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10 March 2020

Back2Businessship 2020: Day 1 – DIARY OF A RETURNER

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Nerves, Optimism and a Healthy Dose of Self-Reflection

When a carefully vetted group of 40 highly-experienced and talented marketeers meet to start their journey back into business after years out, it’s not surprising that there are a few nerves, and a fair amount of optimism about what lies ahead.  The Back2Businessship course is now in its sixth year, and its historical success is increasingly well known in marketing circles, so we’re all raring to get started and see what the next two weeks bring.   

First up, our host Simon Whitehead, CEO H&K Strategies, stepped up for some inspiring and insightful words about the opportunities that await us as the older generation of marketeers. Whitehead believes that there are opportunities here, for those with the determination to run our own lives as we want.  Plan, specialise, prepare, and get our brains in gear, because there is a clear need for people with real life experience and the depth that that brings with it.  Perhaps most revealing were Whitehead’s comments that the situation with Corvid-19 is driving the need for flexible working more than ever before, creating an almost irreversible change to the way companies will have to work with their employees now and in the future.  Perfect for us Back2Business-ers. 

The majority of the rest of the day was spent in self-reflection… but with no meditation in sight.  Course co-founder and talent director, Liz Nottingham, took everyone through the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator, (MBTI) with some polarising and occasionally surprising results around the room.  It was an intense but invaluable three-and-a-half-hour session.  Liz did an amazing job controlling a large group of highly vocal professionals with no shortage of opinions, and short bursts of disappearances as we ducked out for our professional head-and-shoulders photo-shots upstairs.  Even for those who had already undertaken MBTI before, the opportunity to reflect both on our own natural and most comfortable behaviour preferences was incredibly useful, and something that I’m sure all the attendees will be using in the weeks and months to come. 

And that wrapped up the main part of day one.  A tiring, but rewarding day, and an excellent foundation for the days to come.  Let’s see what’s next…