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Role Transition Management: Transition From In-Charge To In-Control

New ways to be a manager

A high percentage of organisations develop a military rationale, whereby only a very small number of people make all of the decisions. There is little wonder, then, that people aren’t keen to get out of bed and come to work on a Monday morning. – Ricardo Semler

In a Nutshell

When an organization moves from being a traditional hierarchy into self-management, it’s a moment of great flux for managers: There isn’t enough clarity on what exactly their role is within this new agile environment. As people who are used to being in-charge of all matters concerning their teams, managers find it extremely hard to adapt to their new role on the sidelines.

Organizations just getting started with agile concepts believe it’s important for their managers to “let-go” of all control – a notion that can not just confuse middle-management, but also the newly self-managed teams. For when a problem strikes, both team members and managers, alike, are used to expecting the latter to take charge and resolve the issue.

However, there’s no place for such top-down management in agile organizations. So, managers as well as their teams need to learn how to take control of the issue – together.

Earlier, problems may have been solved by managers, irrespective of whether they were directly involved in them or experienced the consequences themselves.

In other words, when a problem was raised, traditional managers tend to look at the facts and prescribe a list of actions to take in order to resolve the issue. However, this type of problem-solving is at the root of many workplace issues and often leads to dissatisfaction, band-aid solutions and overall negativity.

It’s better, instead, to deep-dive into where the problem really is; which stakeholders are directly affected by it; what are the goals when looking for a solution; what actions need to be taken to implement the solution; and who takes responsibility for what part of the solution.



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