You are here: Contact & Legal Notice » Culture Change » Personal Integrity: When Matrix Management is not the Solution
Build a Matrix Culture First

Personal Consulting Integrity: When Matrix Management is not the Answer

 

Let me tell you about a client who was very keen for me to visit his business that was part of the EC administration in Northern Europe.  The client wanted me to talk with him, his boss and his peers about the implementation of Matrix Management within their organisation. 

 

This Client was incredibly confident and positive about Matrix management but something did not seem right. His peers did not share his enthusiasm and were very resistant to the concept of developing a Matrix Culture

 

Their departments that comprised the organisation were built along very hierarchical and bureaucratic lines reflecting the EC administration focused their entire time on budgets and projects with little time focused on creating the ’desired’ Matrix Management Culture.

 

Before the planned Consulting session I became uneasy about the relative readiness for change with the Client organisation. The more I found out about the organisation the more ‘ill at ease’ I became.  I was also concerned with the client’s obsession that Matrix Management was the solution to a myriad of problems.

 

When Matrix Management is not the Answer

 

I knew Matrix management could deliver all this organisation needed in the long-term – but they were not yet ready for it. It just would not work with the ’resistance’ that was apparent in the organisation.  Years of failed attempts at implementing fairly low key ‘change initiatives’ indicated that a major cultural change towards Matrix Management would be inappropriate.

 

As the final weeks approached towards the start of the intervention I understood from our very specific email and telephone exchanges that no amount of evidence, reference to case studies or presentation power would convince the clients cynical team that the Matrix culture would work for them.

 

This would be a poor case of a Consulting assignment Solution chasing a Problem!

 

I was aware from experience that in a hugely hierarchical organisation we would have to identify the very specific benefits of Matrix that would accrue.  The right way to progress this would be to outline how ‘Matrix management’ could offer very specific work process flow, cost efficiencies over traditional ways of working – work through product and process flows and demonstrate how through life and customer service could be radically enhanced.

 

This would require a lot of pre-work and a ‘Discovery Review’ that the client did not think necessary.  I knew the existing budget would not stretch to the research and the Workshops. 

 

To Much Faith in the Power of Influence

 

This is not the first time I have experienced the ‘power of influence’ with my Clients.  It does not matter who is on stage – if you don’t have the power of the detail and a structured analysis it does not a matter how gifted you are as a presented – it just will not work. My Client thought the power and the presence of me would be enough.  I pointed out that Paul McKenna – the hypnotist would be a better bet!

 

 My Decision to Reject the Project

 

Initially, I agreed to the project but then decided it was not in the Client’s best interest.  Implementing such an advanced strategy, when there was so much cynicism in the culture and active resistance from the top team would have been foolish.  It would have been the wrong solution at this time.  Matrix may well be the best way for this organisation in the longer term, but not currently.

 

I lost a client and the fees that go with the work and a trip to Italy – but I have preserved my personal integrity and honesty.  When he comes back that Client will get a 100%+ service.  The solution will be tailored to where the organisation is currently – not where he would ‘magically’ like it to be.

 

Consultant Client Relationship and did I lose the Client?

 

This situation tells me about using experienced change agents.  I could have located another  Consulting Firm that would have been happy to implement the work – but the solution would have been partial and short lived and inappropriate.  That would have been wrong .  I do not believe in hammering an ill fitting square solution into a round hole.

 

The end of the story is that  ‘out of the blue’ the Client finally accepted my rationale and he unexpectedly requested me to bill him for 50% of the my initial Consulting fee – because he was impressed that I had told him the complete truth, and he would find the additional fee in the New Year to undertake the ‘Discovery Review’.

 

And now a case Study on how Virtual Team Working & Matrix Management can contribute in delivering your Projects

 

Virtual Teams & Matrix Management

 

I was talking a management group from the EdExcel Examinations Agency in London through an hour presentation on Virtual Teams working and covered the history of Matrix from pre Nasa days.  I was delighted to explain that many cases abound of seemingly traditional business actually applying innovative Virtual Team solutions.

 

Airport at Cliffe Scrapped

 

One such example I talked through was the work of a £90 million turnover business, with 1600 fte staff and 15,000 volunteer staff.  I am talking of the RSPB - the Conservation Charity geared up to the protection of Birds and conserving wildlife species and the environment.

 

I used the example of how the RSPB galvanised the work of specialists  to stop the building of the third London Airport at Cliffe on the North Kent estuary.  Further, by capitalising on the merging of specialist teams with a strong over-riding focus on conserving the area and wildlife, the RSPB was able to organise a  demonstration in London marching to Downing Street to hand in a petition for the Prime Minister demanding the Airport be scrapped. 

 

Cross Society Working & Matrix Mindset

 

You may be impressed that 150,000 attended that event in 2003.  This does not happen by accident.  It takes a great deal of effort to breach the boundaries of functional areas and get everybody working in the same direction.

 

RSPB - for Birds, for People, for Life

 

This only happens by sharing business goals and developing  win-win relationships across the business.  Budgets are no longer sacrosanct and reporting relationships appear blurred - but this is not the case.  People are working to multiple agendas that the RSPB calls 'Cross Society Working' and is one of the 7 key principles which are enshrined in the RSPB business culture.

 

I can be proud to say I have worked with the RSPB for four years embedding a culture change programme and I am glad to say the are shining example of what organisations can achieved whether they be in the private, public or the third sector if they commit to a matrix management culture to run their projects.

 

 

1.11.2008

 

Virtual Teams & Matrix Management

 

I was talking a management group through an hour presentation on Virtual Teams working and covered the unsual hisory of Matrix from pre Nasa days.  I was delighted to explain that many cases abound of seamlingly traditional business actually applying innovative Virtual Team solutions.

