Management review of an international matrix organization


Helping a country Managing Director to create a close-knit team to develop their local market, based on a group of directors over whom he had no direct hierarchical authority

Issues : Transforming the business
Services : Leadership Consulting


  • The French subsidiary of a U.S. multinational specializing in B2B and B2C services; the firm operates based on an international matrix organization. Its workforce is spread out over around ten business units in sales and support, each associated with its functional division at the European headquarters in London
  • The director of the largest business unit was taking over as Managing Director for the French subsidiary. Primus inter pares, he had no hierarchical authority over the colleagues he oversaw
  • The firm’s French customers were therefore the sales target, but actions were more or less disorganized. The company was not tapping into the French market as well as its competitors
  • The capacity to attract investments from head office in order to develop the subsidiary was limited by a somewhat negative image of France in the minds of people in English-speaking countries
  • The Managing Director had just completed two years of restructuring, leaving the survivors bewildered about their future

Eurosearch & Associés involvement

  • Upon the Managing Director’s request, Eurosearch & Associés offered a management review of the executive team to transform a group without any hierarchy into a high-performing team
  • We assessed eight directors based in France, with French or European scopes, in an interview with two associates with complementary profiles. We handed over questionnaires filled out online to highlight their motivation at work and contribute to their personal development
  • Detailed feedback was given to the Managing Director on strengths and weaknesses, and risks and opportunities. We shared more concise feedback with the executive team by firmly orienting it towards areas for improvement


Following the review, the Managing Director was able to offer his team the chance to:

  • Devise a business project for the French subsidiary, based on a vision and values formulated collectively, without compromising each business unit’s specific objectives
  • Hold a bi-monthly team meeting in which all attendees participate, based on the holocracy tools.
  • Launch a portfolio of initiatives to improve their performance:
    • Informing one another and coordinating on key accounts
    • Enhancing France’s image at head office by emphasizing the aura surrounding President Macron
    • Applying a policy of actively tracking French start-ups to promote innovation
    • Starting a “Great Place to Work” initiative to improve staff satisfaction

A high-potential profile was designated to facilitate and coordinate the initiative, which was to serve as a reference for the group.