Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sir Alan's brainstorm

I really can't improve on Lucy Mangan's description of the outcome last night's Apprentice final. "If Kristina doesn't get the job," I scream, "This city's gonna burn!" Sir Alan suffers some kind of massive synaptic misfire and hires Simon. Pass. Me. My. Matches."

I can only assume this was a counter-intuitive response by Sir Alan to last year's debacle, when he went for the "safe" candidate in Michelle Dewberry over the more "risky" alternative of Ruth Badger, only to see Dewberry walk out on him after a few months after getting pregnant by a fellow-contestant, while Badger went on to host her own corporate troubleshooting show on Sky.

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Test said...

Well, look who has won? Simon - the nice guy. He played a clean game, no slagging off of contestants! Elegantly channeling Machiavelli in programme one was the closest he got to scheming. Confident, but not afraid to make himself look a prat, possessing good manners, bright and energetic - everyone liked him- even Katie. In the end he was judged more creative than Christina and he won.

Has their been a shift in the zeitgeist (or do I mean paradigm?) Will Simon’s style signal a change in strategy to aspiring hot shots or their potential employees? If so how will those educating both react?

Whilst studying economics, Simon managed to find time to perform with the Cambridge Footlights. Cambridge seems to produce a lot of leaders so might business schools might want to encourage theatrical and comedy skills to compliment the hard analysis and teamwork? It might make those PowerPoint presentations a bit more interesting, but the collaboration involved in putting together a show has valuable team work experience in its own right. Baden Powell knew all about this when he wrote theatrical skills into the boy scouts handbook.

What also might be worth considering are elocution and etiquette studies so that communication and networking skills in different social systems can be achieved without having to go to either ‘the university of life’ or a public school. In his friendship with Tre, Simon demonstrated he has the ‘common touch’ - sometimes a tough skill to master for those educated in prestigious institutions (witness Rory V Tre, Paul V Tre, Katie V Tre) It can be excruciating when posh boy acts street. Simon pulled it off. It is equally as embarrassing seeing street acting posh? (In the UK is football culture the no mans land for this topsy turvy display? )

Sir Alan has changed his business strategy and there also appears to be a shift in self perception. No more products like the ‘e mailer’ phone (the only time you will see one is on The Apprentice). No more electronic slimming aids (this is what the poor guy who won the first series had to try and flog). Sir Alan now wants to be associated with iconic architecture. Alan would like to be funny, likable, posh and with a whiff of the theatre. He now wants to be a bit like Simon.

It is nice that Sir Alan has let go of his myth. The chip on his shoulder has disappeared. There seems to be real mutual love between master and apprentice. They looked quite cute talking to Adrian Chiles in the post game analysis.

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MorrisOx said...

Thank God it wasn't first posted here...

Richard Bailey said...

What we all forget is that a) they have both been working for Sir Alan for the last few months, so his decision was not just made from the task results, and b) it was horses for courses. The job he had suited Simon. It could have been a more sales orientated job, in which case he would have chosen Kristina.

Great programme ruined by a spat over the repulsive Katie. How Sir Alan and Adrian Chiles loved crucifying her last night. Can't believe she showed up.