The Apprentice … what went wrong? Episode 2

Okay, I know I haven’t written a blog post on last weeks episode of ”The Apprentice”, that will come later this week, but following last nights I really have to write this one now!

For anyone who hasn’t seen it, it is on BBC i-player and it is worth a look.

The task was to come up with a new and innovative product for the lucrative beach accessory market. Usually at this stage I am shouting loads of ideas at the TV but to be honest I wasn’t feeling inspired. Maybe that is because I am more of a pool kind of guy, the sand can get irritating in the wrong places!

The guys + Stella (“Stella and her boys” as they became known) came up with their concept pretty quickly, at least they had an idea of what they wanted to achieve. They decided they wanted to make a solution to the problem of keeping your bottle of water or something similar cool whilst you are on the beach, I can see why that would be useful, it was a good starting point. They received one order for 100 units, not great surely not enough to win?

Apollo (the ladies) really struggled to come up with an idea at all, not surprising considering the amount of noise they generated. The youngest member of team, Laura, was project manager, and she really struggled to control the girls, and they ended up plunging for Joanne’s idea of a thing to hold your book for you while you are on the beach. It kind of seemed like a viable idea at one point, but am I the only one who realised that every time you would have wanted to turn a page you would have had to remove it from its pouch? What a pain that would be become!

They got zero orders, for the first time ever on The Apprentice – zero! A lot of focus was put on the decision to decline exclusivity and whether that had cost them the task? It was Laura who jumped in during the pitch and stated they needed to think on that, but outside the room I thought they all pretty much agreed that exclusivity would be a mistake. It all ended up with a cat-fight, and then Joy was fired. Probably rightly so, she has done nothing in either task so far and as my first The Apprentice blog highlights, that irritates me! A huge irony is that all the criticism today has been for the girls and the shouting and fighting, yet the only one who didn’t get involved in that side of things has gone! Remember that before the fight Joy wasn’t even going to be in the boardroom??

So what went wrong? I prefer to focus on positives personally, and the guys worked well as a unit, with the exception of the extremely poor pitching, they picked the wrong man for the job and the one area Stella failed in was when she didn’t swap him even though she knew it was wrong, however overall they did well and Stella does deserve some credit for that. Positives from the girls? If Joanne has learned from her experience is this episode she could be an asset to her team, but other than that there wasn’t a lot of good stuff. I have never encountered that kind of behaviour from a woman in business ever, and I really hope that it doesn’t become typical throughout the show.

For me, listening has again been highlighted as an essential skill in business, last week they didn’t listen to what they needed to do properly and this week they didn’t listen to each other and then ended up with bad products.

At the end of the day its a game, and at this stage it is all about survival and finding your feet ready for the task when there are fewer contestants left, and some of them are doing just that – surviving.

How many of the girls didn’t offer ideas for the fear of being fired if it was a bad one? and how many of the boys didn’t challenge the Cuuli idea for the same reason?

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