Debra Howard Consulting- Burlington, VT Area

Cross-Functional (Matrix) Optimization

Playing Nice

Leaders like to talk about breaking down silos and increasing cross-functional collaboration, but for many organizations, it’s more than a popular idea—it’s imperative to their mission and survival.

Some companies have been running at least a partial matrix for years, but are either in denial about it, or frustrated that it hasn’t worked as advertised. Instead of more collaboration, they see more conflict and competition between managers, and confusion about who’s in charge. Others with traditional command-and-control org charts know they need to restructure to work in a more nimble, integrated way, but worry about losing their best people if they don’t do it right. Either way, we can show you how to make a new matrix work, or how to make your existing structure work better, while retaining the people and culture you value.

What we do:

  • conduct an organizational assessment to see what’s working, what’s not, and why
  • present findings and recommendations to the leadership team and to all those who participated
  • convene groups of volunteers to champion, design, and implement the changes needed
  • draft a road map and rules-of-the-road for making the matrix work
  • deliver presentations on how to thrive in a complex, cross-cutting organization
  • clarify functional and matrix management roles
  • work with leadership to get the right people in the right roles
  • review and improve the systems and integrative mechanisms already in place, and design new ones, if needed
  • discuss which aspects of the organization’s culture support integration, and which ones don’t
  • conduct an assessment six months later for fine-tuning