Celebrity Apprentice 2: Episode 2 Recap
|March 9, 2009||Posted by Roshawn Watson under Uncategorized|
Image Credit: that dude dizz
Assuming leadership of Athena appeared initally challenging for Khloe, as she had to contend with alpha females (Joan Rivers, Annie Duke, and Brande Roderick), who relentlessly continued to talk over one another. Additionally, when Annie perceived Khloe was not going to take charge, she assigned the task of writing the script to herself and Claudia, causing some friction with Joan Rivers. Ultimately, Claudia came up with a character named Mizz Z, a cute girl-next-door type who zaps good customer service into the world with lightening bolts. They pitched their idea to a focus group of comic book readers and then met with designers to develop the costume. Overall, they got their work done despite some interpersonal differences.
KOTU was really an absolute disaster this week. They appeared completely disheveled and unorganized and didn’t even have solid ideas to present during their focus group. Although Scott tried to embraced the talents of his whole team, Scott was unable to rein in his team for the task. Particularly, Scott and Tom Green butted heads on several occasions over naming the character. As project manager, Scott chose the name EEE ( Everywhere, Everything, Every time) although it was clear that the team did not support that decision. Additionally, Clint Black was rather dogmatic about getting his points across even at the expense alienating his team. KOTU finally met with the designer to develop their costume and scrambled to get their script done. Their comic character was Meghan, who represents every woman at her best. Meghan gets tired and has no time to shop and nothing to wear. Zappos transforms her into EEE.
Donald Trump and Zappos.com CEO sat through both teams’ presentations of their comics and characters, and not surprisingly the women win the task, giving Khloe $20,000 for her charity.
In many respects, tasks that lend themselves to objective assessment, such as last week’s sales task, are much more straight-forward and have less bias associated with judging the teams performances. For example, the team that sells the most wins. However, creative tasks, such as this week’s challenge, are also important because we are all judged by subjective performance measures as well.
Although there is plenty to take from this week’s episode, the lessons that stand out are time-management and brand identification.
Time-management seemed to be an issue for both teams, but Athena handled it appropriately. Time is often our most limited resource, and poor management will be a road block for success, regardless of whether you are talking about academic pursuits, business, fitness, etc. One reason KOTU did not excel in this challenge was because they really didn’t allow enough time to complete the task successfully. Instead of allowing bickering, Scott needed to redirect the energy of his group to completing the task. Although Annie is definitely not my favorite contestant, I think she was right by taking charge once she realized that her team was wasting time. Unfortunately, I often find myself in this unpopular role as well.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day. (William Shakespeare)
Branding is so imperative, and selecting a character name that has no direct connection to the company is a novice’s mistake. I once watched an interview with James Patterson, one of my favorite authors. He was asked why he was no longer exclusively writing thriller novels (he was branching out into romance and non-fiction) and whether he thought it would weaken his brand. His response was that a brand is just a promise between a company or person and the consumer that a product or service will be of a particular quality and standard. If anything, I think James Patterson strengthened his brand: last year he took in $50 million, wrote 8 books, and his romance novels were NY Times bestsellers. It is possible to strengthen a brand with diversification if it is done wisely. Nonetheless, this was not the case with KOTU. There was nothing really that special about EEE as a character, and its connection with Zappos.com was not easily apparent. Consider that intellectual property (including trademarks) is often one of many companies largest asset. It is hard to justify not incorporating Zappos into the character. It just was not very smart. Ultimately, KOTU was failed to impress while Athena’s character focused on the letter Z and encompassed the core values of Zappos.com. Since Scott Hamilton was the PM and picked the character name, he ultimately was fired.
Now KOTU is (0-2), and if their disunity continues to be problematic, a corporate restructuring will need to occur for the men to have shot. Time will tell whether Athena can keep their edge.
Copyright 2012, Roshawn Watson, Pharm.D., Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.