100 episodes

On The Brink is a podcast where the goal is to help you better "see, feel and think" about your business, your job, your personal life and your purpose. There will be great interviews and conversations with people who are deeply involved in change—consultants, change agents, managers transforming their teams, entrepreneurs just starting out and CEOs running well-established companies.

On the Brink with Andi Simon Andi Simon

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0 • 15 Ratings

On The Brink is a podcast where the goal is to help you better "see, feel and think" about your business, your job, your personal life and your purpose. There will be great interviews and conversations with people who are deeply involved in change—consultants, change agents, managers transforming their teams, entrepreneurs just starting out and CEOs running well-established companies.

    262: Babette Ballinger—How Does A Woman Tackle The Fashion Industry? Head On

    262: Babette Ballinger—How Does A Woman Tackle The Fashion Industry? Head On

    Hear how one woman made her mark in an industry of men.
    Babette Ballinger holds a special place in our hearts, and in my new book, "Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business." As a fashion designer and owner of her own apparel sales firm, Babette had to constantly re-invent herself, learn how to run a business, and deal with the challenges of sustaining successful partnerships with men. Working with almost every major retailer in the country as well as many smaller ones, she quickly developed the ability to compromise and navigate complicated and diverse rules and regulations. When I think of trailblazing women who opened the door for so many others, I think of Babette. Listen in!

    You can watch our interview here

    The fascinating life of Babette Ballinger
    Babette Ballinger grew up in Memphis, TN and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis (as did my husband Andy) with a BFA. After moving to New York City where she had a great time but did not find fame and fortune, she moved to Los Angeles and became a successful fashion designer and merchandiser in the heyday of color-coordinated pant suits and nylon printed shirts. Returning to New York, she founded and ran her own garment manufacturing company for more than 25 years. As she will tell you, critical to her success was understanding production, deadlines and cost effectiveness, as she had to design, produce and sell her entire product. 
    She married her husband, Raymond Ballinger, in 1982 and they raised two sons and a daughter. Together, she and Raymond founded and ran The Rhinebeck Summer Theatre. 
    Now living in Bloomington, Indiana, Babette is continuing her participation in theatre and art. She is a member of the Bloomington Water Color Society and a founding member of Upland Plein-Aire Group and IPAPA. She also currently serves on the Bloomington Art Commission. 
    A woman of many talents and interests, Babette mentors individuals in business through Bloomington SCORE, has published a memoir of the Ballinger family called "Earthbound," and has just completed a memoire. She is also an amateur genealogist and has helped friends find their biological families. 
    You can connect with Babette on LinkedIn or email her at aknita@aol.com.
    A few more stories of barrier-breaking women achieving great things
    These Women Are Refusing To Let Anything Hold Them Back Kamala Harris: Boldly Smashing One Of The Highest, Hardest Glass Ceilings Edie Fraser—How to Create a More Equitable World for Women in Business, Together? Additional resources for you
    My best-selling new book: "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business" My award-winning first book: "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" Simon Associates Management Consultants website  

    • 42 min
    261: Edie Fraser—How to Create a More Equitable World for Women in Business, Together?

    261: Edie Fraser—How to Create a More Equitable World for Women in Business, Together?

    Hear how women leaders are finally coming into their own
    There are times when very special people come into our lives. If you believe in serendipity, as I do, you realize that they are here for a purpose. We often are not sure what that purpose is, but there is something almost magical in meeting them, working with them, and just having them enter your orbit. Edie did a lovely review of my new book, Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, and from there our friendship grew. Now, Women Business Collaborative is working with Rethink and Catalyzing the Future to host a global virtual summit on May 13, 2021 called Catalyzing the Future: Rethinking Women’s Leadership in Business. You can register here.
    You can watch our interview here

