DOES THE SUGAR SCHOOL OF BUSINESS NEED AN OVERHAUL?

DOES THE SUGAR SCHOOL OF BUSINESS NEED AN OVERHAUL?

I am so tired of listening to the Alan Sugar school of entrepreneurship tripe on The Apprentice. I know I can switch it off, but it is car crash TV at its best, and a tad addictive – however…….

Once again, predictably the first candidate to be fired was Dan, an internet entrepreneur and again predictably this was because according to Lord Sugar he could not sell. Now let’s be clear, Sugar’s definition of selling is the ability to leave your dignity at home, whilst you attempt to flog a less than quality product on street corners to an unsuspecting and disinterested public with a camera in ya face, in the company of another 4 or 5 egocentric, competitive , fame hungry go getters!

Ermmmm.

I am not so sure some of our leading global entrepreneurs would survive that test – Gates, Mittal, Buffet, Branson and Zuckerberg clearly did not get the memo, nor did the guys running Google or Amazon, and interestingly they are all more successful and way more wealthy than Sugar?

Now, I do not have a problem if Sugar made it clear that this is his show, and therefore these are his rules and his views only on what it takes to be in business – but to suggest these are universal asks for all entrepreneurs is just irresponsible, as Sugar’s formula is outdated and pretty limited. For one, it takes little account of the new wave of internet millionaires who can literally see the dollars arrive in their bank account without ever having to engage in a single face to face sales experience to seal the deal.

Moreover, Sugar’s assertion that business is about pedalling your products on street corners could actually be disempowering thousands of young people who have a twinkle of an idea and are keen to consider enterprise but are introverts, or more process driven in their concepts or inventions.

Time to change the format I feel and develop more relevant tasks if you want to be taken seriously. But maybe I am taking it too seriously eh? After all, it’s just a game show, I know. But it’s big, and it is one of the few shows on TV with enterprise at its heart – I fear it could be disempowering more people than it inspires.

4 comments:

  1. Steven Bonthrone

    I think the series and format is still relevant. i agree that business has moved on a lot since sir alan started out but you still need to be able to sell whether it’s face to face or online. i’ve only seen the first episode of the new series but i would say that everyone in the process wins as either they get closer to the prize they desire or they learn all they need from their mistakes and go on with a greater determination to be a success without the help of sir alan. if anything, it quickly sorts out those who are all about their ego and less about their skills!

    Reply
    1. Jane Kenyon

      thanks for comments Steven. Lord Sugar does have a way of dividing opinion – all good and he is the master of ego so one would hope he could identify this in others!

      Reply
  2. Lesley Long

    Hi Jane

    I am with you… cannot bear the formula and feel that the dog eat dog message it is sending out to entrepreneurs young, old, male and especially female about how to be successful in business is unpleasant and out of date. As an advocate of successful business who ‘ do purpose’ with clear core values… and owe their success to growing their staff by harnessing their passion, creativity and ability to collaborate instead of compete … Sugar’s approach is the last bellowing call of a dying breed. I always find something better to watch on ANOTHER CHANNEL .

    Reply
    1. Jane Kenyon

      well said Lesley and maybe I should save my energy and turn over!

      Reply

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