MB Group's Annual Conference 2022

BY Nicole Sopkovich   |  

MB Group recently held their annual conference on Friday the 14th of October at Mottram Hall, Macclesfield. With the core focus on ‘Wellbeing and Leadership’ the event was split into two parts, the first part of the session consisted of 10 team-building activities, followed by the second session that consisted of a keynote speaker, Paul ‘Vic’ Vicary - Soldier, Adventurer, and Speaker.


Matt Burton, Founder and CEO of MB Group, started the day by welcoming the team with a speech that highlighted the topics of wellbeing and leadership. Wellbeing isn’t a new concept, but something Matt has always been passionate about within his business. It’s evident that the past few years have been difficult for the world as we have had to react to unknowns, pivot frequently and demonstrate real resilience. Matt stated, “Health and Wellbeing is the DNA of our group because people are our greatest asset.” Prioritising health and wellbeing are what makes businesses truly successful, as people are at the heart of companies. Secondly, Matt spoke about the importance of leadership, stating, “regardless of how brilliant your strategy, execution, and risk management ideas are on paper, without leadership to integrate and animate them, they will ultimately fail.” Leadership is so important because it encourages and motivates people to accomplish things.


Following Matt’s speech, the team-building activities began! Led by James WilsonArmed Forces Veteran and members of the British Army, MB group was separated into smaller teams to complete 10 varied activities. The aim was to complete each task in the best time possible, just to create some healthy competition. For each activity, the servicemen explained a scenario (imagination optional) and what was required from the team. For one task, the perimeter was squared off with different items inside that needed to be retrieved. The catch was that this space was a highly toxic area that the team could not enter, therefore everyone was required to utilise the tools at hand, which included a rope and a hook to retrieve the items within ten minutes. A very different task included every person in the team standing around a hula-hoop holding it up by resting it on two fingers, then lower it to the ground without tilting or dropping it within two minutes. Each activity was vastly different, but exemplified the same important notion of ‘stop doing, start thinking.’ Whether you have ten minutes or two minutes and regardless of the difficulty or simplicity of the task, if the team did not first think and communicate effectively, it was impossible to complete anything. Overall, these tasks demonstrated the importance of teamwork and leadership to complete group tasks.


Paul ‘Vic’ VicaryThe second part of the conference was a compelling speech from Paul ‘Vic’ Vicary. Paul is known for his 35 years in the military, his time in the SAS unit, the extreme adventures he’s completed including the North and South Pole expeditions, and his current work as a mental fitness coach and speaker, all of which is detailed in his book 'Plan D' The first part of the speech was about his journey that focused on the importance of planning. The key takeaway from this session was that things don’t always go as planned; however, it is important to stop and think before continuing the journey to ensure you have a clear alternative plan in place to achieve your goals regardless of the adversity. Paul also explained the importance of teamwork during his time in the military. It’s vital to have a plan that all members of the team understand and are willing to work together towards in order to succeed. As we’re a recruitment-based business Paul related this to the planning and teamwork within our workplace.


North PoleThe second part of the speech, Paul walked us through real-life scenarios from hazards on the battlefield to being at the mercy of extreme environments, and how resilience and planning is so imperative. Additionally, Paul included interesting and interactive activities to help us navigate our own 'real world.’ The key take away from this was how important resilience is and continuing to goal set despite any hurdles that may arise. Paul’s expeditions to the North and South Poles are a great example of things not necessarily going to plan, but despite the difficulties that arose during both the planning stage as well as the actual excursion, he continued to create alternative plans to ensure he was successful. His team, planning, and resilience allowed him to achieve great things, and now he has quite the story to tell. This resonated with MB Group as resilience is key in recruitment because people are our product and they are unpredictable, so being resilient and continuing to plan is vital. Paul then spent time getting the team thinking by allowing everyone to participate in short interactive activities to get an understanding of what was important to everyone individually, as part of the wellbeing agenda, this allowed our team to connect in a new way by understanding their ‘head, hand and heart’.


Through this experience, we have worked together as a team and learned best ways on how to work to deadlines, manage any anxieties, and ultimately came out the other side with new approaches to handle anything within the workplace. Although immensely different career paths, whether you’re in the military or in recruitment or any other industry for that matter, the same key points are central. The idea of strong leadership, teamwork, and wellbeing are vital for any business to be successful.


Due to the way the world has changed, Matt wanted to take real suggestions from the team to create an agenda that actually benefits the people that makeup MB Group. Therefore, following this event, the leadership teams within MB Group sent a survey to get the key take aways from the event and request any suggestions for new initiatives to implement in and out of the office that would benefit the team’s overall wellbeing. This event allowed all of us to go back to the office feeling confident, supported and structured with new ideas to approach leadership and wellbeing.



For more information on Paul ‘Vic’ Vicary, visit his website https://www.paulvicary.com

To purchase 'Plan D, Things don’t always go to plan.' visit: https://www.wordsbydesign.online/shop/plan-d-a-race-against-time




Images from the workshop:

 Team Building Event

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