June 6, 2:00 PM ET

Skills-based organization strategy: Latest fad or real transformation?


June 13, 4 PM ET

HR Tech Conference Virtual: Keynote - Learning & Development's Next Chapter: Skills as the North Star


Creating Intentional Leadership: American Academy of Family Physician's Paula Matthews

by Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr | April 10th, 2023

A lot has changed for managers and organizations over the last three years. So, what can be done to successfully navigate those changes so that managers can be successful and organizations can continue to thrive? The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is designing a new framework for their managers to help them better understand what they can be doing to intentionally lead their staff.  This inspiring conversation with Paula Matthews from AAFP is a fantastic way to wrap up our Making Managing Manageable series. If you are just wrapping up season eight, now is a great time to subscribe to the podcast. You can get even more RedThread content by joining our membership community. Try it out for free for seven days to see what we’re all about!


The AAFP is improving healthcare by supporting family physicians

Paula Matthews is the Chief People Officer at one of the largest medical organizations, the American Academy of Family Physicians. As the name implies, the AAFP is dedicated to family physicians. Their goal is to improve healthcare by strengthening family physicians in their communities. As the Chief People Officer, Paula is responsible for the entire HR department. 


How have managers’ roles changed over the past three years?

Paula has noticed that over the past three years, both everything and nothing has changed for managers. 

The nature of work, the way they show up, and the expectations have all changed. There was an immense shift to working online. The way decisions were made changed also impacted managers’ roles. Managers used to be a part of planning changes, but this change wasn’t planned out, so everything was upended.

These changes over the past three years make it harder than ever to be a manager. 

This shift has increased the gap between good and not-so-good managers. Whereas before, they all kind of blended together. Now, there is a pronounced difference between the two groups. 


How to improve management

For managers to help their teams, they need to go back to being ahead of the game. The same things that have been important to organizations in the past are still important today. 

Organizations need to set clear expectations and equip managers with new skills so that they can have confidence in their own abilities and can be vulnerable enough to say when they don’t know something. Developmental training is critical to making this shift happen. With collaboration and courage, managers can excel in this new work environment. 

One way to make this shift is to pretend as though organizations are starting from scratch. Experienced and inexperienced managers should start on the same page. This way businesses can present ideal manager behaviors and communicate the why behind what should be done. 


Managers are the face of the organization

Managers need to understand the impact they have on their teams and consider the way they present the company culture to their teams since they are truly the face of the company. They can also help their team members feel seen and valued. 

A manager can make or break an organization and companies need to understand this impact. To do so they can support managers in their day-to-day work so they can focus on their team and be effective.

Listen in to hear what AAFP is doing to implement a new management framework. You’ll discover their four outcomes on four different levels and how they are intentionally designing this framework to work in the present climate. 


Resources & People Mentioned


Connect with Noah Rabinowitz Paula Matthews


Want full access to the episode's transcript? Try our RTR membership with a 7-day trial. Listen to our top episodes, explore cutting-edge research, attend exclusive member-only events, and share with a top-notch cohort community of industry leaders and peers. Take it for a spin!