Last week's “The Apprentice”

Wednesday, 12th June 2013

Last week's edition of "The Apprentice" saw the two teams designing and delivering a corporate Away Day. Neither team covered themselves in glory, with Lord Sugar saying to the leader of the one team, upon winning, "I bet you're wondering how you did that!"

It's easy to criticise when all we see is a one hour synopsis of two day's work, edited for T.V. In the final analysis the losing team were criticised for spending money on a motivational speaker and not having control of their costs. Lord Sugar's comments included, "you lost by £500, charged £600 for the motivational speaker... the motivational speaker is the killer..." and,  "finance is why they lost this task." Actually, we disagree. There were two key reasons as to why they lost:

Firstly, they held their "brainstorms"* and decided on their themes before they met their clients. It was as though they decided how they'd like to spend the day and then tried to crow-bar in the objectives once they'd discovered them. One team came particularly unstuck when it became apparent that their medieval theme wasn't going to work with their client's objectives and they had to do a rapid change of direction and "go army" instead. What a waste of time the brainstorm was! Golden rule: establish client's needs first; decide whether and how you can help second and then develop the solution around those needs.

Their second mistake was even more basic – they didn't deliver the client's objectives resulting in low levels of customer satisfaction. Lord Sugar's words at the beginning were very clear – customer satisfaction was key. Yet both teams had to give their clients a partial refund. He criticised the "complete lack of business message" and said the client "thought they were being taken as mugs." The fact is that had the losing team not had to give a refund, the spend on the motivational speaker might well have been a masterstroke, because one delegate said, "he was amazing, the most motivating thing of the day." [This isn't a plug for motivational speakers... although we do offer professional speakers as part of our portfolio.]

In summary, we put clients' needs first, then design a solution specifically for them (you?). Customer satisfaction is key – we constantly check before, during and after an event that we are meeting the agreed objectives.

We offer a wide variety of team building events and away days, from workshops in community halls to large outdoor corporate events in conjunction with our carefully selected partners. We strongly believe that well planned, well designed and well executed Away Days can be a great tool for building your team and achieving your organisation's objectives. If you'd like to know more, give us a call or drop us an email...

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