Starting her career in product development, Kimi joined Raychem Corporation in the early 1980’s. Thrown into the unique combination of urgency and patience that characterizes product development, she was guided by a manager who believed strongly in coaching his people to develop, not just to deliver.
Leaving Raychem for AT&T (then often known as the Bell System), she started by managing the implementation of phone and data systems that had been configured and sold by others and eventually became an account manager with product development teams.
“I remember my first project management class,” Kimi recounts. “I had made a typo in my class registration and, instead of a class on marketing across organizations I found myself in one on managing projects across organizations.” Laughing, she now thanks the four-digit class identification mix-up that introduced her to the academics and processes that would refine the skills she had already developed over a decade in the workplace. Combining those processes with the team leadership already in place, Kimi’s teams delivered faster, stronger, and more profitably over and over again. Following her drive to share what she had learned so that others could benefit without as much scar tissue, Kimi became a consultant and facilitator – finishing both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the process, ultimately obtaining her MBA specializing in project management.
Today, Kimi uses speaking, education, and writing to translate the wisdom of experience into the lessons that helps her audiences accelerate the speed of their professional evolution.
Kimi became a speaker when, as a volunteer board member for the local Project Management Institute chapter, she heard many of the top project management speakers and realized a critical point: In her workshops she would address between 20 and 30 students. In speeches, she could reach hundreds. Sponsored by one of her fellow volunteers, Kimi presented at a regional symposium. The session went well, and Kimi and her audiences have developed relationships based on learning, laughing, and leading ever since.
Beginning with the Killer Competency series of topics ranging from listening skills to critical thinking in decision-making, Kimi’s focus is on delivering what brings substantive value to the meetings planners and the audiences they entrust to her. Bringing passion, enthusiasm, and energy to every speech, it is the combination of practical, every-day events with the academics behind them that engages Kimi’s audiences and allows them to see how to apply complex concepts in every-day life. Her talk on the fundamental principles her company, KSP Partnership, was founded on provides support for teams in unproductive disruption through divestiture or M&A activities as well as project teams in need of a boost in their performance levels.
“When you learn to read at an extremely young age there is a double edged sword hanging over your head when it comes to writing,” Kimi explains. “The best writers make it look easy and it isn’t until you try to put down your own ideas, convey your own perspective, that you realize just how difficult the act of writing well is.”
Kimi has come to view writing as an extension of her speaking and educational activities. Employing a discipline that matches her innate habits of hard work, Kimi partnered with Michael B. Bender to write one book while also editing a series of interviews that will become another. It has become part her mission to treat her readers with a level of respect that allows her to address complex topics in conversational ways – giving her readers the chance to explore their own perspectives and grow their own competencies.‘When Opposites Collide – Leadership Beyond Gender’ started her journey on the discussion of women in leadership – to be continued in January 2017 when her next book on the topic, ‘Women in IT Leadership – Two Steps Forward & One Step Back?’ is published.
Co-founding The Fatwood Group, Kimi is responsible for strategic direction and is a lead researcher in advanced adult education technologies. Working with her partner, Michael B. Bender, Kimi researches, develops, and tests different education techniques against various cultural and experience environments. “I remember Michael and I discussing our teachers, noting that some made subjects easy while others made the same subjects confusing.” recalls Kimi. “Our continuing discussion revealed some of the differences. We decided to pursue the study of these differences more formally.”
The Fatwood Group (www,FatwoodGroup.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to researching advanced learning and teaching techniques. The group recently finished their first major study of the application of Socratic Method in the adult continuing education environment. The group plans further studies focusing on cultural change in the global environment and is working together with local directors to explore the use of theatrical techniques to convey and engage learners.