energizing breakthrough performance

The “M” Word: Why To Some It IS A “Four-Letter” Word

By Ronald A. Gunn, Strategic Futures principal

“M” as in matrix management. In some organizations, there seems to be an embargo on the use of the term. What could prompt a prohibition on staff use of the phrase, “matrix management?”

Here’s our conjecture on why someone would have hesitations about the “M” word:

  1. Lack of knowledge/confidence. They would like to move towards a matrix structure, but they don’t want to use the term “matrix management” because they lack confidence that they know everything that it entails and they dread being quizzed on it.
  2. Adverse experiences with “M”. They have had a less-than-thrilling experience with matrix management somewhere during their career; s/he may believe that others have had similarly adverse experiences and thus, eschews use of the M word
  3. Organization is not ready. They understand what’s involved with matrix management and they don’t believe that their organization can manage the change that is involved in implementing a matrix organization.

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