Managing in the matrix

How can we make our matrixed organisation work more effectively?

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

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

Hay Group has decades of experience helping the world’s leading organisations 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 organisation, even though there is a need for cross organisation collaboration, integration or cost sharing. The perceived lack of accountability, extensive meeting time and reputation of matrix organisations as being difficult to manage all contribute to this fear. At Hay Group, we have helped many organisations successfully design and more importantly, implement matrix organisations because we bring together our wealth of expertise in organisational structures, leadership teams and individual behaviour and motivation. We work with senior leaders and leaders to help them clarify their organisational 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 behaviours critical for effectiveness in a matrix organisation where the emphasis is on managing for the broader organisation, 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 organisational structures to take account of national and functional cultures. Hay Group’s insights into different cultures can help you make the right decisions.