Episode Six- Underground, overground Wombling free

Episode Six of the 2011 Apprentice and it was all just a load of rubbish wasn’t it? Yes literally it was a task on how to make money from rubbish. For me the task brought the Wombles of Wimbledon to mind. Firstly as my son and I are reading the Wombles just now and bedtime reading had just finished an hour and a half before the Apprentice started. But also the Wombles were also in the rubbish industry or are as I have since a child liked to think that there are still Wombles on Wimbledon Common. And as the great Tobermory regularly says “If I live to be 300 I will never understand humans.” Well if I live to be 100 I’m not sure I understand the Apprentice Candidates and how they tackle tasks. So in this blog I am going to look at the task not from how the Apprentice teams of Venture and Logic got on. But on how the Wombles tackle the business of rubbish. For two reasons one I just love the Wombles and two as Karen Brady said last night this task was about logistics. Neither team on the Apprentice got that right and with £6 in it there was really not much to choose between them. So how do the Wombles go about the task of living from rubbish? Well firstly they work as a team. That does not mean though that they all collect rubbish on Wimbeldon Common. No they have a team to collect the rubbish, a team to put the rubbish away and separate the stuff that can be used from the rubbish that can’t, there is a small team led by Tobermory who recycles all the rubbish into new and better things and finally there is the great Madame Cholet who doesn’t let any food go to waste and cooks and freezes stores as well as serving food to the Wombles on a daily basis from her kitchen deep in the burrow. And at the heart of this team is Great Uncle Bulgaria with his tartan scarf. He may looks like all he does is sit and read the Times but in fact he is the strategic brain behind the whole operation, leading and taking the Wombles forward as a team and liasing with Wombles across the world. Not sure that this level of teamship or allocation of tasks or strategic thought was done by the Apprentice teams. The Wombles are also very aware that what they do offers their customers a service. They serve the world by clearing up rubbish. They know that if they didn’t Wimbledon Common would be a mess they are offering this service not just to the humans who they have scant respect for but also the wildlife and animals in the common. In this the Wombles take great pride in what they do. They see it as an essential world-changing service that benefits us all and take pride in it. Did the Apprentice teams? Not sure there seemed to be some ambiguity whither they were trying to buy to sell on or offering a service to the customers they were clearing from. And as for pride in what they were doing. Not sure there was a lot of that. Finally the Wombles know what they are looking for and are quite clear in their criteria. So yes they offer a service but that service allows them to live comfortably and be well fed in their burrow with lots of things that we have here but recycled and improved. So they know food is a valuable commodity. Just as they know that electrical goods, clothes, equipment, papers, books and many other things can be recycled and used again. Tobermory has even managed from recycled material to build a car WOM1. The Wombles are clear on the value of rubbish and what rubbish is most valuable to them. Were the Apprentice teams? No I don’t think they were. Metal was the only product they seemed to be going for and there was no real analysis at the beginning of what products would be valuable to win. So as Karen Brady said this task was about logistics and the Wombles are good at that. They organise themselves into teams with a leader at the heart of the operation, they know they offer a service and they value and take a pride in the service they give and they know what rubbish is far from being rubbish but is in fact valuable to Womble living. I am not sure that we could say that either team got these aspects right and with £6 in it I was not convinced that either team was a winner. However I did admire and respect Zoe for admitting that she had made mistakes on the task in the boardroom even before she knew the result. That takes guts, maturity and I feel someone who wants to improve and learn. Uncle Bulgaria would have been proud of her! But Lord Sugar maybe the Wombles of Wimbledon would be better business partners.


About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. www.brightlightmarketing.co.uk. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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One Response to Episode Six- Underground, overground Wombling free

  1. Pingback: 3 Marketing Tips for January | Fionadranesblog's Blog

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