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What kind of matrixed environment are you operating in?

What kind of matrixed environment are you operating in?

2 min read



SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

What kind of matrixed environment are you operating in?​

  • Highly matrixed: lots of complexity and many stakeholders I answer to:
  • Moderately matrixed: it’s complex but it’s a managable number of stakeholders:
  • Not very matrixed: it’s a simple organization with a couple of key stakeholders:
  • Not matrixed: it’s a very simple organization with no overlapping responsibilities:

Complexity reigns supreme. A huge portion of you (71%) are operating in highly matrixed environments. The importance of clear accountability, proper goal setting, and constant prioritization of efforts is paramount. If you have lack of clarity on who is responsible for what or if goals are in conflict, your life will be a nightmare. If you haven’t been given that clarity, seek it out. Take a proposal to your multiple bosses for how you and your colleagues want to divide responsibilities and offer perspectives on how to reconcile goals that are in conflict. Many times your leaders don’t understand those conflicts as well as you do because you’re at the intersection of those issues. The more effectively you drive clarity, the easier it will be to execute well and achieve your goals.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”