 

Airport at Cliffe Scrapped

 

One such example I talked through was the work of a 90 million turnover business, withi 1600 fte's staff and 15,000 volunteer staff.  Yes, I am talking of the RSPB - the Conservation Charity geared up to the protection of Birds and conserving wildlife species and the environment.

 

I used the example of how the RSPB galvansied the work of specialist  to stop the building of the third London Airport at Cliffe on the North Kent estuary.  Further, by capitailisng on the merging of specilist teasm with a strong over-riding focus of conservsing the area and the wildlife the RSPB was able to organise a  demonstration in London marching to Downing Street to hand in a petition for the Prime Minister demanding the Airport be scrapped. 

 

Cross Society Working & Matrix Mindset

 

You will be impressed that 150,000 attended that event in 2003.  This does not happen by accident.  It takes a great deal of effort to breach the boundaries of functional areas and get everybody working in the same direction.

 

RSPB - for Birds, for People, for Life

 

This only happens by sharing business goals and developing  win-win relationships across the business.  Budgets are no longer sacrosanct and reporting relationships appear blurred - but this is not the case.  People are working to multiple agendas which the RSPB calls 'Cross Society Working'.  this is one of the 7 key principles which are enshrined in the RSPB business culture.

 

I can be proud to say I have worked with the RSPB for four years embedding a culture change programme and I am glad to say ther are shining example of what organisations can achieved whether they be in the private, public or the third sector.

 

Copies of the presentation ion Virtual Teams is available here to view  Further details contact me Phil Atkinson philip@philipatkinson.com

 

 

 

 

NEWS & BLOG

Road Map to Continuous Improvement & Kaizen

More››

Lean Six Sigma OD & Business Transformation

More››

Demystifying Lean Culture Change

More››

Internal Audit Excellence in the Public Sector

More››

Lean in the Public Sector

More››

Partnership Integration

More››

Lean Thinking

More››

Lean Culture Change?

More››

Selling Yourself Magically

More››

Manage Potential in 2014

More››

Creating Culture Change

More››

Managing Inner Resilience

More››

Best Practice in e-learning

More››

Client Retention & Acquisition

More››

Huge Benefits of Matrix Management

More››

Coaching 'High Flyers' & 'Poor Performers'

More››

Open Letter to CEO's & Change Leaders

More››

Unique Model of Change

More››

ROI of Coaching  far exceeds Training

More››

Coaching & Mentoring for Performance

More››

Reshape Your Business Model

More››

Why and how you lose Clients and what to do

More››

Tangible Business Coaching & Mentoring

More››

Mastering Your Mind & Life

More››

Hope is not a Strategy

More››

New Article ROI Coaching

More››

IIA Dublin - Managing Change

More››

Horsemeat & Risk

More››

Is your IPR Secure?

More››

Firewalking

More››

Publication with CIPFA

More››

Coaching 'High Flyers' & 'Poor Performers'

More››

Vibrant New Publishing Business

More››

Coaching 'Brand You'

More››

Psychometrics & Coaching

More››

'Concordia' Leadership Style

 More››

'Be the Change' Workshops

More››

Influence Strategies & Business Development

More››

Persuasion & Change Mastery

More››

Business Transformation

More››

Present To Win & Sales Mastery

More››

Transformational Change

More››

Interpersonal Influence

More››

How to Achieve any Goal

More››

Nothing Changes Until Behaviour Changes

More››

Leadership is the Big Issue

More››

Demographics Drive Strategy

More››

Values & Goal Clarification

More››

Interpersonal Skills IIA

More››

'Brand You' for LA HIA's

More››

Millionaire: Research

More››

'Sales Mastery' Masterclass

More››

How to be a complete and utter failure in Sales?

More››

Win More Sales - Help Clients Buy

More››

Internal Audit - Interpersonal Influence & Leadership

More››

'Selling Brand You' - Thurso

More››

Standard Life: Interpersonal Influence

More››

University EYP Conference

More››

New Business Development

More››

Interpersonal Influence Event

More››

CIM 'Brand You'

More››

Sales - Retain Clients & Customers

More››

Where's the ROI in Training?

More››

'Brand You' - Selling Self

More››

Rapid Business Improvement

More››

Demographics - Sales & Customers

More››

Capability & Capacity Build 

More››

Recession & the Legal Profession

More››

Bright Purple - Customer Focused

More››

Recession Busting Selling

More››

Troubleshooting: Replacing 'Old School' Thinking

More››

Consumer & Customer Behaviour

More››

Black Swan Thinking Strategies

More››

Recovery: Re-Design Organisations

More››

Recession-proof Leadership

More››

Sales: Pitching for New Business

More››

Elite Change Team

More››

Mentoring Performance

More››

Becoming a Change Maker

More››

Focus Groups in the NHS

More››

'Breaking Spirits'

More››

Presents to Russian Delegation

More››

'Brand You' - Influencing

More››

Recession Proof

More››

Authenticity: Employee & Consumer Behaviour

More››

Credit Crunch 'Interims'

More››

5-10%  underperforming

More››

New Lean Matrix Management

More››

Big Bang & Continuous Improvement

More››

Portal of Management, Business Games, Simulations

More››

Business Transformation 

More››

Biggest most painful challenge

More››

Resistance to Change 

More››

Personality Profiling - Coaching, Leadership 

More››

Live the Brand, Zero Defects

More››

Leadership - the No Ass**** Rule 

More››

Discovery Review & fix my business 

More››

Partners with Clients 

More››

Coaching for Results 

More››

Sales: Influencing Magically 

More››

Interim & Search 

More››

Sales: Buyer's Remorse 

More››

Poor Performance 

More ››

http://www.philipatkinson.com/google64e519766008e33e.html