Knowesis, Inc.

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Sheilah O’Brien headshot
Winner Tag

Location: Fairfax, VA
Founded: 2007
Industry: Management consulting

Knowesis, Inc.

Sheilah O’Brien
Managing Principal

GROWING WITH DISCIPLINE

Knowesis, Inc. is a management consulting company that provides analytic, information, knowledge management, technology and communication solutions, along with advisory services. The company currently supports clients in state and federal agencies, as well as organizations in the commercial sector. To fuel Knowesis’ growth, “we started simply with a focus on clients’ requirements,” says managing principal Sheilah O’Brien. The company’s risk-management strategy also has helped it make smart investments in talent, markets and systems.

Quick Tip: “A great leader sets a good example, communicates the vision, encourages innovation and takes calculated risks.”

In leading Knowesis, O’Brien has found that growth can increase distractions from strategic needs, “so it’s more important to have discipline.” Like most companies, Knowesis has at times found it challenging to gain access to new markets and clients. The solution, O’Brien says, is to “work hard to add value to existing relationships as well as expand new relationships.” Knowesis is also refocusing its business-development assets to position the company as a prime contractor on large vehicles. “All of this requires us to grow the next generation of leaders to ensure a sustainable legacy, and to stay true to the culture that enabled our success,” says O’Brien. Knowesis’ goal for the future is “to be valued by clients and be a place for exceptional people to do interesting work,” says O’Brien.