6 Leading Through Questions

DOI: 10.4324/9781003396833-10

It was 2010 when Anna Cleland was asked to help with a project to upgrade of the Bank of New Zealand’s retail branch network. This was a NZ$220m investment program – no small change for a bank of this size – and the project was not going well. The bank was already two years into the execution phase of a major strategy shift to make the retail branch more customer-focused. The team responsible for the revamp had virtually ground to a halt. Disagreements about the most appropriate design, slow decision making, and missed deadlines had resulted in a dispirited team and concerned senior leadership.

While it may have been tempting to “knock heads together” and elicit fear by talking about ...

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