Leadership in a Matrix Organization (or any other)

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Following on to my last post it seems worth expanding on the tactical elements of leadership in a matrix, or any other organization. The key to successfully engaging your entire team is multi-faceted. It begins with ensuring that each of your team members knows that they are valued contributors to the process. Looking back, that means their voice and insights are included in steps #1 Truly know your business and #2 Find the key intersections. Each team member must also be fully part of the dialogue that generate step #3 Define a vision and step #4 Paint a picture. From this immersion and level footing, each team member becomes fully invested in the process, the vision, and achieving the goals. They become emissaries for the business within their functional areas, geographies, or related business units. Their investment in the process ensures that when they represent the interests of the business, they do so with a firm grasp of the underlying reasoning that supports the chosen direction. This team of advocates – hopefully zealots – furthers the goals of the business by automatically driving step #5 Stay committed. Their commitment to the process and its outcomes keep them active, vocal advocates, and ready ambassadors to their larger constituencies – whether that be their senior management, broad organizations, clients, partners, etc. Using the process in this way provides you with an assurance that the business is on a thoughtful path, with broad support and multiple feedback mechanisms to stay on track. Each team member owns the vision, is enthusiastic, and has a commitment to achieving the goals. You have laid a winning foundation for your business.

One thought on “Leadership in a Matrix Organization (or any other)”

  1. The process outlined above provides a road map to any company’s future. The byproduct of Mark’s approach is that the team becomes fully vested. The steps above are like the red highways on the old road atlases that were the fastest and most direct route to one’s destination. However, each step itself contains the other part we saw in those old books, namely the blue highways, or less-traveled paths. Mark points out that it is important for everyone to understand the assumptions behind each step (or decision). This brings to mind Peter Senge’s observation 25 years ago that executive teams are less gummed up by lack of shared vision than by a lack of shared assumptions about the vision. By outing these perspectives early in the process the team will move more smoothly to success as they’ve agreed on such things as how close they are to the visionary future, what must happen to support that new state, what may get in the way, and how quickly they will move.

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