So they are thrown into the Colosseum and it’s first blood to the girls – and deservedly so.  First rule of business is a great idea in itself is not enough; great execution is where it’s at and in order to do that, Edward (my dear neanderthal), you need a plan.

The exercise this week was to invest £250 in buying fresh produce, productise it and sell it, simple.  In its purest sense this is exactly what you do in a business, therefore it surely gives us a great chance to look at what makes someone successful?  The trouble with the challenge is that what it gave us was a good idea whether the Project Manager has potential; in the first show, it merely introduced the side show – the other contestants.

Quick mention to the supporting cast before we get into the two PMs and see if there was any clue as to why they would fail or succeed.

Immediate hits were Jim and Tom.  Jim, behaviourally, clearly has great Thinking behaviours and his communication behaviours were first class.  We will wait to see if it’s borne out, but his emotional intelligence – in terms of his own emotion regulation – meant his communication was always assured and reflective of the individuals he was dealing with. The deal he struck with the vegetable stall holder, the way he communicated his frustration with Edward in the boardroom make him one to watch (or was it vegatable? The recruitment consultant further reinforced why typos frequently occur on retyped CVs; bright girl Ellie). 

Tom, emotionally intelligent, polite, inquisitive and just about the only possessor of anything resembling humility was a huge hit in the Philby household.  The challenge will be making his voice heard in a room full of Silver Back Gorillas – will Tom possess the "ego" to ensure his talents shine through?

OK so Edna – she’s in HR you know – I almost fell off the sofa laughing, possibly the worst contestant this week.  Next to Edward she demonstrated those great HR traits of neuroticism, command and control, accountability with no responsibility and my favourite…"but you have to come through me, that’s the policy"…love it.  Susan Ma let herself down a bit with a bit of bitching towards the end, but up until that point, she had controlled herself, contributed to the team and showed a steely determination…one to watch in the girls.

The PM’s then, what was the difference between the two?  What did good look like this week for a PM?  When the picture we have to take in to account the defining characteristics of the task and the environment, broadly for tonight’s task we see these as:


Goal Setting

Decision Making


Actually Melody played in to these 4 key areas well, she is clearly intelligent, the tight timelines did not phase her or muddle her thinking, she did not slow down.  She also prevented further ambiguity by taking the ideas, building a plan, communicating this and organising the team to execution.  I believe she greatly benefited from Susan in both some of the organisation and decision making, but nonetheless against the 4 criteria it was clear the girls – led by Melody – adapted better.  Jury is out on Melody though, sometimes the easiest thing to do is lead, let’s see how she does as part of a team.

Edward, Edward, Edward…you were never the right man for the job and here’s why.

Intellectually you were wanting; an accountant you may be, but as Lord Sugar put it, "I sometimes feel like he’s a slow internet connection".  Alan, me old mate, you hit the nail on the head.  Intellect is just like broadband, some people are 20Mb fibre optic broadband and can process huge amounts of data both up, down and sideways, their thinking does not slow. Some, like Edward, are like a 56K dial-up modem. 

What we know about Intellect is that as ambiguity and complexity increases, so does the need for it.  The speed and unfamiliarity of the task meant Edward’s very tiny Intellectual horsepower spluttered, coughed and slowed to a grinding halt. 

The truth is the format of the show absolutely rules out Edward purely on his Intellect, for Edward it’s a silver bullet.  If we were screening, we’d have measured it and stopped him coming in. 

However this would have prevented the glorious disaster that had us gripped for an hour, so maybe predicting performance upfront for The Apprentice isn’t such a great idea.  Furthermore Edward, bless him, clearly has High Emotion, his behaviour changing quickly under stress.  His, quite frankly, abusive treatment of his peers (and Lord Sugar, in one instance) was borne of him not being able to regulate his Emotions.  The choice of wrong words, or very few, was purely his Emotion riding roughshod over his intellect.

Great first episode then, Edward was a "nailed on" PM failure from the outset, fortunately he will, I am sure, be more than capable of "rolling with the punches". Just don’t ask him (or Ellie) to spell it.