First off - apologies for posting about The Apprentice twice in the space of a week. I am not a pundit, and I shan't make this a regular thing. The trouble is, two episodes in a row, now, have moved me to write about things which annoy me. Here's this week's little grumble for you...
This time around, the right team (Sterling) won, in my opinion. And in the Boardroom, the losing team (Phoenix - led by that epitome of twerpishness, Adam Corbally) came in for plenty of (deserved) flak for their tactics. What surprised me, though, was Adam's complete lack of foresight.
When Lord Sugar asked Adam which two members of his team he would bring back into the Boardroom with him, Adam dillied and dallied (dallied and dillied) and umm-ed and ahh-ed about this decision. As I remarked on Twitter at the time, surely he knew that question was coming?!
Now, as I've already mentioned, Adam really is a first class wally - but even so, this problem is by no means unique to him. Far too often, I see Project Managers dithering over their choice of who to bring back in the final three. (Even more bizarrely, they often seem to speak their thought processes out loud, while trying to make this decision - "well, I could bring so-and-so back in, because she messed up on the costings, and that really affected our chances, but then again, what's-his-face didn't really contribute much, and had poor sales figures. Then there was that bit where whojamaflip slapped that Alderney cow during the pitch; that was really uncalled-for...")
But my point is, how can they not have prepared for this moment?! If you're a Project Manager, you must know there is a chance that Lord Sugar will ask you this question!
Of course, everybody hopes to have won the task, and I can understand that you don't want to dwell too much on the possibility of losing. But only a fool discounts that possibility completely, and not to have a contingency plan, just in case, seems most unwise, to me.
If I were a Project Manager going into the Boardroom at the end of a task, not yet knowing who's won and who's lost, I would already have that thought in the back of my mind. Of course, I would be hoping fervently that my team had one the task, and that all would be well - but I would already be thinking in advance "what if we have lost this? What is my Boardroom strategy going to be? Who do I think I should bring back with me, in the final three?"
The fact that none of these candidates ever seem to plan ahead in this way - something which, to me, always seems so obvious! - is surprising, and more than a little disappointing. I understand that what's said in that initial Boardroom analysis might affect the decision somewhat - but ultimately, each individual will be judged on their performance in the task, and in that respect, what's done is done.
Not to give the issue a moment's thought until that inevitable question is posed by Lord Sugar is, to my mind, very poor. Such dithering and indecision makes a candidate look unprofessional and inompetent, and the lack of foresight they exhibit cannot be a good trait for anyone wanting to be successful in business.