Graduate Development Programmes

Graduates and Apprentices, the lifeblood of high performing organisations, and teams of people with whom Quest is always delighted to work. 

Dragons Den ~ It’s Not Just On The Telly: For anyone who has watched the TV Show Dragons Den, one of many impressions that is given is that the aspiring entrepreneurs are put under considerable pressure, both from the Dragons and the fact that they are appearing in front of TV cameras. In development programmes we regularly recreate the typical pressure and stresses of the workplace, and that is especially true when working with people new to the world of work. A great way to do that, is through a Dragons Den team building event. As you’ll see it’s a challenging programme designed to test a wide range of skills, but like everything we do at Quest, its fun too, which makes it memorable which in turn means the learning effectively translates back to the workplace.

Engineering Graduates: Quest has been delighted to work with one of the world’s biggest engineering organisations for the past four years, providing a broad selection of team building and team development at all levels. Graduate development programmes last for three years, and part way through that period the graduate team, usually split into two teams of four or five, take part in a day-long Dragon’s Den team building day. 

The Preparation: The Dragons Den session is scheduled into the three year programme so that the graduates have already completed a day’s presentation skills, and attended a financial planning & management workshop. Dragons Den is a very full one day session, so consequently the initial briefing is set for an early start. At the briefing the graduates are provided with an intentionally highly detailed briefing both written and verbal. They are given a full set of trading documents, including the most up to date accounts for a real established company, one that has been trading for two decades. Their objective is to devise and then prepare a pitch to launch a brand new product for that company, all within tight criteria.

The Learning: A Dragons Den team building programme provides experiential learning on a wide range of skills, however, the three key learning areas are Effective Problem Solving; Influencing Skills; and Negotiation Skills. The Quest facilitators are available during all of the five hour preparation period to answer questions, and provide advice. During that time they will be specifically observing how the teams assess the initial task, break it down into manageable portions, assign roles, communicate with one another and manage their time. All key for effective problem solving.

The Pitch: The teams must have finished their preparation, and should have walked through at least one rehearsal by 3pm. Then it’s time to face the Dragons for a sales pitch made famous on the telly. The Dragons team is made up of senior managers from the client, plus some members of the Quest Director team. Suitably “suited and booted” they will be sat with their cash piles in front of a Dragons Den back-drop and will behave, perform and question just like their counterparts from TV.  The teams need to decide and be able to explain and justify how many of their team actually deliver their pitch, and at the end of the pitch they need to be ready for some very probing questions and to enter into and be successful with some intense and detailed negotiation if they wish to be successful. The team that most successfully negotiates the largest cash injection for the smallest share of equity wins, but in terms of effective learning and a most useful addition the their development programme all of the teams are winners.

Programming by Switch Systems

Team Building, Development and Business Training Events across the UK and Europe