Managing in the matrix

How can we make our matrixed organization work more effectively?

To balance the need for local focus and global thinking, more and more companies are looking to become matrixed organizations.

But making matrices work can be a huge drain on senior management resources, and can contribute to organizational inertia and a lack of accountability.

Hay Group has decades of experience helping the world’s leading organizations ensure that their matrix structures add the value required, primarily by finding the right balance between effective global operations and local conditions and requirements.

Many line leaders are hesitant to introduce a matrix structure to their organization, even though there is a need for cross organization collaboration, integration or cost sharing. The perceived lack of accountability, extensive meeting time and reputation of matrix organizations as being difficult to manage all contribute to this fear. At Hay Group, we have helped many organizations successfully design and more importantly, implement matrix organizations because we bring together our wealth of expertise in organizational structures, leadership teams and individual behavior and motivation. We work with senior leaders and leaders to help them clarify their organizational structure and goals and then help them create the optimal global matrix for them.

At the leadership level, we focus on developing the individual and team behaviors critical for effectiveness in a matrix organization where the emphasis is on managing for the broader organization, rather than on individual business units. We can then link this to the right performance management metrics, job evaluation and effective rewards.

One of the key challenges of managing in the matrix is to adapt organizational structures to take account of national and functional cultures. Hay Group’s insights into different cultures can help you make the right decisions.