Young Apprentice Week 3 – Stage Fright

Young Apprentice Week 3 – Stage Fright

The teams were sent on a quest to locate 10 items (including a candelabrum, pictured) needed for a stage production. The aim: get all items on time and for the best price. There would be penalites for any items not found, and for not geting back on time.

Sugar decided to mix the teams up once again, presumably in the hope of ensuring there wouldn’t be a third successive boy fired. David went to Platinum on the back of 2 previous losses. His only success so far has been getting into the final three each week. Navdeep and Alice went in the opposite direction.

Both Steven and David wanted to lead Platinum. Steven won, but appeased David by making him leader of a sub team with Amy and Lucy. For Odyssey, Andrew was PM.

Essentially, success in this task depends on 4 things;

  • have a process or system
  • be clear about your role
  • choose locations carefully
  • if you want to negotiate, you have to identify at least 2 outlets selling the item

Therefore the role of the PM is to implement these. Once again, there was a contrast in styles between the 2 PMs. Both teams divided the items between the 2 sub-teams, but Steven (Platinum) had his team phoning from cars and researching on the go; whereas Andrew had Odyssey do some research and phoning from the Coliseum. It wasn’t long before he and Ashleigh were out tracking down items. These approaches showed that neither PM was clear on their process – what is the best way to win this task? In turn, this led to a lack of role clarity because the 2 are closely linked. The key part of the process they missed, was that if you are going to negotiate you need to have leverage in the form of competition between sellers. Otherwise, why would they bother (as several retailers, not starstruck by the cameras, pointed out)? You also need to choose locations carefully. Patrick in team Odyssey was the only individual to even identify where they were starting from in Central London. At one point, Platinum PM Steven was heading off to Croydon (12 miles and several hours) to buy a car. To maximise time, you have to choose locations that can be reached, and returned from, in the available time.  Neither team demonstrated an understanding of these points.

The task itself became enjoyable enough TV, as nobody could work out what a candelabrum is, in yet another indictment of  the candidate’s knowledge / education. Do people become entrepreneurs because they find the traditional approach to success (University, Profession) beyond them? You might think so if you watch this lot. Eventually Odyssey worked it out and found one.

Based on the results this week, the more measured apporach of team Odyssey paid dividends and they won the task, despite their sub-team not leaving the Coliseum until nearly 6 hours into the task! They got 6/10 items, whereas the more “active” approach of Platinum, got 5 items. Negotiation was poor on both teams, as they generally went to the first seller they found. No competition, no negotiation. There was little evidence of the 2 PMs being effective leaders, and the fact that the sub-teams never worked together allowed for plenty of bitching, especially from the girls, though Patrick was happy to join in. Doesn’t he remember what a mess he made of being PM?

In the boardroom it became clear that penalites for being late and missed items would be crucial. Both teams spent about the same on the items they found, but Odyssey won because they had lower penalties for missed items. In truth, neither team was good; it’s just that Platinum was poorest (by about £170). So, one of last week’s final 3, Maria, who spent the whole episode bitching again, avoided the boardroom. I can’t see her lasting the course. She does not come across well.

For Platinum, Steven brought back 2 members of his sub-team. David (3 appearences in the final 3 out of 3) and steel-jawed Amy. These 2 fought the whole time and were prime candidates. The only thing likely to save David was his gender. I couldn’t see Sugar firing 3 boys in a row, and so it proved. Any of the 3 could have gone, especially Steven for his poor leadership, and at some point there will be a multiple firing. This should have been the week. In the end Amy was fired, but David surely can’t survive another final 3. He seems to be going backwards. He still has the same 1970s attitude to women and leadership, but his spirit has been broken like a castrated bull.

Who has impressed? Not many, in truth. Andrew has confidence and fight, but was a poor leader. Lucy spent most of this episode separating David and Amy. Navdeep has been shown to contribute little, but has looked good when she has (though she got caught up in the bitching with Maria and Patrick). Ashleigh is quiet, but exudes Yorkshire common sense. Alice hasn’t shown much but a nice personality. Steven was also a poor PM.

So, all still to play for.

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2 Responses to Young Apprentice Week 3 – Stage Fright

  1. Tim says:

    Neither team covered themselves in glory, did they? In addition to their poor grasp of the logistics of the task, I’m amazed that the teams did not prioritise the obvious high value items. Surely common sense dictates that you should prioritise an item which you know will cost several hundred pounds (i.e. the car and the boots) over ones which you can reasonably assume have a ticket value of £50 or less (e.g. the hair)? Neither team did that, and although Andrew’s purchase of the car was crucial to success, they were well into the afternoon before they bought it, having first secured the velvet and the hair.

    Not sure about Alice’s ‘nice’ personality. She was good this week, but was the ringleader of the Three A’s who made Lucy’s life hell last week – driven largely by spite because she thought she should have been PM, it seems. Indeed, many of the candidates – in particular the girls – seem to have a nasty bitchy streak in them, more so than in previous years. And it’s a shame that so many of them only ever seem to speak up to either (a) tell someone they’re rubbish or (b) pointedly state to camera that this is not their decision and is therefore not their fault.

    Anyhow, more fun next week. It’s still great entertainment, but it’s a shame that we can hardly hold these candidates up as exemplars of good business behaviour.

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2012/11/16/young-apprentice-carmen-its-all-about-the-car-man/

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