August Messing about on the river
The Apprentice 2012, Work and careers

The Apprentice: E6 Tasty teamwork?

This week The Apprentice was centred on street food design, quality branding and using innovative sales tactics in Edinburgh’s cultural centre. This time it was Katie, the audience’s favourite, that lost and had to go home.

Lord Sugar was the first one to assess the shenanigans of the week. He explained the losing side’s mistakes were down to the their insistence of making cheap short cuts and using bad sales tactics. The summarising was that is was “flogging cheap rubbish” (his words not mine). The program also showed Allan Sugar reflecting more thoughtfully with advisers Nick and Karen about the performance of the losing team which is always nice to see.

.Apprentice Predictor

Apprentice Predictor (Photo credit: Roo Reynolds)

Other commentators on The Apprentice from the blog-osphere offered different perspectives on this week’s show. Kelly Hoppen writing the blog for http://www.businesszone.co.uk puts the losing team’s failures down to insufficient consideration of their margins. Her post particularly pointed to Azhar’s quietness as something to watch in future.

Like Kelly Hopen I was impressed with how Azhar recovered in the boardroom. It made me think that perhaps he is of better use there than on the street.  However in contrast to Kelly Hoppen’s  practical business insights, Nic Hammerling’s blog post on Personnel today from Pearn Kandola blames team outcomes on poor thinking/ decision-making, again, this week. In addition Ellie Reed writing in Therecruiter.co.uk also picked up on the cheap product and poor selling points that the other program evaluators had seen in the losing team this week. Interestingly The Guardian continued to run its live blog post describing events as the program is aired, though I’m never quite sure of the purpose of that format, it feels a bit fragmented to me.

In essence, the other Apprentice bloggers, this week, forward a range of views coming from their own expertise. Interestingly they are united in that they highlight what had happened in the losing team. But as entertaining as all of their contemplations are, I noted how something more was missing in the observations and analysis made of this week’s show.

In my opinion, much can be learned from the successes of the winning team. I was very impressed to see their adaptation to  regional variations and insightful attitude to creating foods. Their team leader Jenna proudly talked of her Lancashire roots and was able to connect with that so that the team created a dish with strong identity in its branding for the ‘Scottish Pot’ gourmet dish. That it was made with Angus beef got to the heart of Scottish consumer’s pride. This is an important teaching point in the subject of branding and uniting consumer needs and product values. Well done.

The program also showed a lot of tasty teamwork through, appreciation for each other’s skills and inter group provision of general support. We saw this particularly when the leader felt panicky about not having enough footfall to enable enough sales in Parliament Square.

I was also impressed to learn Jenna was a salon owner and I detect her talent for pulling together that team to meet the target is what she normally does back home in her own firm. From what I saw of Jenna’s performance with the task and the way that Lord Sugar relates to her,  means she is on my list to win this year. It’s nice to write good news about the apprentices’ performance this week.

Who do you think will win?