Secure Early Wins

When Elena Lee was promoted to head customer service at a leading retailer, she was tasked with improving slumping customer satisfaction. She also was determined to change the authoritarian leadership culture exemplified by her predecessor. Before her promotion, Elena had been responsible for the highest-performing call center in the same organization, so she knew a lot about the problems other units had been facing with quality of service. Convinced that she could dramatically improve performance through more employee participation, she saw cultural change as a top priority.

Elena began by communicating her goals to her former peers, now direct reports—the leaders of the company’s call centers across the globe. ...

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