Cathy O’Dowd is the first woman in the world to climb Everest from both sides. The South African mountaineer has been on Everest as a ‘token woman’ team-member, and as an expedition leader. She has worked with a wide range of international teams forced to co-operate, and has climbed as the only team on a new route. She has faced the ‘worst storm in the history of Everest’, and warring team members as ego ran rampant. She has experienced the thrill of the summit and the reality of failure, and the loss of fellow climbers. She draws on this wide-ranging experience of teams under acute pressure facing overwhelming challenges to cover themes of importance to anyone trying to get the best out of people.
Cathy remains an active adventurer and her last important expedition involved a new route on an 8000m peak - the first ascent of Nanga Parbat via the Mazeno ridge. Cathy has turned this extraordinary experience into a case study that will help any strategic planner implement innovative objectives more effectively.