The Business Challenge Revolution - a career development program - helps employees and business move forward.
When Meg LeVasseur talks about what she’s been working on recently, her enthusiasm is palpable. “This experience energized me and deepened my interest in driving leadership diversity at Medtronic,” LeVasseur said.
LeVasseur is a senior product specialist in the company’s Cardiac Rhythm Heart Failure (CRHF) business and has been with Medtronic for 4 years. But for about six months, she participated in an initiative that intentionally pushed her outside her comfort zone.
The Medtronic Business Challenge Revolution (BCR) – sponsored by the Medtronic Women’s Network – is designed to help develop individual business acumen skills among female employees at all levels of the organization. Participants are intentionally assigned to teams outside their business unit and are asked to dedicate about 10 percent of their time to a project that addresses a complex business problem facing the company. They remain in their regular job – and maintain a full time work load in that role – throughout the project.
“The program provides stretch opportunities across the company,” said Senior Manager of Inclusion and Diversity Laura Neuenschwander. “Not only do participants get the chance to intensively learn about a new area of the company, it also allows for networking and relationship building with completely new colleagues – an opportunity that is often hard to come by.”
LeVasseur’s project team included employees from quality, reliability, supply chain, and marketing. They were assigned to work with the Medtronic Care Management Services (MCMS) team on the viability of expanding its suite of offerings. After a six-month work period, the team recently presented their recommendations to and received feedback from leaders like Vice President and General Manager of the MCMS business, Sheri Dodd.
“I found the topic to be extremely interesting, but the biggest value of the program was all the transferable skills that I learned,” LeVasseur said. “Working with a brand new team with competing priorities and unique outlooks gave us an unparalleled opportunity to learn from each other.”
She’s not alone in her assessment of the program. BCR participants consistently report gaining valuable experience that allowed them to sharpen their skill sets, build their network and develop valuable mentorships with senior leaders. Since its launch last year, the program has helped provide valuable experience for nearly forty employees across different business units, functions, and regions.
“This program allowed me to build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships and network as well as receive coaching from influential leadership,” LeVasseur said.
BCR is just one of the initiatives underway at Medtronic to drive diversity in leadership. The company has set an aspirational goal to have 40 percent or more of management roles filled by women by 2020.
The next section of BCR is scheduled to launch in July.