No Dumbing Down is a “must read” for any new or seasoned CEO, looking to effectively grow their organization. With inspirational and relevant quotes from leaders in industries and with analytic tools, Karen navigates the pitfalls we all encounter that impact a company’s culture. It is not enough to look at the bottom line and focus on team-building; good CEO’s must constantly assess how they actively harness a culture of performance. This book doesn’t just ask leaders to reflect on the possibility of culture shifts; it demands it!
Karen’s thoughtful approach to leadership development has had a profound impact on my team and our organization as a whole. I’ve leveraged Karen’s expertise in several capacities, from developing myself as a leader to further enabling my teams’ ability to effectively communicate in a dynamic environment. While adhering to a proven set of methodologies, Karen also takes a customized approach based on organizational dynamics to ensure the efficacy of her programs. Not only do I view Karen as the most effective organizational consultant that I’ve worked with, she is a trusted advisor as well, whom I’d gladly recommend to anyone.
In our first engagement, the value that Karen provided propelled us toward hitting our 5X sales growth number, with an ROI of over 500% to date. Our team is now fully aligned – we are looking in the same direction, working from the same page with a clear, cohesive vision and executable plan.
"Karen created a deep sense of trust with our leadership team over time. They only see her a few times a year, but speak with her regularly and about anything. She helps the team work better together and get the most out of each person, especially as they take on new roles, broader responsibilities and higher expectations. Karen is now setting off to help us build the strength of the level below the executive team. Each person starts in a different place and has different needs. Her ability to make a difference quickly is important to our continued growth."
Karen’s value lies in her ability to prompt us to think and act differently, more broadly and deeply. She brought the relevant ideas from her vast experience and knowledge, and supported their implementation in our organization.
The result? We created a foundation for sustained growth; we made the transition and are leading our company to the next level. We wouldn’t be where we are today without her.
When it comes to running a business, none of us has time for approaches that leave us asking, “So what?” In our decade of working together, Karen demonstrated an unflappable bias for action and an obsession for meaningful results. Her book will enable you to achieve those same kinds of results and all the different types of success that goes with them.
"Karen's six key strategies that entrepreneurs can use as benchmarks as part of their decision making process offered a fresh approach to evaluating growth that had our attendees nodding their heads in agreement."
Karen Walker’s book, No Dumbing Down, is a quick-hitting treasure trove of applicable models that can and should be applied to a growing business. Her extensive insights are shared in a practical and approachable manner that supports the imperfect but all-important discipline of transitioning in and out of levels of organizational maturity.
"My work with Karen made me a more effective CEO. Some of the moves we made led to our most profitable quarter ever."
"Karen has helped us understand our leadership bench strength and gaps significantly – and how we can drive improved leadership effectiveness. Through a formal 360 assessment process, targeted coaching, and leadership retreats, they have helped us accelerate out organization's transformation."
"I like Karen's approach because she makes things work efficiently, and we get the results we need. It's always hard to find time for ... strategy setting, but somehow Karen's team makes it all happen without too much effort. I guess it is their rich background and experience. I'm pretty sold on it."
“Karen really helped my team uncover underlying themes that were inhibitors to our team goals and, more importantly, she provided an actionable framework for tackling these areas.” Thanks Karen!
"Karen Walker has had a real business impact . . . We've been working with her for a number of years and she is a trusted partner that's really gotten to understand our business and culture. We're an execution oriented company. They help us apply an organizational framework to our actions, ensuring alignment and focus at every level."
"As always, thank you Karen, for your help. I definitely couldn't have been successful in this stretch assignment without you."
“One benefit to working with Karen is having a partner that I can trust to help me look at the issues and find ways to move forward. She helps me see things from a different perspective, bringing new possibilities that I would never find.”
Karen has been an incredibly valuable asset to the strategy and growth of our business. Her work began in the area of strategic planning and now includes staff development, growth assessments, talent acquisition, organizational structure...and global growth strategies that include M&A. She is a trusted advisor to our senior leadership, counted on in numerous ways. Her character is impeccable, which goes along well with acute business acumen.
