How to Build the Best Matrix Talent Pool

Tap the silos: Too many female and minority leaders are still siloed in pockets of the organization such as human resources. Since these female leaders are more likely to have the competencies organizations need to succeed in the matrix, companies should examine these talent pools to find individuals who may be suited for broader senior leadership roles.

Prioritize talent pathways: Creating a career path is important for all rising talent, but because female and minority executives may have a particular tendency to get siloed, companies should ensure promising female or minority leaders get the right experiences to provide them with enterprise-wide perspectives.

Revisit leadership metrics: Every company typically has a set of metrics by which it assesses potential senior leadership candidates. But if those metrics are holdovers from the days of hierarchical organizational structures, they may mislead the organization into promoting and rewarding employees who are not suited for matrix leadership roles.

Companies should revisit their metrics to make sure they are capturing, assessing and properly valuing the competencies that are most critical for matrix leadership success — empathy, conflict management, influence and self-awareness. Identifying talent who can excel in the matrix requires that leaders ask the right questions, whether in simple talent review discussions, competency surveys or in more formal assessment centers and behavioral event interviews.