SIG — The Picture of Health: Literally (Dispatch 2)

I think that the SIG team is trying to kill me by breaking me of my less than healthy habits. I arrived at the event on Tuesday to learn about, gasp, 6:00 AM yoga classes on both Wednesday and Thursday morning (a time zone ahead, and after daylight savings time)! I could not get myself out of bed on the first day -- had to make do with a 6:30 run -- but I did make it this morning, and let me tell you, I almost found inner Spend Management enlightenment. But what killed the yogi buzz for me was not some dry content during a session. No, nothing like that. What killed it was the memory of yesterday's breakfast -- egg whites and fruit! Let me tell you, this SIG bunch leaves my mind stimulated and my stomach grumbling. I'm surprised they even offered us coffee.

I have to admit: the SIG team also oozes health. Let me get a bit superficial here for a second. Even though the SIG organization has multiplied by at least a factor of three since I last came to an event, there's got to be something about the interview process that yields such homogeneity. They all are thin runners and yoga types (and they're all women). In other words, the opposite of my first exposure to what purchasing was some fifteen years ago (when I was 30 pounds heavier and looked the supply chain part at the time -- sorry guys). Chauvinistically speaking, I honestly believe if we exposed today's generation of top college grads in finance and economics to the SIG team -- at least the guys and perhaps, in the spirit of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, some of the ladies from Bryn Mawr College -- they might be taken to consider procurement rather than finance or consulting. (That is, if they're as superficial as me).

In all seriousness, it's been a solid couple of days here, and to my delight, SIG decided to put some real bacon on the breakfast table this morning (versus that turkey stuff yesterday). And in terms of nourishment for the Rolodex, there's been nothing but good news from SIG. Even though I'm not one to prioritize networking anymore, it's been a solid few days of meeting some fascinating folks, including Steve Forbes (who I had the chance to chat briefly with about new media publishing models like Spend Matters). But perhaps most important, I've got a ton of material to work with and share with Spend Matters readers (far more valuable than this diatribe, which is bound to put me in the doghouse with my wife). Stay tuned!

- Jason Busch

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