Standard Life Group – Marketing Operations

Staff Away Day

The Staff Away Day took place after a period of instability, uncertainty, change, transition and consolidation. This bespoke piece of work came around through a period of in-depth client consultation led by Lead Facilitator Mike Tierney to establish a common understanding with the project sponsor of expectations and clearly defined outcomes. Through an iterative and highly responsive approach we were able to align their business issues with an stimulating and participative programme of sessions and activities.

Event detail


The event was positioned to

  • acknowledge the efforts of staff over the period of change
  • help the teams within the group function to understand each other better and gain a firmer steer on business direction.

Participants were required to do some pre-event prep and due to the potentially sensitive nature of aspects of the day, we managed participant expectations in advance through clear pre-event communication. This was further reinforced on the day by agreeing up-front the ground rules for participation.


The day comprised a ‘line in the sand’ internal business address, complimented by the following development tools and customised workshop sessions:

  • “Opening the Windows” – using the Johari Window tool to share knowledge to mutual benefit across teams as they recognise overlaps and potential opportunities.
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” – getting teams to focus on what has been achieved during the recent past and take pride in this.

In addition, experiential activities such as Team Top Trumps, “Business Balls” (a specific activity to introduce the concept of overloading and prioritising work) and our Kinetic Connections whole group simulation were incorporated to reinforce one of the client’s requirements of “having fun with purpose”.


The value to the business of well targeted and designed team development interventions was well demonstrated and the success of the day was very much echoed by the feedback kindly provided by the client:

  • Listening to your ideas and understanding your brief – delighted
  • Meeting your deadlines – delighted
  • Communication prior to your event – delighted
  • Style and quality of presentation – delighted
  • Relevance of session content to your business – delighted
  • Effectiveness at summarising outcomes and prioritising – delighted

What they said

Mike was fantastic at every stage

…I had very high expectations and the team delivered them

This intervention underlines the benefits that can be gained through a business relevant approach to team building after a period of instability and change. A real and positive difference can be made by creating a safe, non-threatening learning environment that provides a shared development experience with a clarity and focus on future business direction.