The Old Operating Systems
Are you experiencing any of these problems?
If so, you may be using an outdated organizational operating system like Vertical Management or Matrix Management 1.0.
- Frequent reorganization
- Initiative and project overload
- People operating in vertical silos
- Over-committed resources
- Leaders who struggle to cooperate across functions, departments and divisions
- Leaders who are don’t know how to effectively lead without authority
- Leaders who are focused on achieving their own goals at the expense of the broader organizational goals
- Internal competition between functions, teams and/or individuals
- A reactive, risk averse culture or a culture of blame
What’s wrong with Vertical Management?
Vertical Management is an obsolete operating system that has been around since the 1950’s. It uses a directive leadership approach that focuses on the vertical dimension of functions or departments.
It creates more problems than it solves:
- It requires authority in order to lead or to be held accountable.
- It optimizes functions, making it difficult to work cross-functionally.
- It bases accountability on finding someone to blame.
- It requires restructuring every time there is a change in strategy.
- It creates vertical silos.
What about Matrix Management 1.0?
In the 1970’s, Vertical Management was updated in an attempt to make it more cross-functional, and to allow leaders to work in two dimensions — vertical and horizontal. The result was Matrix Management. Unfortunately, the earlier version of Matrix Management used Vertical Management premises and principles, which are strictly one-dimensional (the vertical dimension) and based on authority, creating an ineffective hybrid of the older Vertical Management system.
This created a new set of problems, and gave matrix management a bad name:
- It created dual reporting, but direction still came primarily from the boss.
- It established cross-functional teams, but authority remained primarily with the vertical functions.
- It created a 360-degree feedback system, but “the boss” still made final performance decisions.
- It required collaboration, but the management systems that supported it promoted competition.
- It urged people to work together, but at the same time, remain loyal to their vertical functions.
Fortunately, there’s now a better organizational operating system for matrix organizations — Matrix Management 2.0™.