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Managing the Matrix: The Secret to Surviving and Thriving in Your Organization Hardcover – 11 Apr 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (11 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118765370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118765371
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.3 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 992,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

“I would recommend senior managers in organizations read this book”. (Edge, July 2014) “This is a business book with a refreshing writing approach to the conventional business book writing style, it’s a real page–turner, you become immersed from the first chapter and your subconscious takes over the learning. I highly recommend spending a few hours at the weekend reading this book, especially if you are a soft skills skeptic.” (Training Magazine, August 2014)

From the Back Cover

Debra was not in a good mood as she entered Johann′s office for their third meeting. One of her colleagues had just been promoted and, although the guy who got it was good, she didn’t think he was any better than her. Well, except at one thing, he was always playing politics – sucking up to the more senior guys and volunteering to be on any committee going. Debra knew the type – went to the same school, belonged to the same club – she didn′t have a hope against the kind of connections he had so she might as well give up. It seemed doing a good job just wasn′t enough around here. Debra and Johann work in an environment with multiple and complex reporting lines – in other words, a matrix. There′s room to "slip between the cracks" – if a person wants to take advantage of confusion over who is managing performance; or if they can′t make the necessary transition to self–management. Communication can be difficult even when there is an apparently shared language. Read how Johann and Debra work together to identify the skills needed to succeed in a matrix, and how using Emotional Intelligence (EI) can develop specific behaviours you can incorporate in your daily job. The result will help reduce stress and increase your chances of success. Dawn Metcalfe, Managing Director of PDS, based in Dubai, uses her experience as a coach and trainer to give us a behind the curtain look at how mentoring can help an individual develop the skills they need to survive and thrive in today′s complex work environments.

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By A John TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Managing the Matrix is a little different to most management books. It is a story, the story of Debra, who is annoyed when offered coaching, and her experienced mentor, Johann. Together, they explore the benefits of a mentoring relationship, and the importance of Emotional Intelligence in a Matrix organisation. Each chapter finishes with some key take-away points.

The story idea makes the book very readable, but for me, a separate reference sections would have been helpful. The idea of what a matrix organisation is began to slowly come out as the book went on. I would have liked a clear definition at the start. I am familiar with the concept of Emotional Intelligence, but wasn't convinced by the tools proposed by the author, preferring those in Cook et al's "Change Management Excellence". But I can see that for many, this would be useful.

I agree wholeheartedly with the premise of the book, that emotional intelligence is the key to success, and not just in a matrix organisation. And for those who prefer a story approach, or who are sceptical or new to emotional intelligence, this is a great book. For me, I found the proposed tool in the book to be a little unwieldy.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Managing the Matrix sounds like it will be a how-to guide on something which gets talked about a lot, but is very rarely achieved.

It actually isn't — it's a 'business novel': an extended fictional case study, told in brisk, descriptive prose, with brief take aways at the end of every chapter. It's an interesting and at times compelling read, and will introduce a lot of readers to the ups and downs of the matrix management which seems so attractive to those used to silo working, but is so hard to make into anything effective.

As a story, this is not going to be bath time reading: it's fairly obvious the way things are shoe-horned into getting the key points across, and a creative author would suggest that it tells more than it shows. On the other hand, I resonate with a lot of the situations that area described here, and it makes a rather infectious change from dry text + dry case study. The characters may be a bit two-dimensional, but it's the written equivalent of watching business videos with dramatised situations, as opposed to watching videos of lectures.

I was surprised by this book, and liked it.
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By Don Panik TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dawn Metcalfe deserves to do well with this book which serves as a very readable introduction to using emotional intelligence (EI) to navigate your way through the increasing complex `matrix' of relationships and responsibilities which characterise working life for so many of us. She uses a narrative form to get the messages across - which is both novel and effective. It works particularly well for those who might start from a slightly skeptical stance on EI.

By positioning her main protagonist as a bright but overly task orientated manager she is able to take the reader with her through the emotional learning journey to getting the job done through people. That she centers this around missing a promotion probably rings bells with people who struggle to understand how colleagues who have less expertise then them somehow manage to go further and faster at work.

This is an easy to read book - and the little summaries at the end of each chapter reinforce the core messages. Well worth your time.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I did not expect to find a book on the subject of 'matrix organisations' to be such an easy read. The author, Dawn Metcalfe, has used a fictional case study to tackle some of the common issues relevant to such structures. However, it doesn't take long to realise the key theme here is Emotional Intellligence, and I can't help wonder if that was a deliberate marketing ploy, not including EI in the title to increase its appeal. It worked for me as I admit, I would have been less inclined to read it. But whilst I found it interesting and has some useful tips, I don't feel it went far enough on the theme it promises... 'Managing the Matrix'. I would have liked to have had some more content relating to the pros and cons of a matrix structure, still using the fictional case study style, as that worked well, but maybe introducing Debra's direct line managers perspectives would have been useful. Maybe in 'Managing The Matrix 2 - Reloaded'....
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have worked in an organisation (in the NHS) that had adopted a matrix form of management. It was not a runaway success.

The author of this book is an experienced facilitator, trainer and coach, and the book has relevance today because, as the author says, the matrix isn't going away any time soon.

It is written in the style of a novel rather than as a management textbook, which for me, was a little off-putting. However, some readers may find that this format is more engaging than a factual approach, replete with bullet points, summaries, charts and diagrams. In fairness to the author, she does end each fictional chapter with a tint boxed set of 'key takeaways' just in case you missed the points being made implicitly in the narrative. And she weaves a few didactic charts and lists into the body of the text in some chapters.

Recommended, if you warm to the novelistic treatment of the subject.
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