Arend Ardon

Arend Ardon

“I am passionate about working with clients to achieve inspiring change, create momentum, and blaze new trails. This sometimes means exposing and breaking out of tired patterns, so as to subsequently be able to accelerate. I relish opportunities to be intensively involved in innovation processes, often supported by a team of experienced change coaches.”

Dr Arend Ardon (1967) is a social psychologist and a management consultant. He teaches at various business schools, including Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics, where he holds a principal lectureship. In 2009, he obtained a doctorate from VU University Amsterdam with a dissertation about leadership in complex change processes. He is furthermore a highly sought-after speaker for conferences and seminars. Arend has published dozens of articles and has various books to his name. His book Doorbreek de cirkel! has meanwhile sold in excess of 30,000 copies and was recently also published in English (Break the Cycle!). His recent book Ontketen vernieuwing! (which translates as ‘unchain innovation’) has also become a best-seller in the Netherlands. In partnership with Elephant Road, Arend developed the online Change & Innovation course, especially for smartphones and tablets. It offers lots of video content, interactive tests, and a vast library of further reading ().

Primary expertise

Change and innovation | breaking out of patterns | boosting the climate for innovation | chairing and speaking at management conferences | turning routines on their heads | inspiration (lectures, master classes, theatre)

Common requests that Arend Ardon gets from clients include:

Inspirational innovation
‘Can you guide us as we explore new paths for (disruptive) change?’
‘Can you help us shape an attractive and inspiring change process?’
‘How can we as a company up our game when it comes to innovation?’
‘Can you help us boost employees’ entrepreneurial spirit, customer focus, or sense of responsibility?’

Bringing strategy to life
‘We want to bring our (abstract) strategy to life in concrete and visible behaviour. Can you help us do that?’
‘We are too slow in implementing our policy; how do we speed it up?’

Breaking down patterns
‘Things have got stuck. Can you help us break out of stagnating patterns and release new energy?’
‘Could you design a professionalisation process to increase our change effectiveness?’

(Innovative) leadership and management
‘Our management methods are not producing the required effects; how do we make our management style more effective?’
‘We want to engage our managers in an intensive leadership process to experience how best to reinforce the new direction through our behaviour.’
‘Could you organise a self-assessment by our Supervisory Board?’


Selection of books in English
Ardon, Arend (2018), Break the Cycle! – How managers block change without realizing it, Amsterdam: Warden Press.

Ardon, A.J. (2009), Moving Moments, Leadership and interventions in dynamically complex change processes, Doctoral dissertation, Amsterdam: VU University Amsterdam.