Big. Complex. Matrixed.

Getting things done in large organizations

Abhishek Chakravarty
7 min readMar 5, 2021


Photo by Xavi Cabrera
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If you ever work for a large corporation with complicated matrixed org structures, you’ll broadly find two types of people

Type 1: People that wait for instructions, and wait for things to happen — They’ll tell you all the reasons why something cannot be done

Type 2: People who want to make things happen, try different things, find out all the ways how something can work.

Wrong incentives in a cash-rich organization breed lots of Type 1 behavior. but here is the thing — while we might think Type 1 folks are just lazy people being who they are. that’s hardly the case.

You see, most people when they join a new organization, are enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead of them. They join as Type 2 people, brimming with optimism on what they’ll achieve and the impact they’ll have — but then in a few years realize how difficult executing anything is and just how long everything takes. They slowly turn into pessimists, who have accepted that no matter what they do, nothing will ever change.

Why does this happen?

It certainly isn’t because corporations don’t attract top talent. Large companies are in an enviable position to recruit some of the best talent out there — and they do. Instead, its because of what happens after somebody is hired into a new role.

By design in a matrixed organization, everything is more complicated.

Many product lines, many more people and many more teams, overlapping responsibilities, reporting lines & shared resources, brand reputations to protect, top-down/bottoms up complexities, Legal and HR policies — you name it.