It’s back, back, BACK! And we couldn’t be more excited. Sixteen bright young things are competing to become Lord Sugar’s next business partner in a brand new series of The Apprentice, and the first episode did not disappoint.
A lot has happened since the last series that’s for sure. “The world of business is tougher than it’s ever been before” stated Lord S in his opening board room speech. There have been changes for Lord Sugar too – he has a new assistant in Tim Campbell and has significantly upped his gag game since last time around – there were puns aplenty and lots of LOLs in the boardroom as he outlined the first week’s challenge.
In the time-old tradition of the show, the competitors were split into two teams consisting of male and female candidates exclusively. Join us as we look at the lessons learned from the first challenge, which was to develop a marketing campaign for a new cruise line.
- Early and frequent feedback is essential
It’s a feature of the show’s format that each team splits up to form two sub-teams, each with a specific task to fulfil. This makes it extremely difficult to achieve any sort of alignment and removes the opportunity for the sub-teams to obtain feedback from each other. By the time the requirement for modifications has been understood, it’s far too late to apply them. This is where the boys’ team failed. No-one in the sub-team responsible for creating the logo for the “Neverending Nautical” brand had realised how important it is for startups to include the name of their brand alongside the imagery. The other sub-team pointed this out, but too late. That ship had already sailed. And as for the imagery itself…turd.
- The importance of walking the talk
There surely is a lot of talk in The Apprentice, especially in the early episodes, where everyone wants to stand out from the crowd (for the right reasons). An example: “I’m the EST of everything” said Navid, “which means I’m the cool-est, smart-est and wicked-est in business”. Collaboration was a word that was used A LOT in both teams. Whilst Navid was not noticeably the collaborative-est, a basic error made by Amy was not following through on her commitment to collaborate with her team. “I believe we have two ears and one mouth for a reason” she’d stated. Several minutes later we cut to Amy giving her team members the stink-eye as they dare to make some suggestions about their “Bouji Cruises” advertising campaign. Is that bouji? No.
- Stand up for your team
Leader of the boy’s team Akshay can apparently speak seven languages. But he did not speak up to support his team members as they floundered in presenting their pitch to industry experts. He has the ability to present very confidently (unlike some of his colleagues) and could have come to their rescue as they struggled to answer questions about their brand and its image. In remaining silent he missed an opportunity to develop trust and loyalty, boost the confidence of the team when it mattered and establish credibility as a leader.
Management Speak of the Week
“I’ve got the seeds, let’s get a tree” – Akshay to his team at the beginning of the task
Ones to Watch?
Shana – who pushed several times to establish a shared understanding of the word “Bouji” in the “Bouji Cruises” team. What a shame team leader Catherine failed to listen.
In their next challenge the candidates will be creating new toothbrushes. Who will get fired? Oral B revealed on Thursday.