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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Entrepreneurs: Think "Business Culture" First, Not Last!

On Mar 16, 2017 11:07:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Entrepreneurs, Andrea Simon, Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Corporate Culture

 

Not long ago, we were working with an entrepreneur who had asked us to evaluate his business in the event marketing industry. While the company was highly creative and doing well, the problems seemed to stem from a recurring pattern of turnover (among the creative leaders, the controller, the new business developers) and workplace disenchantment. People came and went through a proverbial revolving door.

From our client's perspective, the challenge was how to hire the right people to support the company's rapid growth, but we could see that the culture he had created seemed to foster employee disarray. Was the problem in the business segment itself, as the CEO thought? Or was the problem the CEO himself (as we wondered)? Or, perhaps, was it the company's culture? And if so, was this a good time for changing that culture?

For this particular entrepreneur, culture was an elusive "thing" that he knew he should pay attention to. However, he wasn’t sure what his culture actually was, much less why it would lead to so many people coming and going.

As we began our work with him, we could tell that the problem was a little of everything, which is what an organization's culture is all about. 

Could this business leader address his challenges if he saw them with fresh eyes?

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How to Solve the Return on Investment (ROI) Problem for College Students

On Mar 6, 2017 9:21:40 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Higher Education

For the past six months, I have been blogging about some of the problems college students face upon graduation and the underwhelming efforts of colleges and universities to help solve these problems — namely, significant debt as well as a lack of training to compete for careers in our ever-changing economic environment. Along these lines, I came across a NY Times article dated February 18, 2017 entitled: “College Cost Too Much? N.Y.U. Paves Way to Graduate Faster.” The article explains that with the cost of an NYU education running about $66,000 per year (including room, board, tuition and fees), the university faces an “enormous affordability problem” evidenced by complaints from students over the cost of four years of tuition. NYU’s solution? A series of measures to make it easier to graduate in under four years and save money.

The article goes on to say that the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin are also trying to address these issues, but that some experts who study education are questioning this “acceleration effort” because of what students "will miss if they rush through their undergraduate years.” At least the fact that some higher ed institutions are proactively offering ways to reduce more than $60,000 a year in student debt is a good start, and perhaps the trade-off of a shorter college experience for many that must self-finance or borrow is worthwhile.

The future is still in doubt for a lot of today’s graduates

Of course I think that it is great to lower the debt load for these kids, don’t get me wrong…but if colleges don’t give them the skills they’re going to need out in the real world, they often graduate with no hope for a high paying entry level job.

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"On the Brink" Bronze Axiom Best Business Book

On Feb 28, 2017 10:24:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

On the Brink

I am thrilled to share that "On The Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights," just out since July of last year, has won a Bronze Axiom Business Book Awards in the Operations Management/ Lean/Continuous Improvement category. I’m in very good company with "Sprint" by Jake Knapp and "Let My People Go Surfing" by Yvon Chouinard. 

Since 2007, the Axiom Business Book Awards have honored the year's best, cutting-edge business books from all over the world, with the understanding that business people are information-hungry, eager to learn about influential new books that provide information and ideas critical to success in today's competitive marketplace.

You can learn more about the Axiom awards and the winners here

Want to read some of my book? 
Download a free chapter on my website AndiSimon.com. 

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5 Best Tools to Find Your Blue Ocean Strategy®

On Feb 23, 2017 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Blue Ocean Strategy

 

Recently, we gave a workshop to several dozen CEOs who had less than stellar years. They had their strategic plans in place and tactical actions laid out. Now they were ready to see how their strategies were working for them — or not.

While they could each explain why results were not as strong as expected, what began to dawn on them during our workshop was that part of the problem was their strategy. In each case, it needed to be reviewed and reworked in order for their businesses to get going again.

Need business growth? You might need a Blue Ocean Strategy.

At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we specialize in Blue Ocean Strategy® thinking and in working with companies to redesign their business strategies. Blue Ocean Strategies help companies find unmet needs and add value in innovative ways so that they are not just "another business solution" but the "only solution.” (At least for awhile until others catch up.)

As trained Blue Ocean practitioners with over 300 workshops and dozens of client engagements under our belts, we help companies see how a new approach — Blue Ocean style — can lead them to find new untapped markets awaiting their solutions. Exploiting these untapped markets then leads to business growth, the ultimate goal.

To learn more about Blue Ocean Strategy, visit our website or any number of our blogs or white papers on the topic. Here are three blogs to get you started:

So, what is Blue Ocean Strategy?

Blue Ocean Strategy is a theory, method and toolkit developed by W. Chan Kim and Reneé Mauborgne and outlined in their breakthrough book, Blue Ocean Strategy. First published in 2005 then republished in 2015 with new information, it has become the core approach we use with our clients, many of whom are literally "on the brink" before getting unstuck and moving ahead in new directions. (You can read more in my book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights.")

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Top 5 Ways Inbound Marketing Builds Pediatric Online Presence

On Feb 15, 2017 9:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Inbound Marketing, Keywords

 

At Simon Associates Marketing Consultants (SAMC), we have been Inbound Marketing/HubSpot partners for three years. What I would like to do in this blog is present a case study to articulate why we believe that Inbound is a very effective vehicle for successfully marketing any organization—in this case, a pediatrics practice. Of particular importance is how to build a brand's online presence.

How to use Inbound Marketing to build brand awareness, attract users and measure progress

SAMC has been deeply embedded in healthcare marketing for several decades, working with a wide array of healthcare clients across the country, including hospital systems, physicians' practices, ACOs and health information management clients.

