The new series of Undercover Boss began yesterday on Channel 4. The programme sees high-flying executives going undercover in their
own businesses to ensure their companies are fighting fit. As well as being entertaining, the programme demonstrates how important it is for company owners to keep in touch with the day-to-day reality of their business through the eyes of staff and customers if they are to make the best decisions about its management.
Of course, it is not just business owners who can benefit from this kind of insight. Anybody who is in charge of policy making or who represents a group of people does well to try and understand what life is really like for those that they serve. So the new Business Buddy scheme, which sees MPs embark on a special work experience placement where they can learn about the realities of running a small business, is rightly receiving praise. Real Business, for example, describe it as a ‘great scheme’.
So far 100 MPs have signed up for the scheme but Business Minister, Mark Prisk, is urging more MPs to sign-up.
Mr Prisk said: “My contact with small businesses tells me that you will not only benefit from gaining a real understanding of the challenges business owners face and overcome each and every day, but that you will find the experience to be hugely enjoyable.”
We certainly think it sounds enjoyable. Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin is lucky enough to be going to work in a pie shop. Makes us hungry just thinking about it!