For they were jolly good fellows

25 January 2011
Lindsay Clark, international news editor, Supply ManagementIt was my pleasure to attend my first CIPS Fellows’ Event last week. As well as indulging in good food and wine at the Crowne Plaza London, I was interested to find out how the procurement animal behaves in its natural habitat. Although I have interviewed plenty of buyers and senior purchasers for ‘on record’ news stories, it is always revealing to socialise when my notebook is put away and their guards are slightly lowered. What made an impression was the immense commitment to the role. Fellows often talked of working 10 or even 14-hour days. Another characteristic was the passion – they really describe the profession’s ability to help their business with great energy and vision. Fellows are social creatures. Clearly familiar with each other’s territory, they are all buzzing with news of who’s moved where and what’s gone on. It was an eye-opener how much news they knew about the industry, and how much they wanted to find out. Job-hunting is a constant activity. I bumped into a number of interim managers who were actively seeking out new opportunities, and a few more casually listening out for the sound of an upcoming challenge. Migratory behaviour is commonplace. Many had worked abroad while one new fellow had even flown in from the Far East to dine with her flock. My lasting and overriding impression is one of friendliness. I was struck with how welcoming all the fellows were to this alien journalist species. And for that I am grateful. Thanks to Sara at CIPS for inviting me along to an enjoyable evening and organising the event.
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