This week the candidates were tasked with hosting a racing themed corporate away-day. Infinity was led by Harpreet who outlined her credentials at length. Indeed in this episode she outlined a lot of things at length, particularly in the kitchen, where she was likened to “Gordon Ramsey on speed”. Diverse was led by Stephanie who has a degree in events management but kept fairly quiet about it.
In this episode we witnessed more negotiation hard-ball, with Stephanie’s clients pushing down the price of the away day from £700 per head to £245 per head, and Harpreet looking ruffled for once, when negotiating the price of the driving motion simulator. We also saw Aaron and Brittany’s 4.03 second tyre-change (“well I have got a suit on”, said Aaron) and what can only be described as culinary carnage. For the first time this series, four candidates (the entire Diverse team) were brought back into the boardroom by Lord Sugar.
Let’s look at what we learned this week.
- Be prepared
Stephanie and Kathryn were woefully underprepared for interactive museum tour, bypassing several interesting exhibits and managing to get lost while leading their clients around. “There’s the challenge of building bike”, said Stephanie, “but I have no idea where it is”. The team had set out a plan, but there’s an important distinction between preparation and planning. Even the best plans can get waylaid, but preparation provides the ability to manage those situations and come up with alternatives. So, for example, if a client was to ask a question, an answer could be provided, or if things didn’t run quite to schedule, an alternative activity could be made available.
- Be like a swan (and don’t show what’s happening under the surface)
Just like the graceful and elegant swan, gliding smoothly along the surface of the water, Stephanie and team were hoping to deliver an elegant, seamless luxury experience to their clients. Unfortunately, their clients were exposed to the underside of the swan, paddling like mad to stay afloat and move their clients from one part of the day to the next. During the Diverse team’s lunchtime panic, a client walked in to witness the disorganised plating-up process, they saw that the table was unlaid, were served warm drinks, and observed cringemaking spectacle of Nick pushing his trolley of food into the dining room, wearing a white coat and a hairnet. This eroded client trust and confidence and contributed to them asking for a 20% refund.
- “The numbers don’t lie”
So said Lord Sugar in the boardroom, when deciding which candidate to fire. Finally! Making decisions based on data helps to make the right decisions, by validating a course of action before committing to it. Numbers and data are used each week to determine which team wins the task, but do not appear to have played a part in any of the decisions made by the candidates in this episode (or this series!). Thank you Lord Sugar.
Management Speak of the Week
“It’s been an absolute shambles” – Kathryn
Ones to Watch?
Nick got his just desserts at last. Aaron and Brittany did a good job this week. But our ultimate captain of industry must be the man with the driving motion simulator – he made a fast buck out of the Infinity team.
The next challenge involves selling on a TV shopping channel. Can’t wait to find out who’s got the gift of the gab, and who’ll be riding off in a cab.
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