One of my favourite television shows is The Apprentice, unfortunately off the air at the moment. There’s a certain enjoyment observing how successful people respond when forced to operate as a team. The psychology of group dynamics in a business environment is infinitely more interesting to me than say, Big Brother or Survivor. And if you’re a fan of the show check out the feedback on The Apprentice Blog.
On Monday night I carried a woman in the financial industry who had spent the day at a company workshop. Despite it being Bank Holiday she’d chosen to take part in the voluntary workshop where they were given a task based on The Apprentice. The aim of the exercise was to encourage staff to ‘think outside the box’...
The participants were split into two teams and given $1000 to turn a profit in just one day. The money was to be donated to charity. Whilst the brief was totally open to their own initiative, they were allowed to utilise the company’s resources.
My passenger’s team was largely drawn from the IT department so they set about moving product. They coopted a client to supply 50 wireless internet modems at cost price. Which were then offered at half the retail price to many eager buyers. After a day trudging around town her team offloaded the product for a profit of $1800. They lost.
The winning team were much more innovative. Drawing on a company resource and employee, namely a former Australian Wallabies captain, they simply enlisted him to provide a free dinner speaking engagement. Which they then had no trouble in selling at market rate to a corporate group for their next function. Too easy. This team, from memory, made a profit of $12,000. Now that’s thinking outside the box. Donald Trump would have been proud.