Simplifying Matrix Organisations

Client: US based PR agency

Date: 2015


Our client was a large multinational services business which had experienced exceptionally fast growth but was in danger of stalling as the top 50 leaders, scattered  around the world, argued and misbehaved over day-to-day business. After initial discussion it became clear that the clients key challenge was an outdated matrix structure, with lack of role definition and clarity on decision rights, combined with senior leaders focusing solely on their own business rather than success for all.

We were approached to help simplify the matrix and reconnect the senior team.


We completed an initial diagnostic, reviewing the strategy and interviewing a large range of leaders about the direction of the business, what was and wasn’t working, and the potential for more effective ways of working. We then designed and conducted a series of workshops attended by senior leaders from across the globe to collectively agree the potential direction of the business, streamline the matrix and agree new ways of working together.


To ensure the new matrix and ways of working were adopted, we ran a workshop with the top 100, including a simulation of the new decision processes and a set of workout sessions to identify changes to core business processes that were required to encourage the new ways of working. We subsequently worked with the CEO to reshape the way the Executive worked and to change the way some parts of the corporate centre worked with the businesses.



RESULTS: Streamlined ways of working

Over the course of the next 18 months the services company beat its annual plan and implemented the simpler structure effectively. Within 3 years they were the Number one service provider in their industry