The Apprentice Week 6 – Child’s Play

The Apprentice Week 6 – Child’s Play

Kick MeThe teams are tasked with organising corporate team building away day this week. The task will be judged on customer satisfaction and value for money (£5000).

Sugar mixes up the teams and decides on the PMs again. Miles goes to Endeavour, where Leah is PM. Francesca is appointed PM of Evolve.

As a professional trainer, the key to success in training events (of which this is an example) is to start with what you want the participants to understand, agree with or do after the event. This has to come from  the client. Only when you know where you are going, can you design games, exercises etc to take you there. Unfortunately, both teams went for a theme first, and both teams suffered as a result. Evolve go for a school theme, and for Endeavour, Leah ignores the vote and pushes for a history theme.

Leah’s sub-team is then late for a meeting with the corporate client (Barclays), because she is still arguing about the theme. Her pitch for a medieval theme is wooly, to say the least. Meanwhile the other half of the team try to source activities such as archery, whilst squeezing the costs. Leah then decides that a military theme is more likely to meet the client need to improve communication. This just reinforces the point that deciding on the theme is secondary to the point of the away-day.

The rest of the day shows the various sub-teams bitching about each other and what tasks to do. Again, there is no evidence  of the learning coming before the task. Having fun seems more important than developing communication skills, which the client has requested.

At the end of the day, the teams get together to discuss progress. and it is clear that both teams have issues with focus and direction. Neil persuades / bullies Leah into allowing him to do the motivational speech, whereas Francesca insists on bringing in a professional costing £600.

Next day, the teams set up and run their events. The reaction of the participants suggests that they are struggling to see the point of the various games (as are we). However, for Endeavour, Miles and, especially Neil, step up here and rescue the task by linking in themes of communication and listening to the games. There is no such link or joined up thinking in Evolve.

In the boardroom, both teams are asked to refund the client. Endeavour are asked to give a refund of 25% due to no contingency for rain. Similarly a £1250 refund for Evolve due to lack of business focus. This reflects how poorly designed the days were by both teams.

Endeavour win and Neil comes in for special praise from the client. He has proved to be the difference between the teams.

Francesca decides to bring back Luisa(doesn’t like the Corporate world)  and Rebecca (pushed for the professional speaker and the wine challenge). Francesca is challenged on why she brought Luisa back. Luisa’s attitude is challenged by Sugar. In the end Sugar describes Luisa as a “bombshell”(?).  The failure of the task is attributed to Francesca’s poor  leadership, but it is Rebecca who is fired, as her only contribution was to champion the more expensive items (wine and professional speaker). This is a bit harsh, as it is unclear who could have done the speaking from within Evolve. Overall Rebecca has been a weak candidate, but this week, Francesca should have gone.

Of the surviving candidates, Neal has to be taken seriously, as does Miles. Leah has had a bad couple of weeks and needs a strong performance in the coming weeks. Luisa is a dead (wo)man walking, and Jason is still only there for comic relief.