I was eagerly looking forward to seeing 'An Audience with Lord Alan Sugar' as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week last night at the British Library and it certainly started off well, with lots of entertaining put downs and answers.
eg Audience member: 'Do you read business books and which have influenced you?'
But as we got deeper into the evening it seemed like there was a descent into anger and completely off-beam responses. At one point Chair of the evening Matthew Rock (editor of Real Business magazing and CEO of Caspian an £8million company) felt the full thrust of the Sugar temper:
'Weren't you listening? I've just answered that haven't I?'
Gems of the dinosaur-like advice included:
'There's no point going into a sector you don't know or understand'
(So you were wrong James Dyson, Innocent Smoothie guys and lastminute.com)
'Personal brand PR is a useless waste of time'
(So you were wrong Anita Roddick, Stelios and Branson)
'You can't teach enterprise skills'
(Close down all those degree courses every University in the country)
Of course, Sugar was whisked off immediately after the event so didn't stop to mingle with the crowd, if he had he would have heard the feedback I did - that everyone was left totally dis-empowered, dis-engaged, de-motivated and even dismayed by his comments.
Most entertaining as a spectacle of old-style and outdated business thinking - and it was an enjoyable evening with lots of networking and lovely wine and food , so thank you British Library for putting it on.
But if this is the government's advisor on enterprise GAWD HELP US !!!!!