No Image Available

SAS style attack was part of team-building exercise


Former SAS soldiers faked the kidnap of a senior partner in an accountancy firm while shocked colleagues watched in horror, reports today’s Daily Mirror.

The ‘kidnapping’ at the Celtic Manor Hotel at Newport, South Wales, was all part of a team-building exercise organised by Pilgrim Resources from the SAS’s home city of Hereford.

Company executives of the accountancy firm thought that they were attending a black-tie dinner when six men burst through false windows into the hotel conference suite, firing sub-machine guns (loaded with blanks) over the diners heads.

The 250 guests were plunged into darkness whilst around them gunfire and flares exploded.

Four of the six-man team continued to fire over the heads of the diners whilst the other two ‘snatched’ the firm’s senior partner.

Two of the diners had previously been identified as having medical conditions which might be upset by the exercise and they were pulled out of the room prior to the staged event on the pretext of having phone calls to take.

After the kidnap, the exercise continued with a mission to rescue the partner and defuse a nuclear bomb.

8 Responses

  1. Learning need not be so extreme
    Well…looks like some milage for the firm. Doesnt the law of the land say anything for creating a public scare.

    What if any of the 250 odd guests had any “medical conditions”. That could be dangerous.

    And I personally feel that creating such extreme situation are not required to drive home any learning. On the contrary, it could lead to resistance among the participants. Learning, I feel, can also be imparted without being dramatic.



  2. Publishing Training Centre
    Sounds more like a publicity stunt (and it has certainly worked in that way) than a genuine team-building or training exercise.

    Certainly an interesting experiment…trying to test and validate “don’t-know-what-managerial- attributes”. Next time they should stagemanage a situation where angry customers storm such blacktie dinner fiesta. Maybe, a group of laidoff workers could test the mettle of corporate bigwigs. Maybe, hungry citizens of the third world gatecrash and ask for food and shelter.But maybe, these are not “live” issues for corporate satraps of west.

  4. Probably illegal??!! If not, certainly should be, and I mean tha
    Despite being a supposedly fun exercise this sounds to me as though it is running close to, if not contrary to the law and extermely dangerous.

    If the exercise was’nt illegal my belief is that it certainly should be. I certainly shall avoid getting involved in any training which uses these style techniques.

  5. Dangerous behaviour…
    C Campbell’s comments highlight an interesting possibility – 250 guests – DINING – therefore knives on the table (or did they wait till the coffee) – someone wanting to be a hero (or just someone getting into a total rage – which can happen under extreme stress) – it could have been very dangerous indeed!

  6. Huge potential to backfire!
    Wow – I think it’s great to take people out of their comfort zone and all that, but what if someone had an unrecognized health condition? What if someone felt the urge to be a hero? I think the value is far outweighed by the risk of real damage being done.

  7. Seems a bit over the top to me!!
    This exercise seems a bit over the top for my liking. Apart from the potential for trauma, it seems very male orientated, boys playing with guns and pretending to be soldiers. I have had the unfortunate occurance to have seen a similar attempt to ‘shock’ a team. As for team building,it had the adverse effect as the team I was part of became very divided over the incident. It left a number of people in the team I was in very upset for days afterwards. The first rule of team work ‘Dont play with peoples emotions!’Someone will get hurt.

  8. Great fun but BL**DY stupid.
    The exercise was obviously great fun, and I know I’d have loved it – If I had been one of the kidnappers….

    For the guests – if they truly had no idea of what was going to happen it must surely have been traumatic and could easily have been dangerous. Not everyone who has a potential heart condition (let alone a stroke – which can be induced by stress) will KNOW!!!

No Image Available

Get the latest from HRZone.

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.