Simone Ahuja

Innovation Expert, Bestselling Author, Business School Advisor
  • Provides actionable tools to help individuals innovate and make an impact in the real world
  • Responsible for pioneering the idea of “intrapreneurship” to ignite change within larger organizations
  • Emphasizes that thinking like an entrepreneur isn’t just for start-ups, but rather, everyone has to have this mindset to stay ahead of the curve

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Dr. Simone Bhan Ahuja leading authority on innovation and Intrapreneurship and global keynote speaker. She is the founder of Blood Orange, a Minneapolis-based global innovation and strategy firm, a best-selling author (Jugaad Innovation, and Disrupt-It-Yourself), and a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Simone is an innovation advisor and consultant to organizations including 3M, UnitedHealth Group, Procter & Gamble, Target Corp, Stanley Black & Decker, and the World Economic Forum and a practitioner of improvisational comedy who loves to bring the energy and fun of improv to her live and virtual sessions.   

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Simone Ahuja | Speaker Demo Reel

Scarcity Reframed is Abundance: TEDxGrandRapids

Headline: Cracking the Intrapreneur’s Code: How To Think and Act Like a Startup Inside Large Organizations

Innovation isn’t just for R & D and the organizational elite.  Some of the most impactful innovations come from passion and purpose-driven intrapreneurs - entrepreneurs in your organization without a formal mandate to innovate. Cracking the Intrapreneur’s Code helps you get clear on how to support this powerful form of internal innovation, and inspires your intrapreneurs to take action through memorable stories, a clear process, and a whole lot of fun. Based on research from her book Disrupt It Yourself, Simone presents a proven approach to guide your intrapreneurs from ideas to innovation impact.

This program is perfect for leaders and teams who want to:

  • Address disruption by out-innovating from the inside of their organization
  • Build a culture where everyone feels empowered to innovate 
  • Drive more and better innovation every day - without upending their entire organization

The audience will leave with:

  • A clear framework for everyone to activate innovation 
  • A simple and proven action plan to accelerate ideas into bottom-line impact
  • The creative confidence they need to get into intrapreneurial action 

A Clear Path Forward™: Why Simplicity Is Your Next Competitive Advantage

It’s no secret that today’s professionals feel overwhelmed and want more clarity about where to focus time and energy. Yet, many organizations find themselves caught in a trap of doing things right rather than doing the right things.

In this optimistic and interactive keynote, global innovation and change expert Dr. Simone Ahuja shares strategies of today’s most successful leaders who harness entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial innovation approaches to drive more innovation, exponential growth and reduce overwhelm through simplicity.  She’ll share stories and A Clear Path Forward™, a proven framework that will bring everyone on your team clarity and resilience in the face of change.

Learning outcomes:

  • Develop an Agile Mindset: Gain the mindset and confidence necessary to adapt to change quickly and effectively, and leverage creativity to stay ahead of the curve in turbulent times
  • Rigorous Prioritization: Learn successful tactics to energize teams, increase alignment and drive exponential growth while by mastering Rigorous Prioritization
  • Build Your Clear Path Forward™: Develop an action plan to convert ideas to innovation while minimizing risks

Rats, Whiskey and Mr. Jones: Leading Everyday Innovation

Do you have ideas about changes needed in your organization but don’t have a clear pathway to bring them to life? Is problem-solving in your blood, but maybe not in your job description? Each of us can be a leader and changemaker - but what happens when we question the status quo within our division or industry?

In this interactive, practical, and fast-paced keynote, explore what you need to light your intrapreneurial fire. Examine the top challenges of successful intrapreneurs and map strategies to navigate these in your life. 

Dr. Ahuja offers personal insights about the power of placing small, low-risk bets to make meaningful change - with real-world case studies and some innovation therapy. She highlights why we must value the diversity of thought and skill, how we can leverage our existing resources to solve pressing problems, and illuminates barriers facing intrapreneurs. You’ll leave with a sense of empowerment, practical tips, and a valuable tool to share with your team and keep your intrapreneurial fire burning.

This session is perfect for leaders and teams who want to:

  • Build a consistent pipeline for innovation and innovation talent
  • Build a culture where everyone feels empowered to innovate
  • Create a more inclusive culture that catalyzes innovation 

The audience will learn to:

  • Identify and develop ideas that will have the highest impact on your organization.
  • Leverage a process that allows them to test ideas in low risk, high impact ways
  • Get comfortable with so-called “failures” and re-frame them as learning. 

 

Jugaad (Frugal) Innovation: How To Create High Value at a Low Cost

Thinking like an entrepreneur isn’t just for startups. Solving even the biggest problems starts with you and the resources you already have.  What you need is the right mindset and a simple toolkit to get you there. 

Based on her research in emerging markets and her bestselling book, Jugaad Innovation, Simone shares inspiring stories of frugal innovators who solve problems large and small with the right mindset and a set of guiding principles. This high-value, low-resource approach to problem-solving occurs at the intersection of business, design, and social innovation.   

This program is perfect for leaders and teams who:

  • Want to create more business value with fewer resources consistently 
  • Want to democratize innovation, so it’s the domain of all employees
  • Feel challenged and stressed by having to grow the business with less time and fewer resources.

The audience will learn to:

  • Use your creativity to reframe problems as opportunities
  • Gain support for new ideas to move faster and have a greater impact
  • Leverage existing resources so they can start problem-solving now

 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a Catalyst for Innovation: Three Keys to Greater Inclusion that Leads to Better Performance and Growth

Innovation is the most powerful way for organizations to stay relevant and grow in our rapidly evolving world. By increasing the diversity of their teams and creating space for diverse voices to be heard, business leaders can dramatically increase their innovation output.  In this energizing and optimistic keynote, Dr. Ahuja shares engaging stories demonstrating why diverse teams create more “out of the box” ideas and drive nearly 20% higher revenue.  She provides a fun and often surprising experience that uncovers your own biases in real-time and shares practical tools for building the psychological safety fundamental to successful innovation and business growth. 

This program is great for the leaders and teams who:

  • Want to reduce bias and build a more inclusive and curious culture
  • Want to build a healthy culture of psychological safety to support diverse voices and ideas
  • Want to harness curiosity to drive more inclusion and innovation 

The audience will leave with:

  • A crystal clear connection between DEI and greater innovation
  • A clear strategy for removing barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Proven steps to navigate difficult conversations that fuel DEI and innovation

 

Revolution is an Inside Job: Women’s Intrapreneurship

intrəprəˈnər: the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a larger system or organization to create change

Do you have ideas about changes needed in your organization or community, but don’t have a clear pathway to bring them to life? Are problem solving and innovation in your blood, but maybe not in your job description?  Innovation isn’t just for R & D and the organizational elite. Women are leaders and changemakers - but, what happens when women question the status quo?

In this interactive, practical, and fast-paced session, Dr. Simone Ahuja shares what you need to light and sustain your intrapreneurial fire and “be the change" you want to see through memorable stories, simple tools, and a whole lot of fun!

This program is perfect for teams and individuals who want to:

  • Build a culture where everyone feels empowered to innovate
  • Design the future (but don’t know where to start)
  • Address uncertainty and rapid change by acting on their own knowledge and insights
  • Drive change by activating passion and purpose

The audience will leave with:

  • A clear picture of what it looks like to be a change maker driving cultural change
  • A simple framework to activate change and innovation
  • The creative confidence they need to get into change-making action

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