First, a little bit about myself. I used to just be a programmer - you know - write code, get the specs, write code, and go home. Later on in my career, I got the opportunity to be a quasi-leader. I came up with designs and create prototyes to push to the dev (scrum) teams to use in the product. Then I started being active in the local Agile and Product communities and this how I became acquainted with more meta-level stuff.
In a lot of large big enterprise companies, middle managers are there to help the C-level executives understand and know what’s happening at the ground level.
In my experience with companies doing agile transformation, it’s usually these people that feel a bit out-of-place. It’s because they have no direct control on the people who are running the show, and are like peacekeepers and firefighters (I mean this metaphorically) when issues come up. They can be proactive at times, but it can sometimes cause some friction.
I like the Agnostic Agile way, and advocate just embracing the fundamentals agile principles. It’s similar to the awesome LESS framework gives us an idea as to how one can deal with this - simply shift them to a role where they can do more valuable things for the org for example as a Product Owner, Business Analyst or Product Manager! With this, they can be more aligned with the agile transition.
Thank you and have a wonderful day!