Ron Ashkenas

Business writer

Ron Ashkenas first introduced the notion that simplification should be a core leadership strategy in his groundbreaking Harvard Business Review article, “Simplicity-Minded Management” (December 2007). In his latest work, SIMPLY EFFECTIVE: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done, Ashkenas builds on this simplification imperative to show how corporations can reduce costs, accelerate innovation and strengthen the bottom line by mounting a direct attack on complexity.

An internationally recognized consultant and speaker on organizational transformation and post-merger integration, Ron is also a senior partner of Schaffer Consulting – a leader in the development and practice of organizational and cultural change for over 50 years located in Stamford, Conn. Since joining Schaffer in the late-1970s, Ron has helped dozens of organizations achieve dramatic performance improvements while also strengthening their leadership capacity, including Johnson & Johnson, The World Bank and ConAgra Foods.
Ron also was part of the original team that collaborated with then-CEO Jack Welch to develop GE’s Work-Out approach for creating a faster, simpler and more nimble organization. Since then, he has led Schaffer’s efforts to adapt and enhance the Work-Out methodology and apply it to other organizations. He has served on the faculty of executive education programs at major universities, such as Stanford Business School, the Kellogg School at Northwestern and the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He received his BA from Wesleyan University, his EdM from Harvard University and his PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University.

Ron is the co-author of four additional articles in Harvard Business Review, including “Why Good Projects Fail Anyway” and “Making the Deal Real: How GE Capital Integrates Acquisitions”. His co-authored books include The GE Work-Out (McGraw-Hill, 2002), The Boundaryless Organization (Jossey-Bass, 2nd edition, 2002), and Rapid Results! (Jossey-Bass, 2005). He has also authored multiple articles focused on organizational transformation that have appeared in well-respected journals, including National Productivity Review, the Human Resource Management Journal, Management Review and Leader to Leader.

SIMPLY EFFECTIVE: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done by Ron Ashkenas; Harvard Business Press; December 8, 2009; Hardcover: $27.95; 224 pages; ISBN: 1-4221-8114-6

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