- Business Growth and Trends
- Consumer Trends
- Risk Management
Audience & Industry
- Board Meetings and Executive Briefings
- Senior Management Groups
- The Finance Industry
Dr. Simone Bhan Ahuja is pioneering the idea of "intrapreneurship" and teaching organizations how to act more like fast and frugal startups, to drive sustainable innovation.
Dr. Simone Bhan Ahuja is the founder of Blood Orange, a global innovation and strategy firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is co-author of the international bestseller, Jugaad Innovation, called “the most comprehensive book yet on the subject” of frugal innovation by the Economist. Her latest book, Disrupt-It-Yourself (HarperCollins Leadership), shares a clear set of tools and a practical playbook that helps organizations drive sustainable innovation by supporting “intrapreneurship” and acting more like fast and frugal startups.
Dr. Ahuja serves as an advisor to MIT’s Practical Impact Alliance and has served as an advisor to the Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. She provides keynotes, interactive workshops, and innovation advisory services to organizations including United HealthGroup, 3M, Procter & Gamble, Target Corp, Stanley Black & Decker, and the World Economic Forum. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, is regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online, and a practitioner of improvisational comedy.
Dr. Simone Ahuja's Speech Topics
Disrupt-It-Yourself: Why Revolution Is an Inside Job
40 percent of the S & P 500 will be replaced in 10 years. Only 14 percent of new grads want to work for a large company. Consumers are demanding higher value at a lower cost, and accessible technology allows lone entrepreneurs to compete with industry giants. How will the large organization remain competitive and disrupt itself, before a competitor does? By engaging the power of its intrapreneurs – entrepreneurs that already exist on the inside of your organization. In this engaging talk, Dr. Ahuja shares inspiring stories and a practical primer outlining how large firms can disrupt themselves by behaving more like start-ups, while leveraging the scale, distribution, and talent they already have.
Innovation Therapy: Barriers and Solutions to Internal Intrapreneurship
As senior leaders and managers, we’re tasked with driving innovation every day, but our organizations weren’t necessary built for change. Do you want to learn how others are managing roadblocks and supporting the “intrapreneurs” inside of their organizations to harness more innovation? In this interactive, practical, and fast-paced keynote and workshop that’s part playbook, part case studies, and part innovation therapy, Dr. Ahuja will share top intraprenerial challenges, and map out strategies to effectively navigate them. Real-world examples from Dr. Ahuja’s research and from session attendees will illuminate these barriers – and the incentives that can help keep intrapreneurs afloat. Whether you’re leading others, or an intrapreneur yourself, this session will give you actionable insights to accelerate your pathway to success.
Frugal Innovation: Solving Massive Problems with Almost Nothing
Companies are increasingly challenged by a global economy characterized by volatility, complexity, and resource scarcity. This challenging environment, coupled with consumers who demand higher value at a lower cost, is creating an urgency for companies to innovative faster, better, and cheaper. Enter jugaad (frugal) innovation – a frugal, flexible and inclusive approach to innovation most prevalent in emerging markets — with high relevance for firms in developed economies. Frugal innovation occurs at the intersection of business, design, and social innovation – and results in the creation of affordable, sustainable, and accessible solutions.
Embracing the Power of Human Difference
Organizations are talking about diversity, equity and inclusion more than ever before – but how well do employees understand that embracing our differences is a critical component of personal and business success? Organizations with diverse teams are up to 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean and have better problem solving abilities. In this energizing keynote, Dr. Ahuja shares engaging stories from her work in emerging markets to Fortune 500s that get to the why of diversity, equity and inclusion – and specific steps individuals and organizations can take to harness the power of difference.
Bringing Equal Opportunity to Executive Presence: Building and Retaining a Diverse Workforce
How can we build a culture of inclusivity when the majority of diverse employees report that, “Executive Presence at my company is defined as conforming to traditionally white male standards”? As Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs are moving front and center in corporations across industries in hopes of attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce, they are challenged by deep cultural issues embedded in their organizations. In this optimistic and at times humorous keynote, Dr. Ahuja explores shares the reasons for these challenges, and practical solutions to address them. From employee resistance, to changing language, to helping managers best support diverse teams, she will demonstrate best practices that will help you build and maintain an authentically diverse workplace.
Beyond Lip Service to Impact: Diversity and Inclusion as a Catalyst for Innovation
Innovation is the most powerful way for organizations to stay relevant 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 stories from her research that clearly demonstrate why diverse teams create more “out of the box” ideas and drive nearly 20% higher revenue. She also shares best practices of inclusion including the how to build a culture healthy conflict, and create the psychological safety for diverse teams that is fundamental to successful innovation and business growth.
What Other Organizations Say About Dr. Simone Ahuja
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Ahuja’s insightful presentation on Frugal Innovation. Our diverse audience of 850 showed record engagement during the extended Q&A after the presentation. I’m certain all of our attendees left the session with actionable takeaways that they could implement in their offices immediately.
Tammy Neale, Chief of Staff, Virginia Housing Development Authority