I saw a great post at Crepuscular light the other day which is a humorous take on the HiPPO (the Highest Paid Persons’ Opinion) something that we all should avoid at all costs apparently. Certainly the opinions of the HiPPO Emer has interviewed would not be welcomed by any Analyst! I wouldn’t put up with anyone that ignorant.
However Lars and Emer got me thinking (always dangerous I know), about the HiPPOs and what the people actually say. I have to say that in the majority of cases the HiPPOs opinion has been reasonable given the information that they have had at their disposal at the time.
I would have to say that 99% of the executives I’ve met and discussed with have been pretty open. In fact the reason most of them are paid as well as they are is that they have a responsibility to make decisions based on the information presented to them.
I can remember 1 occasion where a HiPPO forced through a bad decision, but I could understand why that decision was made even then.
My point is I guess that HiPPOs are people too!
Our job, your job I’d argue is to make the HiPPO understand what your point is. You need to make the HiPPO your friend, because someone with influence is going to have to have your back when you tell the higher ups how much time, process, tools, people, training and culture is needed to become slick at business optimization.
That HiPPO could just make or break your career.