Friday, March 11, 2016

"Silicon Cowboys" Documentary Features Karen Walker

SXSW Film: "Silicon Cowboys" Documentary Features Strategic Leadership Consultant Karen Walker -- Available for Interview in Austin
Employee #104 shares insider's story about rise of one of America's pioneering computer companies - Compaq

AUSTIN, Texas, March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Karen Walker, who oversaw the construction of $1 billion of buildings on 5 continents as Compaq grew from a startup to one of the biggest computer companies in the world, is featured in the film "Silicon Cowboys," which is premiering at SXSW Film today.
Photo -
Walker is in Austin and available for media interviews by calling or texting 1-802-734-5477. 

She will attend the premiere at:
Friday, March 11

5:15PM - 6:33PM  Alamo Lamar A 
1120 S Lamar Blvd.

About Karen Walker
Walker was Compaq Employee #104, and as Vice-President responsible for the company's global physical infrastructure, she controlled capital investments totaling $1 billion during her tenure. She oversaw the construction of 11 million square feet of Compaq's offices on five continents and eight countries. She directed over 300 employees as well as hundreds of contractors and consultants from 1982-1996.
Now she serves as an executive advisor and consultant to CEOs and senior organization leaders to grow their companies successfully — with outcomes including IPOs, acquisitions, market share increases, and dramatic leadership development. She is president of One Team. She is writing a book titled "No Dumbing Down," which shows CEOs and senior leaders how to guide growth internally.

Sound Bites
On Teamwork:
"I had to get really good at creating teams that worked well together quickly across the globe."

On Why Compaq Succeeded:
"One of the things that made us so successful was that we worked together as a highly functioning team that respected each other. Many people at companies today don't respect all the other players."
"To be successful on long-term goals, how you do things is as important as what you do."
"We always thought about the big picture. We were a big company in the formative stages from day one, before we shipped the first computer or made the first dollar."
"We designed buildings to stimulate engaging conversations between people in different functions."
"We made sure all buildings had the same high standards – lots of green space, granite and other amenities – so people in manufacturing knew that they were as valued as people in the C-suite."

On why she left Compaq:
"I didn't want to keep doing the same things for the next 30 years. I moved to NYC, took architecture and philosophy classes at Columbia." She met her husband and they became partners in their leadership consulting business.
"I experienced and learned so much about leadership and highly effective teams during my tenure at Compaq that I felt compelled to share those lessons with other organizations. While Compaq was a unique experience, those lessons have broad application for any organization focused on sustained growth."

Insider's Stories
Karen Walker can share these inside stories:
  • How an organization culture based on highly effective teams helped Compaq become one of the most successful companies.
  • How Compaq disrupted the computer industry that was dominated by IBM and mainframe companies.
  • How Compaq's treatment of women in authority could have become a role model for Silicon Valley – but didn't.
  • The internal impact of visionary president Rod Canion's ouster by the board of directors
  • How corporate culture can change dramatically when the founder leaves and how companies can maintain a positive corporate culture during times of leadership change.
About the film, "Silicon Cowboys"
Launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner, Compaq Computer set out to build a portable PC to take on IBM, the world's most powerful tech company. Many had tried cloning the industry leader's code, only to be trounced by IBM. Silicon Cowboys explores the remarkable David vs. Goliath story, and eventual demise, of Compaq, an unlikely upstart who altered the future of computing and helped shape the world as we know it today. Directed by Oscar®-nominated director Jason Cohen, the film offers a fresh look at the explosive rise of the 1980's PC industry and is a refreshing alternative to the familiar narratives of Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg.

About Karen Walker
Karen Walker helped create the then fastest growing company in American business history at Compaq Computer.
She enabled sustained growth in a multitude of companies over the past 15 years, from startups to Fortune 500 firms including Aetna and BMC Software.
She has served on advisory committees to Rice University and Texas A&M University, and on the executive board of The Alley Theatre. 
Karen has a B.S. degree in engineering from Texas A&M University and graduated from the ODHRM program at Columbia University.
She currently resides in Shelburne, VT and Jupiter, FL, although most often found aloft in seat 2C.
For information, go to
Karen D. WalkerEmail


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