    We are stronger and go farther together
    Edie Fraser was introduced to me by a client/colleague/friend, Lynne Born. Edie, Lynne and others had realized that momentum moving women forward was coming slowly, almost at a snail's pace. All of the organizations centered around women's advances in business were well-intended and hard-working, but were often competing with each other for position and progress.
    Instead, Edie decided that what was needed was to combine all of these great organizations into one collaboration where together, they could turn momentum into a movement that would propel women into C-suites, into boardrooms, into pay equity and gender equality, and enable women entrepreneurs to gain a fair share of the VC capital.
    Listen to our conversation about how Edie’s life was a journey on its way to catapult herself and others into this new movement.
    But also listen to how working together, recognizing the achievements of each of these organizations and each other, can propel change in business, and in society, in ways that none of us can do on our own. 
    About Edie Fraser
    Currently CEO of Women Business Collaborative whose mission is to accelerate equal position, pay and power for all businesswomen, Edie previously spent 14 years as Managing Director of Diversified Search and Founder and CEO of STEMconnector® and Million Women Mentors®. She also founded and served as CEO of Public Affairs Group working with 250 Fortune companies, advancing best practice programs focused on women and diversity leadership. 
    A consummate entrepreneur, Edie has built three companies and launched several movements. In addition, she has received 56 major leadership awards, including the Mosaic Woman Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from Diversity Woman Magazine. She has served on numerous boards, including the national board of SCORE, and has been inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame. She also was the first woman to serve as Chairman of the World Affairs Council of DC.
    Edie is the author of several books, including Do Your Giving While You Are Living and Risk to Riches: Women and Entrepreneurship in America. 
    You can connect with Edie on LinkedIn or Twitter or email her at Edie@WBCollaborative.org
    Learn more about what women can accomplish when working together
    How Women in Leadership Roles Can Finally Change The Workplace Tracy Higginbotham—Now Is The Time For Women To Help Women Build Better Businesses Liz Musch—What Can A Successful Woman Teach Other Women? How To Succeed Additional resources for you
    My best-selling new book: "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business" My award-winning first book: "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" Simon Associates Management Consultants website  

    • 24 min
    260: Bruce Eckfeldt—How Can You Really Scale Your Business to Succeed?

    260: Bruce Eckfeldt—How Can You Really Scale Your Business to Succeed?

    Need to grow your business, fast? Hear how!
    Bruce Eckfeldt roams in the same territories that I do, but his background and experience are rather different. He was an architect until he realized that learning how to be an architect is very different from being one. So he skipped over into business and never looked back. In our conversation today, we dig deep into what he learned as a CEO in an Inc. 500 company, building his own company, and then selling it and pivoting to redesign his career. Now he helps others “soar." Do you have a business you want to grow? Listen in!
    Watch and listen to our conversation

    Bruce’s passion lies in the architecture of business strategy and development
    Our talk today is about growth. Growth demands strategic focus, clear accountability, ongoing communication, cultural improvement, team alignment and cash flow optimization, along with other core components of a thriving business. Bruce and I discuss huddles, Master Minds and strategy methodologies that help you and your team get focused and stay on it. 
    About Bruce Eckfeldt
    Bruce Eckfeldt is a consultant, coach, author and highly sought-after speaker on organizational development and performance management. Originally an architect, he then became a pioneer in the use of computer-aided design and 3D modeling, later transitioning into software design and development.
    Seeing the need for a faster-paced, more innovative approach to technology development, Bruce was an early adopter of Extreme Programming (an early Agile/Lean software methodology), founding Cyrus Innovation in 2003, one of the first Agile/Lean development consulting firms.
    After more than a decade of developing products and coaching companies adopting Agile/Lean practices, Bruce sold Cyrus in 2014 to focus on broader organizational development initiatives. He served as interim CEO, COO and other executive roles across a number of different high-tech and professional service companies, leading these companies through periods of high growth and leadership transition. Now he is a strategic coach to organizations of all sizes seeking rapid growth.
    You can connect with Bruce at LinkedIn, Twitter and his website. You can also email him at bruce@eckfeldt.com.
    Need to grow, fast? These are a good first step
    Blog: Best Practices to Scale Your Business for Growth Blog: How Do You Grow A Business In A Fast-Changing Market? Podcast: Assessing Your Company’s Organization To Sustain Growth In Changing Times Additional resources for you
    My best-selling new book: "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business" My award-winning first book: "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" Simon Associates Management Consultants website  

    • 29 min
    259: Claus Raasted—Now Is The Time To Turn Your Big Ideas Into Great Innovations!

