It had to happen sooner or later - Sir Marcus has read a business book.
Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department, he says. He wants to axe the whole marketing department to cut costs and improve marketing. Brilliant. He'll give each director a fixed amount from which to pay their department's salary increases. Tricky, because two of my team want the full monty - Emily Reimbold (Pammy Anderson with brain implant) and Nigel Henwood (grey shoe with brain implant) - which would mean less fat for this cat. I smell the influence of Timothy Smallwood, Finance Director, who's so mean he dilutes his water. Worked off frustration on gym running machine doing power ramble.
Red alert! Sir Marcus has read Chapter 2. He's now discovered KPIs, which he'd assumed was some kind of smart peanut. He wants to measure Marketing on Key Performance Indicators.What gets measured gets done (that's why women have vital statistics), but you can't measure marketing - it's an art. If a product does well it's great marketing, if it doesn't something's wrong with distribution. We marketing types are creative spirits who can't be tied down by budgets, targets, KPIs or any other accountancy tricks.
Board meeting called for Friday to agree new KPIs, so had lunch with Bill Peters. As we were internalising our second bottle of red, Smallwood walked past window. We wondered whether he'd ever been inside a restaurant. Apparently he cuts his company credit card in half as soon as he gets it.
Asked Sir Marcus' secretary what Chapter 3 was called: 'Leadership through Engagement'. Didn't ask what the book was called - probably Business through Bollocks. Tackled salary increases: checked through team's KPIs and noticed I'd included teamwork, because I couldn't think of anything else. Called Emily into my office and gave her a quick 360 deg appraisal (if her skirt was any shorter it would be a collar). Told her she'd done well. Would she like to have dinner to discuss a more involved management style? She said it was her second invitation as Henwood had asked earlier (fat chance).
Gave her max rise and reminded her my door was always open (the one marked Bedroom). Rang Smallwood and asked him out for lunch to chat through department KPIs. He checked diary (total whiteout) and said yes.
Told Henwood that salary increase was out of question because he'd slipped up on teamworking KPI: he looked puzzled until I said 'Emily Reimbold'.
He blushed redder than my gas bill and I trousered his salary increase.
Then me and Peters took Smallwood out for death by lunching. After half a shandy Smallwood can't do his two-times table, so after our second bottle of red he started blubbing about Financial KPIs and how he had nothing left to axe. I told him there were three things he could cut in marketing: product launches, media spend and agency work. He was pathetically grateful.
Kept him drinking until he admitted he really wanted to be a choreographer and had the leotard to prove it. No surprise there.
KPI board meeting. Hung-over Smallwood looked like a rotting courgette.
I unveiled Marketing KPIs, focusing on massively increased product launches, media spend and agency work. Then got top agency totty to show selection of gratuitously dirty marketing concepts followed by personal plea to Sir Marcus for more active Engagement of Leadership. His eyes were married to her shockingly ergonomic top. Smallwood then presented his KPIs, just managing to say massive cuts in product launches, media spend and agency work before chundering into a yucca. Sir Marcus visibly underwhelmed.
I declared that financial direction was too important to be left to financial directors. Everyone seemed impressed. I may have to write a book about it.
Contact John Weak at firstname.lastname@example.org.