WEAK AT THE TOP: John Weak's diary

WEAK AT THE TOP: John Weak's diary - MONDAY

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Strategic planning week. Sir Marcus is a bit worried about the competition and says if we want to run with the big dogs we've got to get off the porch. With that kind of leadership, strategic planning is virtually unnecessary. Normally I would reprint the last five-year strategy but the person who wrote that was sacked and later killed himself. Not much of a strategy, if you ask me. On the way back to my office, walked straight into a door that wouldn't open. After I'd silenced the outburst of secretarial tittering, I discovered that you now need a swipe card for the door. Tried another route and found myself stuck in internal audit. The grim little accountette I asked couldn't let me out because I wasn't authorised to be there in the first place. I'm going to find out who's responsible for this rank stupidity and swipe his card.


Meeting with Tim Smallwood (finance director) to talk through his rank stupidity and the world's most fatheaded security system. He said because of fears of industrial espionage the whole building was being divided into sectors with restricted access. I asked him about the free flow of people and ideas. He said that would continue to happen but within restricted areas. Finance director probably not the best person to talk to about the free flow of anything. I pointed out that people like Bill Peters had special technological needs and that the system would make him a prisoner in his own office. Smallwood suggested this might be healthy for the business. It won't be healthy for Smallwood when I tell Bill. Must get this door thing sorted as no day is complete without a quick stroll through the company's totty-rich zones.


Decided to have a crack at the strategy on the train. Strategic planning is where we think about the business and decide what we're going to do with it. This is obviously where 90% of damage to the business is done. I say why have consultants and think for yourself? Bloke opposite me was working on some business papers so I postponed strategic thinking in case he saw the budgets I'm playing with and felt inadequate. He got off forgetting his papers so I had a quick flick though them. Realised with a bit of a jolt that it was the strategic plan of our direct competitor and he'd made a lot more progress than I had. Very useful. Rushed into the office and nearly broke my wrist on another bloody locked door. I used bad language out loud.


Told Bill about Smallwood's little comment. Bill went storming out saying he was going to grab Smallwood by his assets and make them sweat big time. He was back in two minutes saying he couldn't get through any doors. I spent all day writing top strategic plan that would have the competition in intensive care taking food through the nose. Then tackled security system: humans are always weakest link and ours is that we've given the master key to a vegetable - George on security. Spent a good hour getting to know George and simulating lifetime interest in pre-war football programmes. Left office with headache, friend for life and master key. Met Howard at the gym in time for aqua-aerobics, which we watched from the hot tub, giving marks for swimsuit design and content.


Presented my strategic plan at board meeting and announced that our big dogs would be well and truly off the porch. Sir Marcus looked underwhelmed and said my plan was a pup; if that was the quality of our thinking, the competition would eat our lunch. Couldn't really say where I'd got the thinking from so I blamed someone in our department who I had foolishly over-empowered. Worked late rewriting strategic plan by copying great chunks out of the Mammoth Book of Business Cliches. Left the building at midnight and used my master key to leave every single door of the office open. With a bit of luck the competition will steal all our strategic planning. That'll really mess them up.

Contact John Weak at john.weak@smokehouse.co.uk.

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