Only the art-less can afford art

It seemed mighty unfair that the girls should lose the task.

Kicking off a new series of BBC’s Apprentice, the first task was to design, make and sell printed items. The girls’ team Sterling produced some excellent ideas.

Even the normally hard-to-please Lord Sugar was impressed.

In contrast, the boys’ team Phoenix will definitely need to arise from the ashes of this week’s binned disasters. So plainly bad were their printed bags and teddy bears, that the smudged red ink looked like a blood bath.

With old London buses and Union flags as motifs, the inspiration was absent.

But for the first time that I can remember (in how many series of The Apprentice) the team did a good deal of financial planning. Preposterously high margins were put in place. Money was made.

Both teams made a profit to be fair, but the boys made more; three times more at £600, despite showing no demonstrable design talent.

Ironically the reward for winning was an art-inspired reception for the boys. Did they appreciate it?

There’s an important principle here. It doesn’t matter how good you are in business, if you can’t turn sufficient profit then you won’t be able to stay in business.

And the rewards are only there for those who can.

But let’s look again atPhoenix’sperformance. Its success was not quite as unjustified as I might have made out.

The boys worked quite well together as a team. They pulled together whilst the girls were bickering in the park.

The boys’ designs were unoriginal but tapped right into the tourist market.

And they planned their business and kept on track. The girls’ leader Gabrielle gave the impression she had not managed a group of keenies before. It’s not as easy as it might appear.

The final principle of the week is a classic Apprentice one. When you are sure you know what will happen, then something else will instead.

Thus 9 million people knew that Katie would get fired. But Bilyana was instead. You’ll have to watch the show to see why!

About drstevelewis

Good leadership is essential for any project to succeed. I specialise in the most difficult leadership challenges; those involving the way we relate to other people or the way they relate to us. With a background of many years in business and an earlier training in medicine I combine the two in a unique consultancy.
This entry was posted in Managing people, Success, Teamwork, The Apprentice 2012, TV reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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