The catalog and retail divisions worked independently, with separate distribution systems, vendors, buyers and points of contact, hence instituting supply services for goods ordered on the Internet on a non-division based basis was difficult
The Vice President, Patrick Connolly, could be considered an example of a tempered radical because he was the first one to recognize the potential inherent on the Internet and the need for the organizational policies and practices to be changed such that it could also include Internet-based activity. He may be classed under the category of strategic building type of tempered radical because he has executed his ideas with the help of his associates and other important members in the organization. Connolly had begun to see the potential on the Internet from as far back as 1997, but faced resistance from the executive who could not conceive of the Internet as a serious business tool, especially after the failure of the kiosks.
But Connolly persisted, slowly gathering team support by assembling an Internet Task Force which consisted of various other vice Presidents who also shared his enthusiasm for the Internet and were willing to consider an Internet initiative, and he engaged in brainstorming with this team to look into how such a venture could be funded. He was also instrumental in determining how funds could be channelled and into which area they should be directed, i.e., the weddings registry. In this way, he gradually gathered support for Internet operations to be launched in one segment of the organization and he achieved this objective by influencing others and seeking their cooperation.
The pilot project wherein a website was built, offering 20 Williams Sonoma products for Mother’s Day 1998.