Jeanne Lewis at Staples Inc. (A) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Did she seek the appropriate level of participation from various bosses, colleagues and subordinates?

Lewis got appropriate help from her bosses along her journey at Staples Inc.  She was announced as the successor for Karsnow, who was asked to work with Lewis for a year to make her learn all the traits of the business. She was given the role of an assistant of Karsnow in terms of making the final terms and conditions final for the merger initiative. Karsnow was a helping hand and one of the most senior members of the Staples Inc. Along with this, the CEO Stemberg was of full support to Lewis as he believed that Lewis can be the right candidate to replace Karsnow as the next Executive Vice President of the company. Not only was she named as the head for the marketing department but she was also given the authority by Stemberg to look after the merger; which was due in the next six months between two giants of the industry.

The expected revenue from this move was to double the revenues for the company. Her relationship with the colleagues was quite indifferent and confusing sometimes. The reason for this was the fact that Lewis was quite a goal oriented woman, who wanted right man for the right job. Her relationship with Rich Gentry was more of understanding each other’s perspective. Rich Gentry was quite a straight forward person, who had his opinions for everything and was someone who did not like interference. Therefore, the two of them did not actually go very well. Secondly, the new Executive Vice President of Stores Jim Peters had newly joined Staples Inc., who had come from Office Depot therefore he and Lewis hardly knew each other. Peters was more concerned with the fact that he wanted to improve upon customer service aspect whereas Lewis was with the view of integrating and aligning departments together.

Peters was quite an understanding personality and he knew that each team member working at the company should develop a bonding amongst them to enjoy the success and failure of one another. Another colleague of Lewis was Shire Goodman, who was newly promoted to Vice President of Staples Inc.’s Direct division. The relationship between Lewis and Goodman turned out to be a good one for both the parties because of the fact that both of them worked on merger transition team. She was rather keen and focused on providing support to Lewis in all the business decision making at the company.

Discussing about the subordinates, Lewis enjoyed a good understanding with its subordinates. The reason for this was the fact that although Lewis was a dominating and hard personality but once you work with her you can easily associates yourself as a leader who is a charismatic personality. Lewis made the team work along the similar lines where the company wanted to reach along with the common goal of increasing earnings per share to 30% per year.

Did she correctly identify all the stakeholders involved with the change?

Lewis quite efficiently found out the stakeholders involved in the change. Although, the idea of the smooth merger between Staples Inc. and Office Depot was delayed for a certain time period but it eventually helped the company to identify the winners within the group.The potential supports for Lewis was Karsnow who helped her in managing the situation and the department efficiently. The allies were the colleagues who were unsure about the transition and were keen to resist any kind of change that was brought in by the manager of the company.

How did she deal with resistors?

In every organization there are people who are in favor of the change and there are employees or people who are against the change or resistant to change. Therefore, organizations and managers specifically need to maintain the balance between the acceptors and resistors. In case of Jeanne Lewis at Staples Inc., the resistors to the change were the colleagues like Rich Gentry and Jim Peters. The two of them had their own perception and were unwilling to accept the change proposed by Lewis. She was in favor of integrating all the departments on a single place and to make sure that each company maintained its competitive advantage and achieved a 30% increase of earning per share every year.....................................

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