    259: Claus Raasted—Now Is The Time To Turn Your Big Ideas Into Great Innovations!

    Hear how embracing the unfamiliar unlocks your best ideas!
    Often when I am looking for interesting people to bring to our podcast listeners, I am introduced to unexpectedly fascinating folks like Claus Raasted. An innovation strategist, Claus has been pushing the limits of the possible for 20 years. He is Director at The College of Extraordinary Experiences, a Coach at McKinsey & Company, and posts a daily innovation keynote on his YouTube channel. He is also a prolific author with 30 books to his name, and has just finished "The Innovation Cycle." Our discussion was about how to help people “see, feel and think” in new ways, which you know is my own passion and purpose. For a fascinating podcast, listen in!
    Watch and listen to our conversation

    While Claus is a successful innovator, he knows how difficult it is for people to do that
    Currently, Claus helps people create ideas and then enables them to implement them. In this podcast, we talked about how ideas come from across industries, from people of different backgrounds coming together to share their viewpoints. And while it's so much more exciting to learn from people who are different than us, people are often uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. Their brains just hate the new and the different. 
    As a corporate anthropologist who helps companies change, and that means the people inside those companies, I know far too well how the brain hates to change, how it embraces the familiar and fights the unfamiliar. You just need to collaborate with your mind to change all of that and see what is possible. Let this be a time for change. You can do it!!
    Claus teaches you how to take your big ideas and turn them into great innovations
    He also shares a simple lesson: If you want to do anything—whether it's write a book, change your company, create something new in how you cook dinner—just start. Do a page, a chapter, an idea, one step at a time. The important thing is to start.
    You can connect with Claus on LinkedIn, his website, The College of Extraordinary Experiences website, his blog or his email claus.raasted@gmail.com.
    About Claus Raasted
    This is what clients say about Claus:
    "Claus packs more insights into 60 minutes than I can action in 6 months. His fresh, deeply insightful perspective matched with his uncanny ability to tell stories the way his audience can grasp leave the listener feeling a sense of awe and wonder. Savvy, sharp, savant."
    "He can inspire you to sit up and listen, and never has there been a greater need to re-evaluate and better understand the changes in ourselves, in business and in society." 
    "A cross between Thor, Mick Jagger and Lady Gaga!"
    Claus works globally but his base is the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, where he lives with his better half and their daughter.
    Ready to start working on innovationa and change? Start with these
    Blog: How to Convert a Great Idea into a Successful Innovation
    Blog: Hate Change? Anthropology Can Make You and Your People Love It!
    Podcast: Andy and Andi Simon—Innovation Games® Are What You Need To Imagine Your Future
    Additional resources for you
    My best-selling new book: "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business" My award-winning first book: "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" Simon Associates Management Consultants website  

    • 30 min
    258: Kim Spencer—Isn't It Time To Become The Princess You Always Wanted To Be?

    258: Kim Spencer—Isn't It Time To Become The Princess You Always Wanted To Be?

