YES SCOTLAND bosses have tried to motivate their staff by using the popular children’s toy Play-doh.
Organisation bosses hired in a special consultant to try boost campaigner motivation levels in the run up to next year’s referendum.
Claire Howell, who has also been Alex Salmond’s personal performance adviser, was behind the playful plan but not all participants were convinced.
One senior source dismissed the session as “cod-Harvard” rubbish and questions have now been raised about the pro-independence group’s spending.
Yes Scotland, led by former BBC head of news and current affairs Blair Jenkins, has strongly denied any financial problems.
Speculation into the groups pressured funds was fuelled by the recent departure of two senior members of its team: director of communications Susan Stewart and operations chief, Jacqui Caldwell.
And now sources close to the Yes Scotland campaign have queried the groups decision to hire Howell, who, one insider said, “does not come cheap”.
During the meeting, Howell reportedly gave all those involved Play-Doh and string before telling them to make something that symbolised what they were trying to achieve.
One SNP MSP said he was “not a fan” of Howell’s techniques, while another said he thought some of her ideas could be seen as “gobbledegook”.
A source close to the campgain said the presentation was “cod Harvard rubbish”, adding that hiring too many consultants like Howell had not been a good use of the budget.
Howell stopped working for Yes Scotland about three months ago.
“cod Harvard rubbish”
She is the chief executive of the Really Effective Development Co, which offers courses in “personal and organisational development”.
A spokesperson for Better Together said: “If you want to know just how messed up things have become in Alex Salmond’s independence campaign, just picture Blair Jenkins and his directors sitting about a room while a highly-paid guru gets them to image their future using only a child’s toy.”
A spokesman for Yes Scotland said the Play-Doh exercise had been a 10-minute “ice-breaker” at the beginning of a meeting.
He added: “We know the No Campaign is hardly a barrel of laughs, but Yes is a campaign built on optimism, aspiration and opportunity.
“An occasional modicum of lightness amid the serious business of winning independence is no bad thing.
Howell did not respond to a request for comment.
This is not the first time the Yes Campaign has come under the negative spotlight recently.
One of their regional offices in Kirriemuir near Forfar was patriotically painted blue before council officials advised staff that it was in fact a listed building they had changed.