Done badly, matrices really do overly complicate things, blur decision rights, and cause mass confusion. And most of the time, they are a cop out decision by senior leadership trying not to offend anyone.

But if you are going to be best in class at delivery or distribution, your people have to operate interdependently. Matrix organizations are geared to encouraging interdependence with order and safety against a backdrop of shared responsibility. The “E” in CEO in a matrix stands for chief “Enrollment” officer, getting and keeping people enrolled in the matrix.

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