It was good to see Karren Brady and Nick Hewer getting more air time in Episode 3 of BBC’s The Apprentice. They are Lord Sugar’s unbiased eyes and ears. They don’t miss much.
For the edited highlights we get to see, once again “it’s not pretty” Hewer reminds us.
But was does the surgeon Shibby do wrong this week?
His ability and training as a doctor do not completely furnish him with the skills and aptitude for business that the project he manages requires.
Mistakes and inexperience are not always penalised on The Apprentice. Unless they are colossal.
The doctor obliges. To manage others, a man must first manage himself. Dr Shibby has to negotiate with a customer and offers instead what can only be described as a “strop”.
This is a bizarre episode, rather like watching a recalcitrant child refusing to eat peas at the table. “No I won’t” is the message.
Dr Shibby seems to have forgotten that the buyer could potentially give him money for what he could sell.
This is a sales meeting, not a pushy receptionist sticking another patient on his list.
Brady rightly looks incredulous. Shibby’s colleagues offer advice too. Paradoxically, that they can approach him at all, shows something.
I was reminded at the start of the programme, that the contestants live together. It may be in a posh mansion, but bunk beds still resemble a youth hostel. In such a close environment relationships will have been forged or broken by now.
Sure enough you sense that his colleagues generally rate him. He can’t be a bad bloke?
Getting on well with people gets you a long way along the road to being able to manage them. But it’s not enough.
Not only does he have that weird tantrum, he blows more profit on providing uncalled-for compensation for the restaurant owner he let down. Delivering just 16 bread rolls out of 1,000 ordered was fatal.
So too was the lack of communication between production and sales. I sense behind this, the doctor had no real grasp of how to manage the task.
To be a good surgeon you need manual dexterity and an encyclopedic knowledge of human anatomy for starters.
To be good at business he needed much more knowledge of what the various parts of business do, to “see” the end result, and the dexterity to pull it all together. He showed none of this.
I thought I was beginning to tire of programmes like this, but I actually think this is a good illustration of what goes wrong in business from time to time.
The problems vary of course. For me the most challenging variable is the people in business and how they do.
Business success also takes more than a little luck. Melissa was very lucky. Somehow she survives for another week. Her team carried her.
Future episodes: Alex Epstein: was it unfair dismissal?
Apprentice Mel:are they “horrible people”?
See also earlier reviews: