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Submitted by mike_bruns_99 on


I own a very small company with just 6 employees.    I manage sales, strategy, marketing, larger projects (over $50,000), etc...  My wife handles day-to-day operations, smaller projects, and payroll.   While all employees report to my wife, there is significant overlap.   It is a classic small family business.

We are introducing O3s, and are debating whether the O3 meeting should include just the direct and my wife, or all 3 of us.

Would a 3 person meeting (two on one) be as effective as traditional O3 in this kind of environment?

jbancroftconnors's picture

I would think that in the same way Mark and Mike recommend against group interviews, this would also not be a good idea.

Flipping it around, I'd put myself in the shoes of the directs and look at it.

- Does this create a confused message on who they report to? 

- Will having two glowing red "I can fire you" signs shut them down (How many High C and High S folks do you have?)

- Will you and your wife's communication styles conflict? (I can't imagine Mark and Mike trying to O3 the same person at the same time)

- Just on the practical side, adding a third person takes from one communication channel to three. If nothing else this adds time, time that may make a 30 minute meeting less than effective.


Joel Bancroft-Connors

mike_bruns_99's picture
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I think you're right.  Your points are exactly what I was afraid of.  

What I think I'm going to do, is have the three of us do the first one only,   Start the O3s off properly, and send a signal that my wife & I both feel O3s are critical to communication, and to our success.  Talk about where we are going as a company.   Then give the direct an opportunity to say whatever they would like to both of us together.

I'll then leave, and have my wife and the direct continue the first O3.  I'll stay out of the O3 going forward, allowing her to manage the directs independently.   You are correct, my wife and I have totally different styles.   I'm a 7-4-1-1.   I would guess my wife is a 1-3-7-2.   Looking objectively,  she is probably more effective doing the O3s.  


Off to find a podcast.   I'm sure Mark & Mike did a podcast on managing in a matrix organization.  It will help me to avoid stepping on toes.   Both the directs, and my wife's.


Now if only Mark & Mike would do a podcast on  "Giving feedback to your spouse"    :-)  

tiomikel's picture
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Check out Managing in a Matrix Organization

Mike and Mark recommend full one on one's for anyone matrixed to you.

Despite that recommendation, I do see the same issues identified above by Joel Bancroft-Connors. From the point of view of the directs, will they be seeing too many people with the firing sign over their head or just have to many 30 minute meetings in a week?