces graphically. You can also stimulate important conversations, debates, and decisions using this technique and make it clear where leadership attention is focused.

Specifically, I depict some interfaces as large and hot requiring significant investment of attention and resources; I depict others as small and cool, meaning that while significant, the interface is not super-critical or urgent. Finally, some interfaces are mere dots, indicating that the interface exists, but that it is not intrinsically rich in importance or significance because of the narrow nature of the relationship between a given horizontal team and function.

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