We are Big, Really Really Big
We (GSK) are bigger and diverse than you think but your current team or environment may be blinding you from seeing this. A battle with flu and cold taught me this lesson.
I had a severe cold (self diagnosed, by the way) early last week characterized by headache, congestion, and runny nose. First of all, I was annoyed that after such a ‘comprehensive’ preparation towards my PULSE assignment in Ghana, I did not bring any first aid medicines to handle things like cold and flu. I went a clinic/pharmacy close to my house in Ghana for help. The nurse gave me some capsules called Day Nurse (containing Paracetamol, pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, pholcodine). At first, I had little hope in the medicine but when I turned it over and look at the manufacturer, there was the label: a product of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. I then began to believe in the nurse and the medicine.
Two days later, the headache and congestion had subsided remarkably but I was coughing like a fish out of water. I went to a second clinic to report my cough and the pains in my ribs. Here too, I was given two medicines here. One was a cough syrup and other Zentel (Albendazole), another GlaxoSmithKline product.
Because I had lost appetite for a couple of days, I looked frail and dehydrated. The pharmacist advised me to get a few cans of Lucozade to stay hydrated and energized over the weekend. Lucozade, another GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Care product, is the most popular energy drink here, as Gatorade is in the US.
I feel great today (yeee!!) and back in the office working on a mobile mentoring application for community health officers in rural areas to improve service delivery and data quality, thanks to 3 GlaxoSmithKline products that were accessible to me 6000 miles away. I do not and have never worked on these products but other GlaxoSmithKline employees have and continue to work on them.
Sometimes it is just too easy to think that GSK is just the product you are working on, the team you are in, the project you support, the cost center you charge to, or the site you are located. But the truth is, we are bigger and more diverse than you can imagine. It is fine to be loyal to the project you work on or your team. Nonetheless, it is important to always bear in mind that there are 1000s of employees performing diverse functions some of which will never cross your mind. It is when all these – scientists, administrative assistants, accountants, sales representatives, production specialists, strategist analysts, lawyers and project managers – play together, that we realize our mission of enabling people everywhere to Do More, Feel Better and Live Longer.
So my Flu & Cold helped somehow; I learned that we are really really BIG! But you do not need to be sick on a PULSE assignment to realize this. You just need to step out, sometimes.