UK: John Weak's diary - weak at the top.

UK: John Weak's diary - weak at the top. - MONDAY

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Arrived late at Board Strategic Planning meeting. Forgot all about it. Hayley told me it's been in my diary for years. I reminded her that I don't read my diary years in advance. She started muttering and went for an early lunch. Probably hormonal. Wonder whether we can withhold pay when she's like that. Worth looking into. Big speech from Sir Marcus about importance of planning ahead, important challenges in the coming year etc. I switched off at this point. Nothing difficult about strategic planning: just add 5% to your targets and 50% to your budgets. Then give ground on everything except entertainment because we're a people business.


Called Hayley in first thing and told her to update the strategic plan and add any marketing ideas she could think of. Settled back with trade press to look at the jobs pages. Always a good idea to check what's out there, what the other buggers are earning and to make sure your job's not being advertised. Bugger me rigid!!! The Rugby World Cup's on in Cardiff in October and I haven't organised my complete absence from office! Talk about taking your eye off the ball. Told Hayley to stop messing about with strategic plan. This is going to take real planning. Organised immediate top-level strategic planning lunch with Bill Peters. As luck would have it he was already in wine bar doing 'product scoping'.


Arrived in office first thing after rush hour to do planning. Too late to sponsor World Cup itself but called organisers to see whether we could sponsor boots, ball, tracksuits, anything. Told them that we'd sponsor inside of jockstrap if it came with box (which I thought was bloody funny!) Sponsorship woman informed me that sponsorship was all taken care of and would I be interested in women's ping pong? Told her that nobody, me especially, was interested in women's bloody ping pong. After long planning lunch with Bill Peters have decided to transfer our entire manufacturing capability to Wales - in Cardiff area. This will require three-week scoping study that Bill and myself are prepared to undertake.


It came to me in a dream! Well more of a nightmare really. We've been bogged down in Investors in People thing (cultural revolution where you have to treat your employees like human beings, for crying out loud). If you don't shout at anybody for six months you get a plaque in reception. I have decided this is a good thing and I am going to champion Investors in Welsh People, starting with familiarisation in Cardiff. Called Renton-Willets (weirdo HR director) with Investors in Welsh People suggestion. He said the company had won the award last month and I had taken my people out to lunch to celebrate - oh yes, how could I forget? This gives me brilliant idea. Team-building in Welsh mountains! Marketing department up to their necks in mud, crossing rivers on oil drums etc. for three weeks. When they've built the team they can come and pick me up from Cardiff.


Have decided to put all agency business up for review. Need to see evidence of fresh thinking, cost efficiency, customer entertainment etc. with special emphasis on the October period. Getting desperate so have strategic lunch with Bill. We decide to put all our ideas in strategic plan and hope that something sticks. Called in by Sir Marcus. Very impressed with depth and scope of my proposals and encouraged by my commitment to detailed planning but sadly will have to reject all my proposals. In recompense asked me to join him in chairman's box at Cardiff for 'extended briefing' of City analysts. Had it planned for years apparently. Now that's what I call leadership.

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