energizing breakthrough performance

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

I advocate displaying your matrix organization as a simple array of horizontal and vertical lines (Please see article, Matrix Management: Method, Not Magic for a display). Why? A straightforward helicopter view of all of the interfaces (or intersections) among horizontal teams and functions permits the executive to identify more clearly those areas where:

  • Considerable strategic importance abounds
  • Decision disturbances are expected, e.g., budgetary shortfalls, policy conflicts, dueling priorities, decision strangulation, groupthink, misaligned objectives, etc.
  • Operational challenges are likely, e.g., staffing problems, infrastructure constraints, e.g., shortages of particular specialists, laboratories, ships, planes, plant capacity, etc.
  • Breakthrough opportunities for synergy and/or integration await exploitation
  • Substantive alignment areas where budgetary/programmatic alignment with Headquarters and/or Global Corporate Initiatives present harmonious advantages
  • And More…

Such considerations can be color-coded, e.g., red for strategic importance, orange for likely disturbances, yellow for expected challenges, green for special opportunities, etc. Color rings around each of the interface nodes can be “sized”—small or large—to show relative executive emphasis and to telegraph planned levels of executive surveillance and future review.

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