"One big, happy (integrated) family"

As a Manager-once-Removed, it’s worthwhile to get the whole team together from time to time.

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The role of the Manager-once-Removed (every manager of managers) is an important component in delivering strategy.

Managers-once-Removed (MoRs) are held accountable by their Manager for the following:

  • Hold their Direct Reports (those who are managers of people) accountable for being good managerial leaders
  • Determine, clarify and ensure that the cross-functional authorities needed by their extended team are working properly
  • Develop the talent pool among their Direct Reports-once-Removed (DRoRs) in consultation with their Direct Reports

The most effective and efficient means of accelerating the performance of these accountabilities is the “tri-level meeting”: a meeting attended by the MoR, the MoR’s Direct Reports, and the MoR’s Direct Reports-once-Removed. In other words, any three contiguous levels of an organization.

Tri-levels are extraordinarily powerful means of integrating the work of an extended team. Properly facilitated, they provide the opportunity to all members of the team to share their concerns and clear roadblocks and discover efficiencies.

The behaviour demonstrated by the MoR during the tri-level meeting is very important. The role of the MoR in the tri-level meeting is to observe, guide and resolve, NOT to direct the work. She must be conscious that this is not an opportunity to micromanage, nor is it a substitute for her accountability to coach her Direct Reports one-on-one. She also must allay any concerns of her DRs that this is a spying session.

With everyone in the room much can be explored and resolved:

  • Provide the team with the overall context of the work, allowing everyone to more effectively and efficiently position their own work
  • Breakdown silos among the extended team
  • Unearth hidden barriers between teams and provide the forum to adjust authorities and accountabilities to overcome them
  • Reveal gaps and remove overlaps in the work
  • Provide MoR with the broadest context regarding her team’s cross-functional requirements beyond the team
  • Increase engagement through open and honest dialogue
  • Decrease rumour and gossip
  • Increase transparency
  • Increase participation
  • Observe her DRoRs in action, and assess them for talent development

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