Here's a person that you'll have to work around as a Virtual Chief Performance Officer. This person is the "Quiet Dissenter".
I'll give you an example, one I've shared on Twitter numerous times.
When I worked at Nordstrom, it was my job to author the catalog plan. I determined how much we were going to spend on catalog marketing, my team created a circulation plan for each individual catalog, the inventory team collaborated with merchandising and negotiated what they liked / didn't like about the plan, then we moved forward.
You'd think as a Vice President I'd have some clout regarding the very issue I was accountable for implementing. You'd be wrong. There were a group of individuals who were what I'd call "Quiet Dissenters".
These folks never said a word. They'd just review my work, then they'd implement whatever the heck they wanted to implement.
I learned my lesson the hard way. One of my own circulation analysts didn't follow my plan for 2.0 million in liquidations circulation for a catalog, instead selecting 2.7 million names. I didn't know she did this until a vendor mentioned the number to me. I asked her what she was doing? She pulled out a "circulation request form" she created. Are you ready for this? She offered this form to a group of "Quiet Dissenters" in the company, and they did the following:
- They told her who to mail.
- They told her what the circulation quantity should be.
- She then changed the selection quantity and selection criteria based on her own whims.
- A merchandising VP.
- A print production Manager.
- My own Circulation Manager.
- A paper rep from a paper company (yes, a person not even employed by Nordstrom).