The Apprentice 2: Creativity catfights and commercial suicide.

Episode two was a brilliant lesson in the balance between confidence and competence. First of all a project manager in charge of a creative project who shut down the creative process and who had no system for getting the ideas flowing. The team was not allowed to truly innovate as in brainstorm, re-purpose or do any of the stuff that gets creative electricity going.

No one would have adopted the Bookeze if they had actually read a book on a beach. It was a flimsy, tubular Wembley arch with a silly pouch. It was adopted because Laura the project manager failed either to manage or project . She exercised the kind of ineffective bossiness you would expect from  a bad supply teacher in St Trinians. Such was their behaviour that Karen Brady, female business role model suggested that they had set women back.

Take Joanne. To call Joanne assertive is was to say that Napoleon had some self esteem. She interrupted, provoked cut across and generally bulldozed her way through any conversation which did not end in: Joanne you are brilliant! She did suggest the Bookeeze which was actually made by professional product designer and though she took more credit than a shopaholic in Westfield, she at least had an idea.

In the men’s team Stella was re-assuringly assertive in tehs ense that she could guide and cajole without bossiness.   Though I quibble with anyone who says things like "I won’t accept any arguments", she did kick the men into shape and did so with a lot of emotional smarts. Consider the woeful presentation on their giant towel cooler from wooden Chris. It  looked like it had as much chance of succeeding as Robert Mugabe’s campaign for the Nobel peace Prize. Stella gave him the feedback and  to realise that presenting  was not his  strong suit petulant Chris was admant as the incpable often are on the programme. In fact the men spent their time trying to get their team leader to wear a swimsuit like they were the editorial board of Nuts magazine. I officially record my disgust at quality of the men Karen. But the men’s team triumphed not just  because socially skilled, capable and assertive Stella guided them tactfully to a result.

The men’s team won  because a gift horse was shot in the mouth. After failing to raise a flicker of interest from other retailers, the team went to Boots. Boot’s basically said "Ok we think the product name is good but we think the product is flimsy and crap. We will re-design it as long as you give us excusive selling rights". Ok they could have bought just 10 and put them on sale in their St Kilda branch but it would have stopped team Apollo having zero orders. Joy was insipid and insignificant she operated so much below the radar she must have scraped her chin. If a goose said boo she would probably say sorry goose but..!  But her firing was a travesty. Laura should have gone for smothering creativity, falling to control a catfight and committing commercial suicide.Great TV though and Stella is my bet.

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