Let’s look at your matrix organization through two lenses. Let’s call the left lens, compete and conquer and the right lens, partner and prosper.
Which viewpoint would you rather spend your time in? Which sounds more energizing and more rewarding?
If the view through the partnering lens sounds so inviting; why do many come home at the end of the day feeling they’ve spend a good portion of their time competing and conquering?
Let’s look at three reasons people get stuck in competing and conquering and how you and those you work with can partner and prosper more often:
My Goal’s Bigger Than Yours
There is a real tragedy taking place in many matrix organizations. People struggle against each other because they haven’t aligned goals that are critical for each function. This tension can be greatly relieved when partners hold “target mapping sessions” to see where and how goals match up and where they don’t. Then you can plan, make trade-offs and see how people can contribute to someone else’s success.
Always Connected, Never in Touch
Today’s technology is convenient and can be a cost effective way to connect and build partnerships. But technology can also drive a wedge between potential partners and turn misunderstandings into major turf battles if not handled professionally. Here’s a simple tip – never, ever respond to an email when you feel your temperature rising. Resist the temptation to become a “keyboard warrior” and instead pick up the phone and sort it out. 98% of these misunderstandings dissolve the minute you get your counterpart on the other line. This enables you and your colleages to move into the partner and prosper culture much easier.
Where’s Your Natural Challenge?
Individuals, teams and organizations that consume their energies with internal (artificial) challenges, resources and politics rarely partner and prosper. Natural challenges are those that lie outside of your company. Focussing on the challenges outside your organization serves as a catalyst to help people and teams turn their attention to the large opportunities outside of their organizations, thus encouraging partnering for success.
Sun Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and strategist said, “If you do not seek out allies and helpers, then you will be isolated and weak”. Using simple, yet effective steps you and your colleagues can learn to capitalize on the real opportunities that your matrix organization has to offer.