The Highlands Company Blog

Back Pocket Plan

glaxo smithSeveral years back, The Highlands Company partnered with GlaxoSmithKline to support the GSK commitment to attracting and retaining productive and satisfied long-term employees.

GlaxoSmithKline embraced The Highlands Program as a foundation for professional development planning and used it as an instrumental asset through two mergers, and many changes in leadership and organizational structure.

Participants came to the class at various phases of their lives and careers, all seeking information that would guide them in making conscious proactive decisions in all arenas. Many participants were so enthused by the experience that they purchased the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) for their high school and college-age children in an effort to give them a jump-start in planning their future. The shared knowledge and common language contributed by Highlands provides a firm foundation for families discussing and exploring educational and career opportunities.

Now, about that back pocket plan.

Following the program, I had the pleasure of participating on a panel discussion hosted by the Prime Time Partners Network, a group of long-term GSK employees exploring next steps in their careers. The forum offered participants information about several assessment instruments available, and it included closing remarks from a leader in Learning and Organizational Development.

Her closing remarks to her colleagues highlighted the constantly changing corporate environment at GSK and abroad. She encouraged everyone to develop their abilities and skills and remain flexible in the ways in which they think about, communicate, and apply them. She applauded the Highlands program as an excellent avenue for doing so. Her ultimate message was this: Always have a Plan B in your back pocket.

This is timeless advice, which is applicable to everyone in any situation. As the saying goes: “Your life is all in how you handle plan B!” And that’s pretty tough to do if you don’t have a plan B! People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan. Her warning was to be prepared in order to avoid this all too common pitfall. 

No one knows what the future holds. Our destiny is designed on the spot by our current choices within the circumstances that confront us, many of them beyond our control. What we believe about ourselves, our lives, and our universe is the canvas upon which we craft our future. We don’t put all our eggs in one basket, and we certainly don’t want to rely on one job, or even one career path, to carry us through our lives.

Have a plan B in your back pocket…and be ready to revise it when necessary!