    Hear how you, yes you, can live a life that's more fulfilling
    Kim Spencer—what an amazing women. I was so delighted to be on Kim’s podcast, The Princess and the B, that I wanted to share her enthusiasm with all of our listeners. During this podcast, we dig into why women seem to have a hard time seeing the “princess” in themselves. Kim, as you will hear, has been obsessed with women who somehow smashed the myths holding them back and managed to soar. (Sounds like a chapter in my new book "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business" ) Now Kim is ready to help women overcome those self-imposed limitations and climb to the top. Are you ready to live your best, most fulfilling life? Listen in!
    Why do some women self-destruct while others become powerhouses, pioneering their own path and finding their passion and their purpose?
    Growing up, Kim had a fascination with princesses. Her mom even had to search through old library books to find new princesses for her. In these characters, Kim found women who were human. 
    She will also tell you about how her princess fascination was really an escape from a home life marked by an addicted father and an enabling mother. Kim found her way out through acting, but that was not enough. Listen in and you will learn how she escaped her reality while creating a new one, and now finds herself on a continuing journey to help others become the best that they can be. 
    About Kim Spencer
    Rather than tell you Kim's story, I urge you to visit her website, CrownYourself. You can read about her acting career, and her realization that she was living a story that was unfulfilling. And you can also see how she changed her life by changing her story...to herself, her husband and her family. You can connect with Kim through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and her website.
    Rethink your story
    We are our stories. We live them. If you are ready to change your story, please visit our new program, Rethink Your Journey with Andi Simon. It was built by women for women who are ready to rethink their life’s journey and take it in new directions. Is it your turn to find that pathway to become the best that you can be? Whether in your homelife, your career, your own business, your philanthropic work, or however you are stuck or stalled. It is time for you to Rethink Your Journey. Join me. Together we will have a great journey. Bon Voyage!
    Get inspired by these women who refused to be held back
    Blog: It’s A New Day!!! Finally, Women Have A Seat At The Table Blog: Kamala Harris: Boldly Smashing One Of The Highest, Hardest Glass Ceilings Podcast: Lisa McLeod—If You Want To Succeed, You Must Find Your Noble Purpose Additional resources for you
    My best-selling new book: "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business" My award-winning first book: "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" Simon Associates Management Consultants website  

    • 33 min
    257: Emma Mills-Sheffield—Can Listening Help You Solve Your Life's Problems?

    257: Emma Mills-Sheffield—Can Listening Help You Solve Your Life's Problems?

    Learn how empowering your employees catalyzes your business
    In October of last year I was interviewed by Emma Mills-Sheffield for her blog. We spoke about the challenges that businesses face when they stop growing, which is the subject of my first book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights," that shares seven case studies of clients who had gotten stuck or stalled. We discussed how Emma approaches business operations in a way that she can help companies scale and sustain their growth. As we spoke, I realized that we can always learn new things in new ways. And you will as well. Listen in!
    Watch and listen to our conversation


    Emma and I both find that people are the opportunity and the challenge
    We all know that an organization is a group of people. And that its success is dependent upon those people being able to “see, feel and think” for themselves but also as a collaborative unit.
    What Emma will share with you is how she develops people's workplace skills using humility and vulnerability. She helps them see themselves in fresh ways and develop their resilience and capabilities so they can become a happy and productive workforce—what every employer wants. Because at the end of the day, any company is just a summary of its employees. Now is a good time to foster engagement and enthusiasm among your own employees as you re-enter a post-COVID environment. 
    About Emma Mills-Sheffield
    A highly sought-after consultant, Emma helps businesses drive efficiency and productivity to get the best from their organization and their people. Through coaching and training employees to become more resilient, she helps them and the companies they work for develop and thrive. By streamlining business operations and investing in people, this encourages business growth fueled by a contented, more dedicated workforce.
    Her passion is to empower people, looking beyond pure profit and cost reduction, since a successful business is more than just the bottom line.

    Clients typically work with Emma's company, Mindsetup, when they are:
    • Scaling up a business
    • Restructuring
    • Integrating new teams
    • Revising strategic direction
    • Bidding for new work or preparing for investment
    • Ramping up their formal manager training and leadership coaching 
    • Preparing for a flexible working model

    You can contact Emma on LinkedIn, her Mindsetup website or her blog.
    Want to learn more about scaling for growth by empowering your people?
    Blog: Best Practices to Scale Your Business for Growth Blog: Entrepreneurs, Be Smart and Pick the Right People to Help You Grow Podcast: Richard Sheridan—Joy in the Workplace Additional resources
    My new book: "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business" My award-winning first book: "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" Simon Associates Management Consultants website  

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Artsygal29 ,

Always invigorating

This has become one of my favorite podcasts. Andi hosts fascinating guests who have a wide range of expertise yet are relatable. I’m always looking forward to the next one.

Nick0195 ,

Andi is great!

Must-listen for everyone who want to level-up!

Lindsey Russo ,

Great Show!

What a great show to listen to! She breaks it down and tells you excatly what you need to do to grow yourself and your business! Love it

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