Scottish Widows Investment Partnership

After a period of restructuring, the new Sales & Marketing senior management team held an away day. They approached Maximillion to create a facilitated team development activity to meet specific business objectives while still being fun and encouraging participants to interact, playing to each other’s strengths. Maximillion designed a half day intervention in the style of TV’s “Dragon’s Den which met the brief perfectly.

Event Detail

  • Date: 2nd May 2011
  • Venue: Archerfield, East Lothian
  • Format: Themed team development activity, combined with facilitation to ground key learning points
  • Guests: 8


  • Give the new senior team the opportunity to get to know one another better
  • Encourage participants to be more creative in their thinking
  • Challenge teams on the commerciality and soundness of their business planning


Teams were tasked with designing a new product, choosing from:

  • Children’s toy
  • Item of clothing
  • Food product
  • Pet accessory
  • Electronic accessory
  • DIY product

What they did

Participants were encouraged to be as creative in their thinking as possible, while also focusing on key considerations such as:

  • Design
  • Manufacture
  • Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Pricing

The teams were provided with a raft of resources and materials to enable their research activity into the potential market for their product. Teams had to build key elements of their research into their final pitches, to ensure a level of face validity and rigour to the process.

The Dragons, selected for the success and credibility they have achieved in their own business areas, observed and interacted with teams during the planning stages to help facilitate the process.

A total of £250,000 of funding was made available to the winning team, which was decided after the teams had made their pitches and were tested on the soundness of their business plans during rigorous face to face questioning sessions with the Dragons.

Following the event, the Dragons compiled a document with their observations and feedback which is being used for the ongoing development of the team.

Event Feedback

The design of the exercise, splitting the group into teams, encouraged competitive and commercial thinking. The Dragons were very credible and helped develop the teams’ plans. Overall this was a fun session with real learning built in.

HR Business Partner