Category Archives: ESD2017

Vala-Webb, Gordon

Gordon Vala-Webb
Building Smarter Organizations
Board member, International Association of Innovation Professionals


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The world is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous; in order to survive organizations need to be “smart”.

As Jack Welch the CEO of GE put it: “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

I help organizations to become smarter through my book – Building Smarter Organizations: How to lead your zombie organization back to life (Elevate Publishing, May 2017) – and through my speaking and consulting.

The key for organizations is for them to:

• Pivot their organizational mindset to become “open” – rather than command-and-control / “fixed”
• Have fast flow collaboration and communication – by using open collaborative software and visual management
• Accelerate their ability to make and execute the cross-silo, complex, decisions that a complex world demands.

My days are filled with:

 Providing advice on strategy, technology purchases, and change management 
• Producing events to bring together leaders, practitioners, technologists, and thought leaders 
• Speaking, teaching and writing

I bring to this work my passion and more than thirty years of experience (across the private, public and non-profit sectors) in making change in organizations. This includes 17+ years creating and leading knowledge management, collaboration, and innovation programs in large, complex, organizations at both the national and global levels.

I have a Masters in Management Science (Technology) and am a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Innovation Professionals (IAOIP).

Viles, Tamara

Tamara Viles
Knowledge Management Specialist
Center for Innovative Collaboration


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Tamara Viles is the manager of knowledge architecture in the Center for Innovative Collaboration and Knowledge Management at TechnipFMC, a winner of the 2015 and 2016 Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) Award.  Tamara transferred to TechnipFMC to manage the corporate wiki and serve as a SharePoint expert.  Prior to that, she completed a brief stint on Halliburton’s IT Organizational Change Management team and co-managed the KM program and award-winning intranet at Aspen Technology. She has 14 years of experience in knowledge management, an MBA in Marketing and a B.S. in Journalism. Tamara’s speaking engagements include sessions at the APQC KM Conference, ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement, Taxonomy Boot Camp, and the ASQ Services Quality Conference.


Warner, Cathy

Cathy Warner
Principal Search Product Owner


Cathy Warner is the Site Search Product Owner at SAS.  Cathy has a unique combination of technical and business skills.  Her years of focus on programming, customer experience, and everything in between, enables her to build practical solutions that make the best use of technology while delighting the customer. She is responsible for delivering a new end-to-end site search experience for SAS customer-facing websites, complete with new search engine technology and a redesigned user interface.

Cathy has been developing websites and website technology for 18 years.  In addition, she served as a judge for 3 years in the “Best Web Support Sites” contest held by the Association of Support Professionals.  Outside of work, she performs with and developed a website for the 100-member Little German Band that plays at Oktoberfests.  She is the band director, and also plays trumpet and Deutsch Kuhglocken (German cowbells).