Dragons Den

Quest finds that there is an increasing demand for experiential team building sessions to form part of Graduate and Apprentice Development programmes. With the multitude of skills that are drawn out and given the opportunity for practice, a Quest Dragons Den session ticks all the boxes. At the end of October Quest delivered another of these sessions and this is how it went.

Business Analysis - Unlike many workshop sessions or business games, a Quest Dragons Den programme gives the delegates a real live business to run. All of the accounts, cash flow forecasts, marketing plans and website access are provided, and the delegates are given a straightforward objective: In teams of 4 or 5, they have a six hour preparation period to devise a totally new product for the company, and to prepare and rehearse a five minute presentation for delivery in front of video camera. When the camera starts to roll they must be ready to present to four senior management/director level Dragons, and persuade them to part with their money. 

Time Management - Quest finds that increasingly there is a demand for strictly time bound team building exercises, to reflect the ever increasing fast pace of business life. A Dragons Den session presents two key time- critical elements. The preparation time given to the delegates has a fixed end point, and by then the teams of budding graduate entrepreneurs must be ready in front of camera. The time allowed for the entrepreneurs to present is strictly fixed at five minutes, and if they run over the cameras simply stop. On this particular session, performance was good. Both teams were ready and there was only a very slight overrun with one team’s presentation.

Presentation Skills - As they progress through the business one thing these particular graduates know is that whatever division they move to, delivering presentations will be a key part of their role, often with the aim of selling the business’s products and services to highly important UK based and international clients. By the time Quest worked with this group in the autumn they had already received a full day of presentation skills training, and this was the ideal opportunity to start to put those skills into practice.

Negotiation Skills - Whether it’s negotiating internally over budget or HR issues, or negotiating externally to sell their business and its highly complex products and services, these graduates will be exposed to some high level negotiating from an early point in their careers. Workshop sessions provide tremendous theory and background, but a Dragons Den exposes them to reality and the need to be able to think clearly and analytically in a high pressure situation. Not only are they trying to win the investment they believe they need, but they also want to achieve that whilst parting with the lowest level of equity they can, a demanding task.

This particular Dragons Den session worked very well, and at the end of the afternoon one of the teams had managed to secure most of the investment they wanted for a relatively small equity level. Whilst the other team had unfortunately been give four “I’m Outs,” both teams had learned a great deal, and had a lot of material to discuss and reflect on in the following mornings review session.

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Programming by Switch Systems

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