Monday, June 11, 2007

How to be a manager when you have no power

Like many companies, the one I work for is heavily matrix-managed: somebody is responsible for worrying about a particular software product line's sales to all customers in the UK... somebody else is worried about sales of all software to financial services customers... somebody else is worried about how much revenue - across all the things we sell - we get from a single set of named customers. And so on.

In such a world, it clearly isn't possible for each of those people to own all the dedicated resources they need in order to meet their objectives; they have to rely on team-work, cooperation and in helping others see how their interests - and those of our clients - can be aligned.

I was therefore interested to read this post about being on the management board for a residential development by David Lorenzo.

I emailed him to suggest that his experiences of having responsibility without total power were not unique and he posted a response here.

Clearly, the problem of running a condo management board is different to that of running a sales organisation but, it's a nice reminder that the difficulties of running a complicated large company are sometimes similar to the problems faced by much smaller organisations.

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