By Caroline McDermott, Senior Associate Consultant, Advisory Services, Taproot Foundation
GlaxoSmithKline’s Emerging Talent Program sought an experiential learning opportunity for the future leaders of the pharmaceutical company, and saw a perfect fit in the ScopeAthon. The ScopeAthon matches business professionals with nonprofit leaders in an intensive, three-hour diagnostic session to articulate one organizational challenge facing the nonprofit, brainstorm solutions, and develop a scope of work for a project that addresses that need.
GlaxoSmithKline’s Emerging Talent Program engages a selective group of high-performing employees in a competitive multi-year professional development program. The ScopeAthon aligns perfectly with the development areas this group had prioritized, including leading strategic conversations, framing an agenda, navigating ambiguity, and communicating effectively.
One volunteer noted, “It was amazing that there were so many similarities between such a small nonprofit of 15 staff members and a big company like GlaxoSmithKline. Change is challenging to navigate and absorb for all of us, no matter the size of your organization.”
Reflecting on the ScopeAthon, one Emerging Talent Program participant remarked, “I’ve volunteered in many capacities with nonprofits, but this was the single most valuable thing I’ve done in a long time. It was great to have a face to face with someone on the front lines. It re-dedicates me to my work.”