October 03, 2013

The project's biggest challenge was explaining the new model to front-line employees to get buy-in, Chevalier reports. Communication was the key to getting that buy-in, and Chevalier and his team conducted educational sessions with branch staff all over the country.

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"As the guy who assigns the goals, you're never making friends, but if you can very clearly articulate how the goal is arrived at and how it is supporting the customer experience, and, by extension, the employee experience, that's sort of key," Chevalier advises.

Through that education, Chevalier says he and his team were able to show front-line staff how the goals would help them find new sales opportunities, enabling them to earmark resources and time accordingly.

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Communication was also key in developing Chevalier's own project team, which included people from finance, IT, analytics, products and the front line. Chevalier found that continually communicating the group's common goal was the best way to unify the diverse team and keep the project focused. Not surprisingly given Chevalier's leadership focus, that unifying goal was improving the customer experience for TD.

"When you can bring a group like that together and everyone realizes that we're working towards the same goal, then we realize that we're not as disparate as we think we are," Chevalier explains. "While we come from different backgrounds, the one thing that unifies us is the customer, and the customer experience."

Personal Snapshot

Matt Chevalier

Senior VP of retail strategy and marketing, TD Bank

Years with bank: 25

Years in current role: 3.5

Prior roles: District VP, greater Toronto area, TD Canada Trust; senior VP, deposit products, TD Banknorth; senior VP, day-to-day banking products; senior VP, retail sales strategy group

Hobbies: Chevalier builds wooden model ships and says, "At the other end of the spectrum, I enjoy a good video game."

Jonathan Camhi is a graduate of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where he focused on international reporting and interned at the Hindustan Times in Delhi, ...