Inspiration in many forms: GSK Emerging Talent, the Taproot Foundation and Common Market

When I think of individuals that inspire me, I often consider my family or people working in indigent communities in faraway places. Not long ago, I was deeply inspired in an entirely new way. It all started when I opened the door to a room in GSK’s Navy Yard facility.

There we were --- individuals chosen for a special developmental team called "Emerging Talent" --- a group of employees from various places in the US organization asked to contribute our knowledge and time to nonprofits.

Walking into our room we met the co-creators of this pro-bono opportunity, The Taproot Foundation, whose mission is to engage professionals in pro-bono service that drives social change. Taproot helped design this program in a way that develops GSK’s internal talent while making a lasting social impact.

My group of three GSK employees was tasked with understanding the data issues at Common Market, a nonprofit who works to strengthen regional farms making local food accessible to communities and institutions in all areas of Philadelphia.  In fact, Common Market is bringing fresh produce to GSK employees at The Navy Yard who have signed up for farm shares. Through insightful questioning, we realized the work from our team was not only data related, but also about culture development.

In discussions on what the culture might look like, both the Common Market and GSK groups discovered similar situations.  The team asked the right questions, and, together with Common Market, we identified three areas of focus for us to dig into over the next few months.

In working with this awe-inspiring team at GSK, Taproot and Common Market, what I learned is that inspiration was happening right in that very room. Common Market was able to see the market dynamics through fresh eyes, and my colleagues and I were able to apply critical business skills to a new and unique industry, benefiting both the nonprofit and GSK.

Next Saturday, I’ll be spending eight hours on a Common Market truck understanding their supply chain, from farmer to end user, and growing my abilities with practical application in another critical business area.  I have no doubt that I will continue to be inspired by those I work alongside. I also now understand that inspiration is happening all around us, we simply need to open a few doors in The Navy Yard.

Read Taproot’s blog about the event.