Leading in a Matrix
Many leaders have invested years in getting promoted up the organizational chain of command. Such upward mobility has long served as the yardstick by which corporate success has been measured, an ingrained mindset that dates back to the 1950s.
As today's organizations grow more interconnected and complex, how can we ensure that our employees have all the skills and knowledge they need to be as effective as they can be?
Executive coaching has been known to help entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground as well as support leaders stepping into new and challenging roles. But did you know that executive coaching can also help an organizational transformation initiative to take hold and thrive?
Here are three recommendations to help you get this process started by partnering with an executive coach.
As leaders, we are wired to be efficient, to not spin our wheels, and not waste resources. Working with others can sometimes get complicated and frustrating - far from efficient. Consensus, adoption, team participation may sound like a leader's worst nightmare, but here are our thoughts on how leading your team collaboratively is actually the way to achieve efficiency.
Nobody likes to be bossed around. Yet a strong boss who is able to direct the actions of others is the type of leader organizations often find desirable as their processes and relationships become more complex. Traditional hierarchy is often seen as the only solution to managing complexity. Lines of communication and command are clear. Roles are clear. Decision-making is firmly in the hands of a boss. Team members follow the boss's lead. In theory, this seems straightforward but it’s actually much more complicated.
In our article, The Case for Team Accountability, we looked at reasons why shared team accountability promotes project success. But how do you keep track of who’s accountable for each deliverable?
Accountability can help or hinder your project. In the past, accountability was often synonymous with blame. It created fear, forced people to cover their backsides, and sabotaged learning. This kind of accountability did little to improve performance.
Are your team members challenged with multiple initiatives and conflicting priorities? Are you struggling to make commitments your team can keep when team members don’t report to you? Welcome to a matrix organization!
Working cross-functionally poses a challenge for any project leader. Team members have functional commitments and loyalties. Resource area leaders have functional goals and priorities.
People who lead projects in a matrix understand the challenges of building buy-in and commitment. Some project leaders fear losing control of the project if the team participates.