A Mars a Day, and an evening with the Alumni

This evening I'm attending - for the first time in at least 5 years - the Mars Alumni dinner.

I've mentioned aspects of Mars such as their belief in Mutuality and the impact that has on procurement strategies; but they also taught me about the power of procurement related research, the need for market competition, the importance of breaking monopolies and cartels, and many other valuable life and procurement lessons. And great bosses like David Turtle and Mike Allaway were huge influences on me.

So the dinner is enjoyable, but it can be a bit intimidating as so many Martians have gone on to great things - CEO of Sainsbury's, Boots, Argos, Allan Leighton, etc. While everyone is very overtly nice, there is inevitably a bit of comparing the size of your... cvs, as it were!

It can also be fascinating and quite emotional - as when I discovered last time that a lady I had last seen 15 years earlier, when she was a very competent young clerical assistant in the Mars office, having joined Mars straight from school, was now the MD of a substantial division of one of the best known firms in the world! Some achievement and really well deserved.

Anyway, the good news this year is that when I get the inevitable question - "what are you up to now, Peter", rather than muttering something about procurement consultancy, I'll be able to say,

"Oh, I'm a new media, on-line, international publishing entrepreneur!"

And as long as they don't ask too many follow up questions, I think I'll get away with it!

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