Managing Roles and Relationships


Defining and Communicating Role Relationships

Managing Dual Reporting Relationships

Whenever more than one position is involved in making a decision or getting work done, there are significant challenges in integrating and coordinating efforts to achieve a unified result. Everyone involved needs to know what to expect from others and what others expect from them. There needs to be agreement on the roles of the various participants; otherwise there will be gaps, overlaps, and conflicts that will increase required effort and undermine results.

The Role Relationships process engages the people who will participate in achieving a result to decide and agree on What (the decisions that need to be made and the work that needs to be coordinated), Who (which jobs and organizations need to work together), and How (the roles of each job or organization in the process).

These relationships are presented in a graphic matrix. The process and matrix serve three major purposes: define roles and gain commitment from participants, diagnose process issues, and communicate and clarify roles to participants and others.

We work with clients to help managers and executives design and communicate the collaborative processes and relationships that are required for complex organizations to be effective.

Many positions report to two, or even multiple, managers, based on the function they represent, the business unit they serve, the geography they are assigned, and the market or industry of their customers. For multiple reporting relationships to be effective, strong linkages must be established between the subordinate job and each of the superiors. There must be a balance of the linkages for all of the relationships to be effective.

We work with clients to help managers and executives design and manage the multiple reporting relationships and improve the effectiveness of their complex organization.