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The Old Operating Systems

Old Matrix Management 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™.