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Kate Vitasek, keynote speaker
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Kate Vitasek

    • Author of seven books on the art, science and practice of highly collaborative relationships
    • Architect of the award-winning “Vested” business model
    • Featured on Fox Business News, CNN International, NPR, Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg’s Taking Stock
    • Certified Virtual Presenter
Full Bio
In Person-Fee 🛈

$20,000 - $30,000

Virtual Fee:

$10,000 - $15,000

Travels From


Kate Vitasek Keynote Speaker Reel

Kate Vitasek Keynote Speaker Reel

Interview with Sourcing Industry Group

Interview with Sourcing Industry Group

Kate Vitasek Virtual Studio Reel

Kate Vitasek Virtual Studio Reel

Kate Vitasek Speaker Biography

Lauded by World Trade Magazine as one of the “Fabulous 50+1” most influential people impacting global commerce, author, educator, and business consultant Kate Vitasek is an international authority for her award-winning research and Vested® business model for highly collaborative relationships. Her practical and research-based advice for driving transformation and innovation through highly collaborative and strategic partnerships spans seven books, including Vested: How P&G, McDonald’s and Microsoft Are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships, Contracting in the New Economy, Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules that Transform Outsourcing and Getting to We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships.

Vitasek has been featured on CNN International, Bloomberg, NPR, and Fox Business News. She also has been featured in over 300 articles in publications including Harvard Business Review, Chief Executive Magazine, Information Week, CIO Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Journal of Commerce, World Trade Magazine, and Outsource Magazine.

She is the lead faculty and researcher for Vested, including launching the University’s Certified Deal Architect program. Passionate in her quest to help companies transform their business relationships, Vitasek inspires and motivates business leaders in the University’s onsite and online courses and her popular keynote addresses at major industry events and conferences.

Prior to joining the University of Tennessee, Vitasek’s storied career includes positions with P&G, Microsoft, Accenture, Stream International, and founding Supply Chain Visions – a boutique consulting firm recognized by ARC Advisory Group as one of the “10 Coolest” boutique-consulting firms.

Outsmart: How the Best Negotiators Reach and Stay at the Top

Most organizations have been taught best practices for “Getting to Yes”, “Getting Past No” and “Getting More.” These tried-and-true negotiation tactics have been applied for decades to help parties successfully negotiate a deal. The problem? While you may get to a deal, you’ve likely fallen victim to a negotiated contract full of concessions, tradeoffs and scope-creep. What a painful waste of precious time and money that could have been prevented.

Kate strikes a perfect “edutainment” balance with her unique and proven approach for how the best negotiators reach and stay at the top.

Attendees will leave:

• Understanding the pioneering research behind why cooperation – not competition – guarantees the best results for everyone involved
• With five simple steps for how to outsmart the competitive landscape on their next big negotiation
• Inspired by the stories of the remarkable results organizations have using her proven approach

The Vested Way: How a “What’s in it for We” Mindset Revolutionizes Business Relationships

As the world marches towards reinvention, collaboration and innovation isn’t just the best way to achieve business success; it’s the only way to work together to create success for a future we can no longer prepare for or envision.

In this evocative speech, Kate Vitasek reveals how a “What’s in it for We” (WIIFWe) mindset has the power to revolutionize business relationships.

Vitasek shares insights into how everyone can go home a winner in a world of “winner takes all” by applying John Nash's Nobel Prize-winning equilibrium theory that cooperation, not competition, guarantees the best results for everyone involved.

Attendees will leave:

• Challenging the “game” they are playing in how they negotiate
• With real world examples of how a WIIFWe mindset has worked in practice – creating value far beyond the traditional tried and true buy-sell and conventional negotiations tactics
• Knowing how to put a WIIFWe mindset into action
• Inspired to seek out the business equivalent of a Sherpa to help them climb their own “Mt. Everest” – achieving success with business relationships many thought were impossible

Vested: How P&G, McDonald’s and Microsoft are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships

The 21st century demands businesses innovate, create value, and get sustainable results. Kate Vitasek shares the real stories and real results of how organizations are using a Vested approach to achieve award-winning results by redefining how they "win" in their business relationships. Whether you have a relationship with suppliers, employees, or a foreign government – Vitasek shows how the Vested concept has helped organizations develop award-winning and sustainable results.

Audiences will learn:

• How giants like P&G and Microsoft are redefining winning – creating award-winning results from their business partnerships
• The secret sauce for how McDonald’s inspires their supply chain suppliers to invest millions with innovations such as the Chicken McNugget, Cryogenic freezing and patents that double production capacity
• How the Department of Energy turned one of the most toxic weapons sites into a wildlife refuge
• How a small business with big ideas is helping their clients achieve a 300% productivity increase

This speech can easily be customized. Some organizations like a deeper dive on just one case study focused for a particular audience. Other organizations follow up the main keynote with a workshop with a deep dive of a specific case study.

Contracting in the New Economy: Using Relational Contracts to Boost Trust and Collaboration

Traditional contracts don’t work in complex strategic relationships where the parties are highly dependent on each other, future events can’t be predicted, and flexibility and trust are required. Instead of promoting the partnership-like relationships needed to cope with uncertainty, conventional contracts undermine them and can easily lead to an adversarial mindset creating a downward spiral of negative tit-for-tat behaviors.

Kate Vitasek has been at the forefront of studying the why, what and how of relational contracts from a business perspective and her pioneering work with Nobel Laureate Oliver Hart, David Frydlinger and World Commerce and Contracting has sparked a fresh perspective on contracting.

