The Apprentice – BT Away Day

The lovely BT Expedite team asked me to play the part of Karren Brady. Having never seen an episode of the The Apprentice I found myself watching episodes from behind a cushion. Mainly horrified at the ridiculousness of the TV participants but also with embarrassment recalling my own business degree and how many of the mistakes we made learning our craft.

The structure of the day was rather brilliant. Enham Trust charity had organised a charity fashion show in Tatcham with Phase 8. The two teams had 5 hours to sell as many tickets as they could for the event. Only actual sales counted.


My team quickly decided to hit their own office, Newham and Tatcham high street and business parks along the way. Nothing like the TV show, these guys worked as a team maintaining healthy competition formulating sensible strategies. In total both teams sold 22 tickets ensuring the evening is a sell out. Incredibly successful day and I loved being Karren Brady raising my eyebrows strategically for the camera.

Ensuring that your Companies Glamorous Away Day in Goa Sucks

Ross and Russ
Fifty – Prague 2014

One of the most exciting things about working at Fifty is meeting up with our international diaspora once a quarter. Our most recent meet-up was in Prague, the next is in Barcelona. Reykjavik is the one after. Obviously we are choosing fun, not sucky cities. Its easy, as that is where our team have chosen to live. Ok not Reykjavik, that really is picked for fun.

Functional away days can be incredible, none more so than the ones I have experienced at London 2012. We have learnt to sing, dragon boat race and walked over the Millennium Dome looking like super heroes in blue jump suits. They stick in my memory more than the Games themselves. Sadly one had Boris Johnson banging on about being the murder capital of the world, so even the best organisation can get it wrong.

Yet, Boris was not as jaw dropping or sucky as the off-site that I attended in Goa.

Here is a summary of what I learnt on how to royally screw up.

Subdiffusion: “Tell nobody what is happening”

No one was formally told about this away day. Unless you count office gossip. The one formal email explaining the travel arrangements was sent the night before by the office manager. None of the leadership team explained the plan or issued an agenda. This was a great way to create a sucky start to the experience and let rumours fly. It was only when I saw people from the office at Nizamudean train station did I actually think I might make it to Goa.

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