Cracking the matrix code

Flatter organizational structures, global economy require leaders to take different course
By Rick Lash
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/28/2011

In theory, it’s simple: The matrix provides a realistic solution to the complexity of a modern organization that operates in multiple geographies, with multiple products, customer sectors and services.

Having a matrix structure — a multi-functional team structure that facilitates both the horizontal and vertical flow of authority — creates a place for everyone and interconnects them. Everyone has a real boss (a solid line) and another boss (a dotted line).

Companies that make the matrix work gain unique positioning with customers and markets. They can combine products and services and innovate continuously in a way competitors cannot. Products and services get to market faster and revenues and margins improve in sustainable ways.