energizing breakthrough performance

Prescription for the “Dual-Hatted Role” in the Matrix Organization: Aggressive Training & Coaching

Why is this so important? There are several reasons:

  1. Staff and management confusion surrounding which role the dual-hatted individual is playing will surely emerge. Is s/he making the decision based on project imperatives, or on the basis of functional perspective? In extreme cases, this can escalate into staff confusion about whether the company is serious about implementing matrix management. The dual-hatted role short-circuits the constructive tension that gives a healthy matrix organization its agility and energy.
  2. Project Managers, product managers, geographic territory managers, and other horizontal leaders need to maximize synergy among functions. Gaining and exercising a multi-disciplinary perspective is key to success but if we embed the horizontal leader further into his or her native discipline in the dual-hatted capacity, we stunt the growth of the seamless, synergistic horizontal management viewpoint and the skills needed to implement it.
  3. One source of resistance to matrix management is the sensation of a loss of status, power and control which some managers evidence. They once made all of the decisions—horizontal and vertical—relative to their work and employees: Now they must collaborate and consult with others. It’s real change, which takes them out of their comfort zone. I don’t minimize this discomfort. It’s real and I sympathize. However, the bottom line is this: Top management commitment to clarification and enforcement of new matrix roles is critical to reaching the tipping point of real change.

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