"She has an uncanny sense of how to draw out the best in people - to get them to realize that the effective team is greater than than the sum of its parts. It is impressive to watch and even more moving to experience the transformation that she engenders. Champlain's engagement of Karen has been one of the best moves we have made. Our leadership team has benefitted tremendously and the lessons we learned from Karen serve us well every day."
Karen Walker is an extraordinary professional with a reputation for taking a company and transforming it into a profitable business. Using her proven methodology and overall mentorship, Karen lays the groundwork for success with focus on goals and details that generate the most positive results. Her work ethic and integrity resonates with the staff. Any sales driven company will benefit from Karen's thought process, methods and experience. If you're looking for game changing results for business growth, call Karen.
I've utilized Karen's expertise again and again because she has a rare combination of strong business expertise to complement her organization knowledge. Her "real world" expertise (as an executive at one of the fastest growing companies in American business history) and perspective enables her to relate immediately and credibly with my leadership teams, increasing her impact at both a strategic and operational level. Working with her, we create more focused collaborative organizations and, as a result, quickly achieve our potential and goals.
"She is exactly the kind of person you would seek out for measured, honest, and thoughtful advice. She works hard and seeks to understand the corporate dynamics and psychology underlying organizational and individual decisions."
“Karen's team was fantastic! They were instrumental in designing and conducting the inquiry process as well as galvanizing the leadership team, contributing greatly to our effectiveness. They added huge value, going above and beyond their responsibilities to see this project through."
"Achieving results requires skillful management of team dynamics, personal intuition, a gentle touch when necessary, yet control and authority when required. I would not hesitate to refer Karen to any client, owner or organization. She is a great asset to any corporation and I look forward to further working with her in the future."
I believe Karen's personality is her key to success. She employs wit, warmth, and wisdom in equal measure as she listens, suggests, and guides. I recommend her to anyone who is seeking to objectively assess their skills with the aim to hone their strengths while improving their weaknesses. Her long senior management experience is evident in the questions she poses and in the advice she proffers.
Karen's contribution was a major factor in the success of the Witness Systems leadership development and team building programs. Karens own interpersonal skills, her professionalism, knowledge and expertise are a valuable combination when looking to get the best out of teams and individual team members.
I had the pleasure of working with Karen at Compaq Computer Corporation and Texas Instruments. Karen is one of the most talented colleagues with an amazing depth and breadth of business acumen that spans functions and industry sectors. Karen is able to drive numerous complex priorities while demonstrating the utmost professionalism, gaining the respect of all those she interacts with. She is flawless in her execution. I highly recommend Karen, and would be pleased to discuss her outstanding abilities at any time.
Partnering with OneTeam and Karen to help Champlain College was a joyful experience. Her agile, direct and intelligent communication made expectations clear and paved the path to mutual success. Her high-trust style quickly fostered mutual respect and allowed for maximum independence, yet she was always available to provide clarity and assistance at a moments notice when needed.
Karen is a thought leader whose work is grounded in strong values and a focus on results. I've seen the positive impact of Oneteam's approach to organizational effectiveness with groups as diverse as world class skydivers, to start-ups, to senior teams within large corporations.
Karen brings deep corporate experience and sharp analytical skills to the benefit of Oneteam clients. Her commitment to excellence in work, as well as life, makes Karen an inspiring person to work with. She is disciplined, realistic, and utterly committed to our client’s success.
Karen facilitated an excellent senior management off-site session for IBBS at a very difficult time when conflict and misunderstandings were common within the management team. Her approach was to coach subtly, to encourage open discussion and debate. I would recommend Karen and Oneteam without hesitation and hope to be in a position to bring her in again in the future.
Karen was very helpful in providing me Leadership Coaching. As a result of her process, I came to understand where I needed to change and upgrade my behavior to overcome challenges to becoming the leader I needed to be. My improvement and subsequent success is attributable to my work with Karen. I will be forever grateful for her excellent work.