Member Meeting 2010 Keynote Speakers

APQC's Member Meeting 2010 Keynote Speakers


Gary Heil Peter Korsten Carla O'Dell


Gary Heil
Author, Director, Lawyer, and Coach

Keynote presentation: Tough Times: Opportunity for Innovation and Corporate Makeover

It has been said that tough times don’t build character. Rather, tough times expose character. Challenging times provide a unique opportunity for leaders to accelerate the very changes they seek. As the margin of error decreases, the effect of every decision a leader makes is magnified. In this practical presentation, given by a leading expert on innovation who has led his own team through challenging times as a director and executive, Gary Heil shares with audiences:

  • How to engage employees to help craft an organization’s future during challenging times and better prepare it when economic times improve
  • How tough times can reduce the resistance some people have to change, which can actually help create an atmosphere for innovation and improvement
  • Why leaders act more authentically in a time of crisis
  • How to help leaders make different choices, thereby allowing teams to make a better contributions
  • Why the values we choose are amplified in times of great challenge
  • How to craft a strategy with an optimistic attitude, humble heart and open mind in order to move past basic survival and prepare your business for the future


Gary Heil, author, director, lawyer, and coach, has been a lifelong student of the human side of organizations and was a pioneer in the study of employee and customer engagement. He has served on a number of public, private, and nonprofit boards and presently serves as chairman of the Compensation Committee of Gymboree’s board of directors and chairman of the board of CellTech Metals. He is the co-founder of the innovative Webcast Leadership Lessons from the Fast Lane and has served as a member of the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In 1992, he co-founded the Center for Innovative Leadership, an organization dedicated to helping leaders create more innovative and sustainable organizations. He recently completed a study on more than 700 leaders’ efforts to engage people in creating the future. The findings of his research will be included in a new book set for release in the fall of 2010. Heil has co-authored numerous books, including The Leader’s New Clothes, One Size Fits One, Leadership and the Customer Revolution, Maslow on Management, and Managing the Human Side of the Enterprise. He is a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, and he holds a bachelor of science degree in organizational behavior and a Juris Doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. He is a member of the California Bar Association. 

Peter J. Korsten
Vice President, Partner, and Global Leader of the IBM Institute for Business Value, IBM

Keynote Presentation: Capitalizing on Complexity: Insights from the 2010 IBM Global CEO Study

In a world fraught with uncertainty, what are today’s CEOs doing to strengthen their situations against competitors? CEOs are saying that the complexity of operating in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world is their primary challenge. And a surprising number of them say they feel ill-equipped to succeed in this drastically different world.

Peter Korsten, global leader, Institute for Business Value, IBM Corporation, will share insights from the 2010 IBM Global CEO Study at APQC’s Member Meeting 2010. The largest known study of its kind, the research project polled more than 1,500 CEOs from companies of all sizes, located in 60 countries and representing more than 30 industries. Attendees of presentation will learn how leaders are dealing with this level of complexity and what strategies the most successful organizations are employing to tap into new opportunities and overcome the barriers to growth.


Peter J. Korsten, vice president and partner, is the global leader of the IBM Institute for Business Value, the business think tank of IBM.

Before holding his current position, Korsten was IBM’s and before that PwC Consulting’s leader of its Corporate Strategy, Organization Design, and Change Management practice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (in which some 1,200 consultants, 100 partners, and 200 support staff were active). He also was a member of PwC Consulting’s Global Strategy Leadership Team and of the EMEA leadership team.

Korsten joined PwC Consulting in 1998 and has concentrated his work on consumer goods and industrial companies throughout Europe. He is a recognized expert in contemporary strategy and has consulted for a wide array of Fortune Global 500 organizations. In addition, he worked on important strategy issues for governmental and leading public organizations. Korsten has spoken on strategic subjects on numerous occasions around the world.

Before joining PwC Consulting/IBM Global Business Services, he worked for more than eight years with The Boston Consulting Group, and for a Fortune 500 fast-moving consumer goods company and the largest continental European venture capital organization for the first six years of his career.

Korsten holds a Dean’s List (Honors) MBA from IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland) and has pursued post-graduate education at the Harvard Business School, Insead, IMD, Ashridge, and Templeton College in Oxford.

He was selected as one of the world’s top 25 consultants by Consulting Magazine in 2008 and was named a “Dutch Star” in 2008 and 2009 by the Dutch edition of BusinessWeek (FEM Business). He won the InCompany award for the best Management & Organization consulting organization in The Netherlands in 2006 and was given IBM’s most prestigious award—The IBM Global Golden Circle—in 2007. He was quoted in numerous articles in global and European media (a.o. CNN, MSNBC, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Forbes, IHT) and has presented at a broad range of conferences (a.o. Economist Conferences, WEF). 

Carla O'Dell
President, APQC

Keynote Presentation: Tying It All Together: Making Best Practices Your Practices

The benchmarking effort is complete, you’ve learned something great at APQC’s Member Meeting, and you’ve identified some best practices you’d like to share with others. You know what you need to do to improve, but how do you ensure your organization will benefit from these learnings? Dr. Carla O’Dell, president of APQC and a leading expert in knowledge management (KM), will draw on her more than 20 years with APQC and experience in helping organizations around the world improve to provide you with the keys to successful transfer of best practices, regardless of where or how the learnings were collected.


Carla O'Dell is president of APQC and is considered one of the world’s leading experts in knowledge management (KM). In 1995 under O’Dell’s direction, APQC launched its first KM best practices consortium study called Emerging Best Practices in Knowledge Management. O’Dell and APQC’s chairman, C. Jackson Grayson, co-authored If Only We Knew What We Know: The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Practice (The Free Press, 1998). O’Dell is also an active contributor to leading journals, magazines, and APQC’s KM blog, One of the highest-rated speakers at conferences, O’Dell has garnered rave reviews for her most recent book, The Executive’s Role in Knowledge Management, published by APQC. She is currently co-authoring a new book on KM with Cindy Hubert, to be published by Wiley in early 2011, titled The New Edge in Knowledge.

As president of APQC, O’Dell was a key driver in the formation of the Open Standards Benchmarking CollaborativeSM (OSBC) research (currently Open Standards Benchmarking), which standardized the processes and measurements that global organizations use to benchmark and improve performance. More than 6,000 organizations worldwide have participated to date.

O’Dell has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s from the University of Oregon, and a doctorate in organizational psychology from the University of Houston. She is an avid hiker, with a goal to hike all the U.S. National Parks. Like Jack Grayson, she has visited every continent and snuck into Antarctica with a broken foot. One of O’Dell’s jobs at APQC is to watch for trends that will matter to the organization and its customers.