Our Culture 3 MIN Read

GDIT’s Navy-Marine Corps Critical Talent Cohort Program - Investing in Professional Development Experiences for our People

August 11th, 2021


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GDIT is rolling out an innovative, internally developed program designed to identify and develop high-performing and high-potential employees within a key defense business area. The idea behind it is to deliver unique and enriching experiences to these individuals, so that they can build and enhance their skills and immediately bring new learnings and capabilities to customers.

The Navy-Marine Corps (NMC) Critical Talent Cohort (CTC) program launched in February with 25 participants representing a diverse group of individuals across the Navy-Marine Corps business. This investment in talent, taking place over the course of a year, includes monthly sessions that create a platform and a collaborative environment for participants to network, receive leadership training, and gain experiences that mature their abilities as leaders, managers, and technicians – all of which equips them to tackle customer challenges today and into the future.

We know that personal growth and commitment to the job and the mission comes through experiences

Michael White

NMC-CTC Program Co-Creator

Mike White

Michael White, one of the creators of the NMC-CTC program put it best: “We know that personal growth and commitment to the job and the mission comes through experiences,” he said. “When creating this program, we wanted to identify and provide opportunities for top talent in the Navy Marine Corps business area – not based on level or position, but on which talent could deliver impact for the customer.”

White and GDIT Senior HR Business Partner Lauren Spear created the program with an eye toward building a different kind of development opportunity. They wanted to make the program engaging and experiential, and something that could deliver immediate value to participants. They focused on three core pillars: networking and exposure to senior leaders; business acumen; and leadership training. Within those pillars, White and Spear developed program components that included monthly speaker sessions, trainings, career planning help, networking events and more. The pillars and program components, together, ensured a holistic and engaging experience for participants.

The program, because it brings together a diverse group of talent, levels and roles, creates an inclusive environment where diversity of thought and team camaraderie flourish. Participants are encouraged to look at their individual skillsets and identify areas of opportunity. As an example, one participant knew that in order to advance in his current role, he needed proposal development experience. As part of this program, he was given an opportunity to participate on a proposal review team. From technical leads to project managers, NMC-CTC participants are connected with experiences like this that round out their skillsets, supporting their career growth at GDIT.

Additionally, participants get facetime with executive leaders who frequently engage with the group as speakers or mentors. Participants were recently asked to share the name of a GDIT leader they’d like to have a one-on-one career conversation with. These “dream conversations” will be occurring in the coming weeks and promise to be both informational and inspiring for leaders and participants alike. White pointed out that this level of engagement from senior leadership is just one more example of the company’s commitment to its employees. Afterall, as he noted, GDIT is a services organization and the way the company delivers solutions for customers and grows as a business is through our people.

Cohort participants really value the program and the exposure to leadership

Lauren Spear

NMC-CTC Program Co-Creator

Lauren Spear

Spear noted that GDIT is already seeing an incredible value from an employee engagement standpoint. “We’ve had an overwhelming impact and response,” she said. “Cohort participants really value the program and the exposure to leadership. They love that it’s about experiences, covers diverse topic materials, focuses on business outcomes; that it’s holistic and goes beyond their day-to-day. It’s not a traditional program and that really sets it apart.”

As one might imagine, plans for next year’s cohort are already in the works and interest in participating is high. White and Spear say they’re excited about being able to offer this program to employees and they look forward to seeing how the participants benefit from it for many years to come, throughout the entirety of their careers.