Kate not only offers a fresh perspective, but her keynote speech itself is also fresh – both evocative and engaging.

Attendees walk away with:

• An appreciation for the contracting paradox – what it is and why you need to avoid it
• How common contract clauses create perverse incentives – and what to watch out for
• A proven five-step method that will flip your next contract on its head and lay the foundation for an amazing partnership

Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules that Will Transform Outsourcing

Many outsourcing deals are often structured with fundamental flaws in the business model that prevents transformational results through outsourcing. The University of Tennessee has been researching leading companies that are challenging conventional outsourcing as a way to help organizations transform their business with highly strategic Vested supplier relationships.

Author, educator and business consultant Kate Vitasek shares game-changing rules for outsourcing from her research and book Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules that Will Transform Outsourcing.

Organizations will leave with insights which include:

• What is Vested Outsourcing - and why outsourcing does not have to be a dirty word
• The Five Rules of Vested Outsourcing that transform how companies outsource
• Real stories with real results – that will motivate your organization to rethink how it outsources

This speech can also be delivered as a more comprehensive workshop for smaller groups to help individuals understand how to apply Vested in practice. Workshops often include a deep dive of a case study.

Getting to We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships

For years, businesses have worked under the assumption that the goal of negotiation is simply to get the deal. Hundreds of books have been written on "getting to yes," "getting past no," and "getting more"… the prevalent assumption being "get a signature, and you are done." Strategies and tactics focus on getting the deal – not making sure the deal provides sustained value in the future.

More and more, business success depends on strategic relationships built for an ever-dynamic and interconnected world that will endure long after “the deal is done.” Vitasek brings her award-winning research on strategic partnerships to a practical approach anyone can apply in their next negotiation.

Attendees walk away:

• Understanding why “getting to yes” is no longer enough
• Challenging how they have traditionally played the “game” of negotiations
• Learning a proven five-step approach to negotiating a relationship – not just the specific deal points
• Seeing the power of a “What’s in it for We” in practice

This speech can also be delivered as a more comprehensive workshop for smaller groups to help individuals understand how to apply the Getting to We 5 step process in practice.

The New Economics of Commerce: How to Turn Nobel Prize-winning Theory into Practice

The 21st Century demands businesses rethink their approach to commerce. No – capitalism is not dead. Rather author, educator and business consultant Kate Vitasek will provide what may seem paradoxical – a lighthearted yet evocative overview of some of the best academic research into how companies should be approaching the economics of commerce in the new millennium.

Audiences will walk away intrigued, ready to get back to the office and apply Nobel prize-winning thinking, such as:

• John Nash’s equilibrium theory, proving that businesses can turn 1+1 into 2, 3 or even more by working collaboratively to optimize results and solve tough business problems
• Solow’s Law, explaining why brains are better than brawn if you are trying to improve your business’s balance sheet
• Coase’s Law, reminding business how to avoid the ever fatal “Priceberg”
• Oliver Williamson’s advice on why being nice to suppliers can help reduce costs better than a Pit Bull of Procurement
• Steven Levitt’s Freakonomics philosophy and how it can creep into contracts

Looking for a fun way to bring new thinking to your organization? Ask Kate about how she can create a highly interactive game-theory exercise for your group to help your team thinking about winning in business from a different angle.

Strategic Sourcing in the New Economy: Harnessing Sourcing Business Models in Modern Procurement

The business battlefield of this century will be based on harnessing the latent power of Sourcing Business Models. The procurement playing field is no longer one of lowest cost or best value, but knowing when and how to apply collaborative relationships where suppliers are incentivized to drive transformation and innovation with purposeful investments designed to create value for your organization.

Attendees will leave with a fresh perspective and a new lens for thinking about supplier relationships. Key takeaways include:

• Why some of the worlds’ most popular sourcing strategies are incomplete for today’s modern procurement challenges
• Why and when it is essential to make the shift from “buying” to “architecting” supplier relationships
• How systems thinking can optimize supplier relationships
• How to apply Sourcing Business Model theory for any spend category

Attendees will also leave with a link to download an open-source Business Model Mapping resource they can use immediately to turn Sourcing Business Models theory into practice.

This speech can also be delivered as a more comprehensive workshop where attendees can apply Business Model Mapping in practice.

10 Essential Elements to Contracting Success: What They Are and How to Do Them Right

Ever wonder if there is a secret sauce to writing a good contract? That is a question the United States Air Force asked researchers at the University of Tennessee to explore as part of a large research project. Author and educator Kate Vitasek teamed with contracting experts to link each of the Vested business model’s “Five Rules” to 10 essential contract elements that will improve contracting success.

Attendees will:

• Be exposed to the 10 foundational elements that every contract should have
• Learn why each element is essential
• See an “example in action” in how other organizations are including these elements into their own agreements
• Be provided with a free link where attendees can do a self-assessment to see how an existing contract stacks up against each element

Ask how to turn this speech into a highly interactive session for your audience.

Groups often follow up the Vested or Vested Outsourcing speech with a smaller workshop that goes into detail about how to apply the 10 Elements to a Vested agreement.

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Customer Rating 5

Click testimonials tab below for detailed feedback.

October 28, 2022

Kate was fantastic to work with and our audience was very impressed. We had fantastic communication leading up to our event and Kate went the extra mile to provide an address that really hit the mark with our audience. She fielded questions and was present both before and after the event to answer longer questions from our audience.

Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce


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