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1. The Apprentice Hullaballoo

This blog was written after the end of a series of the TV show: The Apprentice, and it started me thinking about the relevance of large business experience to small business, and started a series of blogs that provide a round-up of classic business thinking but applied to small business.

So everyone has had their say on the Apprentice, and whether Sir Alan chose the right person, whether he has a bias against strong female sales personalities or puts too much weight on consistency of performance against ability to learn and develop quickly. Did small businesses learn much from the exercise? Well, it’s really entertainment but there is much to be taken from the show: the power of teams, and sometimes their dysfunctionality, what makes a good team leader, the power of action over thought and sometimes vice versa.

Everyone looks up to Sir Alan as the god of entrepreneurship – the show’s guru – along with his resident team. To me one of the really interesting aspects of the show is that Sir Alan’s businesses are large businesses yet the tasks for the would-be apprentices are small business tasks. From the literature on business you might think that small business and large ones existed in different worlds, but in fact the issues are generally not that different.

So I thought I would start looking back at the relevance of the recognised business gurus to small business. I have looked at about a dozen so far, from Frederick Winslow Taylor to Seth Godin, and including Dale Carnegie, Peter Drucker, Ted Levitt, Tom Peters, Chris Anderson, and Malcolm Gladwell but would be keen to hear from small business people and their favourite business experts.