Building and Leveraging Networks

In many corporate scenarios, what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate into business growth. Take a quick glance at the latest headlines and you’ll find shaky M&As, corporate collapses and organizations falling short of the mark because they undervalued the core driver of business performance: their people. Truth be told, much of the work in global firms gets done on the sidelines of organizational charts, through informal connections that cut across functions, divisions and regions. These highly adaptive informal networks solidify… Read More

Matrix Organizations: Transcending Time and Space

Matrix organizations first emerged in the aerospace industry in the 1960s, when U.S. government bids required firms to develop detailed charts outlining how their project management teams would get the job done. Rather than upending their management systems to adapt to contract requisites, companies created horizontal units and superimposed them across existing vertical hierarchies. And voilà! The matrix was born and life in the multinational labor pool was never the same again. For many in the global workforce, the upshot of this… Read More

Big Data: Reshaping the Global Real Estate Industry, Too

Big data is everywhere. The ability to tap into vast quantities of information is influencing virtually every facet of business, and the real estate industry is no exception. What does big data offer? First, up-to-date and reliable information on local and global real estate markets, which can reframe strategic decision-making. Second, the creation of new data sets that may effectively predict housing booms and busts. Consider the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, triggered in part by the U.S. real estate bubble. If… Read More

Mastering the Matrix

“When implemented well, the ‘matrix organization’ does offer much of the best of both worlds. And all of us are going to have to learn how to utilize organization to prepare managers to increasingly deal with high levels of complexity and ambiguity in situations where they have to get results from people and components not under their direct control…” These lines seem perfectly timely in today’s environment of volatility, uncertainty and flux, yet they actually appeared in General Electric’s Organization Planning Bulletin – back in… Read More