Try This: Thrive in a matrix organisation

Marketing Week columnist Thomas Barta offers quick, practical tips to help marketers solve perennial problems and become better leaders.

Thomas Barta Try This

Do you thrive in a matrix organisation?

Here’s the essential matrix-fact: everybody is in charge. But nobody has all the power. The person who can tell sales what to do, hasn’t yet joined. The person who can tell product development to make amazing things, isn’t on that list. The person who can tell IT to be world class, hasn’t arrived.

The matrix is terrifying for people who produce ideas and then hope their boss will tell everybody to use them. What they are really saying is, I can’t be bothered to take charge.

But the matrix is great for people who have the skills to know what the firm needs, to know what colleagues need, and who bring ideas that really add value.

This skill is called: marketing.

Try This >>

See your company as a market. Your bosses are your customers. Your colleagues are your customers.

Walk the halls. Find out how you could help people around you make better decisions. But don’t just ask. To earn your seat at the table, bring an idea, bring an insight. Add value first.

Then, start the marketing machine. Talk more about your idea. Bring your idea to more people. Win market share.

But here is an important rule. Don’t try to look smarter than your customers. Nobody wants to work with a smart ass. People want to work with people who make them look good. And if your idea helps them, they may be back for more.

Great marketers never complain that customers don’t buy their product. Instead, they try and do better marketing.

Thomas Barta is a marketing leadership expert, speaker and the co-author of ‘The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader’. He has teamed up with Marketing Week to launch the Marketing Leadership Masterclass, a new CPD-accredited online course designed to equip marketers with everything they need to become a better leader. To find out more and book your place visit

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