Chow #153 – Chapter Leads’ Challenges

In one of our Customer engagements, the organization is transitioning to Spotify kind of Agile approach. In this context the role of Delivery/People Managers is changing to Chapter Leads. They form a matrix structure with Squad Leads. Their role is changing from Delivery ownership to Capability/Competence enablement role. How to help them to transition to the new role smoothly?

Suggested Solution
In their new role as Chapter Leads, they will have to unlearn some of the past approaches and learn a few new things:
– They need to let go of the past control-oriented ownership. And need to let go of the hierarchical mindset, as the new structure brings a matrix-oriented way of engaging.
– They need to embrace more facilitative and collaborative approaches as they need to engage with different components of the flat network-oriented organization.
– They need to learn to work with shared accountability and responsibilities that come in the matrix structure, which require more of networking, relationship-building and influencing skills. They need to be more self-organizing, taking ownership and reaching out to different parts of the matrix organization as needed.
– Trying to define the roles very clearly in a matrix structure will lead to creating silos as people will tend to go by the role specification; but this is an antipattern of matrix structure which is designed for breaking down silos. Hence the roles will have certain fuzziness and overlap which the Chapter Leads need to learn to work with/leverage.
– They need to develop more servant leadership qualities to develop people capabilities & competencies.
In summary, Chapter Leads need to focus on adopting to new mindset more than the new processes.
As Sivaguru puts it, Tribes are about Purpose, Squads are about Autonomy and Chapters are about Mastery.

What do you think?

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