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Leadership in a Matrix Organization

“It’s the leader’s primary job to make sure the professional has as few obstacles as possible to getting the work done.”

—Matrix Management Reinvented: Book 2 – The 7 Shifts Needed to Be a Successful Matrix Leader

Resisting ChangeWhy You Need Collaborative, Horizontally-Focused Leadership in a Matrix

If your matrix leaders are struggling to lead without authority, or you’ve restructured, and your leaders are finding it difficult to adapt to changes in lines of authority, relationships and accountability, you’re not alone.

By design, matrix organizations are two-dimensional and it’s no surprise that leading from a one-dimensional, vertically-focused position of authority in the “org chart” creates many of the challenges matrix leaders face.

In a matrix, it’s vital to lead without authority across the horizontal dimension. This means a shift in thinking and behavior, and the adoption of a truly collaborative, horizontally-focused leadership approach that supports organizational priorities as well as the cross-functional nature of a matrix.

What Is the Role of a Matrix Leader?

Actually, that’s a trick question. In fact, there are three leadership roles, and matrix leaders are often responsible for fulfilling more than one.

  1. Resource Area Leaders lead departments and functions with or without direct reports.
  2. Team Leaders lead project teams, governance teams, work teams—any team that needs to meet a goal or produce an outcome.
  3. Coaches lead direct reports.

To be effective, matrix leaders need to understand the accountability tied to the roles they fulfill. Each requires a specific set of knowledge and skills to support the professionals who get the work done and to deliver organizational outcomes.

Collaborative Leadership Training and Development

The value of leadership training and development in improving overall matrix operations and making the shift from one-dimensional vertical leadership to collaborative horizontal leadership can’t be underestimated.

Senior leaders must to be able to:

  • Build a culture of leaders who can lead without authority
  • Work across functions regardless of their level on the “org chart”
  • Create plans focused on achieving organizational strategy
  • Make commitments based on current available capacity.

Team leaders must to be able to:

  • Build a culture of trust where team members know you have their backs
  • Understand the constraints their teams operate under
  • Create plans that are realistic and achievable
  • Negotiate commitments the team can agree to

Why Choose Our Leadership Training?

We know there are a lot of leadership programs on the market, but only our collaborative leadership training programs are based on Matrix Management 2.0™ (MM 2.0™), an operating system designed specifically for today’s complex two-dimensional matrix organizations.

With a foundation in systems theory and humanistic psychology, Matrix Management 2.0™ is built to operate seamlessly across both dimensions of a matrix.

How We Can Help Matrix Leaders

Knowledge for the sake of learning is not enough. With the right organizational training, skill development, coaching and resources your leaders will be ready to meet the matrix challenges they face every day.

Matrix Management 2.0™ leadership programs provide the practical and executable training and development that leaders at every level of your organization need to improve outcomes.

What’s Next