Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 15, 2009

Changes everywhere


As can be seen through previous posts (here and here) there are a lot of big things in the mix for L.L. Bean as a company. However, the changes aren’t just affecting the company, they’re also affecting my store. There has recently been a change in leadership within the Flagship and, although I will miss the presence of our previous leader, I can’t help but be absolutely THRILLED with our new one. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the more I learn about the changes coming down the road, the more I have a deep and abiding respect for him. A quick tally of the pluses: 

  • He wears the same uniform as the rest of the leaders in the store. I know that’s sort of vague, but previous leaders have worn “civilian clothes” (albeit business casual clothes) even after the dress code was changed last summer. 
  • He spends time on the floor. In the few times that I have worked overlapping shifts with him, he has been on the floor for a good deal of the time. 
  • He sent a letter regarding upcoming changes to the way scheduling is done to all employees – via snail mail; no email, not interoffice, I received it at home. That shows an understanding that even if we’re not working all the time, these changes do affect us.
  • On a related note, he’s having three open door meetings to sit down with whomever wants to know more – and he scheduled them outside of normal business hours (a concession to the fact that most people have more than one job and can’t make an 8am meeting!)
  • He’s initiated all-store shift meetings for every person coming on throughout the day (so now, instead of meeting with just my department, I’m going to meet with a Leader and folks from other departments before heading to the floor). 
  • He also has charged department leaders to spend more time on the floor. Everyone has a couple hours dedicated to being on the floor and then can do their other tasks in addition to before/after that. 
  • And, perhaps most importantly (at least from a very selfish, personal perspective): He introduced himself to me. I’m not certain that the previous leader would know who I am should I run into her on the street. However, my first shift working with him, he came up and shook hands and introduced himself. 

He strikes me as a type who’s going to practice what he preaches. And what he’s preached so far are changes that have breathed a new energy into our store. There are so many things that can be perceived as negative right now, with the world and with the company, that it’s nice to be excited about going to work every Saturday night. I love feeling inspired, and with the creativity and enthusiasm that is spreading from the top down, how can I not be inspired?

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