Episode 2 was an object lesson in how not to manage a creative process, people product or indeed pitching. What both teams did very well was self congratulation, backbiting taking credit, and acting like fools. In the guys team Logic the style was “bromanagement”. A peculiarly male form of managing/leading which involves high-fiving backslapping and saying “you’ve nailed it mate” a lot. Leon who had pitched himself as project manager preferred to preserve team atmosphere rather than effectiveness. As they sailed merrily on designing an app which insulted most of the UK, and had no global appeal they were oblivious that the central issues were not the app but the marketing. They had to sell to three tech champions of apps Pocket Lint, Techno-crunch and Wired. Which one have you heard of? Which two did they win over? Yes you’ve guessed it.In the women’s team yet another series of power plays and downright glory hugging was in evidence. Edna who bills herself as a “business psychologist” and was introduced earlier as being in HR, proceeded to trash everything we have ever learned about leading people sustainably. She said that psychology was about “being tough” and that she “didn’t suffer fools gladly”. A saying which in my view denotes the person saying it as a fool.
Edna proceeded to “call people to order”. What she meant was “It’s my call and I am going to order people about”. She then ignored/talked-over/eye rolled and generally dismissed the ideas or involvement of anyone else. Susan, who is down as a “Skincare Entrepreneur”, obviously was short in confidence and most people would give her some slack and let her get it out. Edna was having none of it. Clearly thinking that listening and empathy is for wimps, she effectively told Susan to shut up. She doesn’t want to seen as soft and mushy but hard and pushy. She decided to do the pitch at Earl’s court gaming fair. Here she used what a colleague calls “sub NLP pitching techniques” to “connect” with the audience. So obsessed was she with her hold over the gamers she forgot to tell anyone where they could download the product. It was a disaster. Of course she could be a perfectly nice person panto-ing it up for the camera’s but.... The clash between her and Melody when they both realise they are going down in the boardroom will be something to behold.
Both apps were pretty rubbish but the girls app was downloaded two and a half times more. The taste for loud annoying apps worldwide pulled the women’s team out of the mire of their actual team performance. It was sheer luck and the idea of a quieter team member Felicity that Aunty Edna given her overbearing and patronising approach) was not herself sitting in the boardroom. Instead she got but a kiss from Michelle Roux. The boys were consigned to sit in the greasy spoon because their app misfired and bromangemenmt approach stopped people from speaking up with the exception of Gary. The Slangatang app though probably insulting half the UK population probably worked for those who need to subcontract their sense of humour to a mobile device. That’s why Nick was so app(alled). The real reason its downloads were fewer was because it had no global appeal. Despite a red herring about Irish Jim’s wordy blurb it was the peculiarly British nature of the app which caused the failure There was a lot wrong in both teams but when Alex got fired it was because once again he was in the background. Leon escaped the noose but only just. . Can the women make it three in a row? Favourites to win? . I am taking a punt on Jim as he has been through the mill he seems quite smart and decent. Tom is a decent outside best, certainly the smartest. Though I haven’t seen enough of the women to make a real judgement. Definitely not Edna or Melody. I’ll go for Ellie who seems decent, grounded and focused.
Given last week's performance, do we accept that business psychology is a branch of HR?
Not much eevidence to support the idea!
Loved the fact that Jim talked his way out of the boardroom.
Maybe Leon escaped because he was prepared to admit his mistake there. A very rare commodity, and one where the Coalition is trying to introduce some reality and human personality into the nation's leadership.
And Alex being fired? Every organisation needs contributions from all, otherwise why are they there?
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