Three years ago, we were engaged by a multi-specialty practice that wanted to give its pediatricians more visibility and establish a real brand presence in the marketplace for its twelve pediatric offices.

Firmly believing in the power of Inbound Marketing, we began to build a brand identity and consumer awareness of the pediatric practice and its pediatricians, following these 5 specific principles:

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What Colleges’ #1 Priority Should Be But Isn’t: Training Graduates for the Future

On Jan 24, 2017 2:01:13 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Higher Education

I have been writing blogs about what liberal arts institutions have failed to do in the new 21st century environment. My focus has been trying to find direct links between job placement, earnings and lifetime learning skills. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of those!

Should there be? Perhaps…but let’s discuss the indirect links. And if you believe in indirect links, shouldn’t liberal arts institutions be thinking about this linkage themselves, both formally and informally? Let me give you an example. While I am not always a current reader, I came across the August edition of CB Insights and was particularly struck by the article entitled, “The Future of Dining: 99 Startups Reinventing The Restaurant In One Infographic.”

What is interesting about this article is that it is all about the Internet of Things…which is alive and well and growing. For example, in the restaurant business, some restaurants “are nearly fully automated and require minimal, if any, interaction between employees and customers.” So, what has this got to do with colleges? 

Well, if your higher ed institution is not thinking about this, it should be. And if it is thinking about it, it should be doing something because the IofT will be affecting every college and university’s student population shortly.

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Time to Make the Competition Irrelevant, Blue Ocean® Style!

On Jan 19, 2017 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy

At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we have recently been working with clients who are struggling with an abundance of competition in their "red oceans." As you may know, we are Blue Ocean Strategy® professionals and corporate anthropologists. And, we are big believers that people cannot see what is often before their eyes. 

Red oceans are a metaphor for a highly competitive market space where businesses follow a traditional methodology promoted for years by Michael Porter and others. The thinking goes like this: carve out your market, differentiate your product and service offerings, and find your market space at the right price point to generate a good margin. The only problem is that today, there is too much supply and competition and too little demand for products, services and solutions.

In a business slump? Maybe you need to go exploring!

The best way to do that is to "hang out" and watch your customersand non-customersget their jobs done.

At SAMC, that's what we specialize in: helping clients realize the great potential of finding their "blue oceans" where they make the competition irrelevant, capture and create new demand, go after unmet needs, and value-innovate (not value-incrementalize) their offerings. As John Seely Brownvisiting scholar at USC and the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, famously said, "The way forward is all around you." You just have to see it.

Today, I want to show you how to go visually exploring. This is a key part of how you can begin to see how your clients are really struggling to solve their problems, often with your own products. And what does that struggle represent? Opportunity!

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Innovative Solutions Abound As Healthcare Shifts From the Hospital to the Home

On Jan 10, 2017 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Healthcare

Have you noticed the huge change taking place in the way healthcare is delivered today? At Simon Associates Management Consultants, we have. It's something we've been watching for some time because it's a reflection of the massive shift in the values, beliefs and behaviors of consumers and clinical practitioners at all stages and levels of the care delivery system.

Gone are the days when you went to the doctor and waited in the reception area (often for a long time) to get seen for 10-15 minutes and then were prescribed something by a physician or physician assistant. Now, patients want 24/7 accessibility to someone, but not necessarily in-person or in an office. Furthermore, they want caregivers who can help them stay in their homes, remain active and involved, and help them manage their aging in a positive environment.

At the same time, healthcare payers, from CMS to insurance companies, are pressing hospitals to move their patients into lower cost, better care settingsthose very homes where patients are needing new care solutions.

Wow, talk about changing times!

The result? A wave of opportunities for new business models and innovative solutionsan emerging trend which I detail in a recent article I wrote for Hospital Impact

Connecting those who have a need with those who have solutions

Following the very successful models of Airbnb and Uber, several companies are now offering platforms to connect those who need care with those who are best trained and suited to provide it. As I explain in my article, this innovative use of technology is opening up new, broader and faster solutions that are more in keeping with the accelerating pace of this potentially huge demand.

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Why Accountable Care Organizations Need to Become “Hot Brands”—Fast

On Jan 3, 2017 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Healthcare

 

Is this what an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) looks like?


Wow, what a tough time to be a doctor. For many of them, they must soon decide whether to join an ACO (Accountable Care Organization), a move that will probably require them to significantly change the way they practice medicine and coordinate their patients’ care. But how do they decide which one to join? And what separates one ACO from another, anywayespecially in the mind of the consumer?

The answer to both questions? Branding. 

Today's healthcare consumers have changed, dramatically.

More and more these days, people go online to search for the best solutions to their healthcare needs. As a result, ACOs must now adjust their branding and marketing to capture them, something I talk about in detail in my recent article for Strategic Health Care Marketing

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How Apprenticeship Programs Boost Graduates AND The Economy

On Dec 14, 2016 9:49:11 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Higher Education

When you sort through the presidential election campaign rhetoric from this past year, you learn that there are really a number of bad ideas or no ideas. But just as I was thinking about that, I read a December 1, 2016 NY Times article, “What Trump Might Do For Working-Class Families,” which includes a section on “Apprenticeships.” That is what I want to talk about today.

Apprenticeships…an interesting idea and these days, maybe a necessity

Apprenticeships? A captivating idea that I have been advocating as I write my blogs on higher education…what works and what doesn’t. And I think I have been consistent in saying that training young people through apprentice programs, even at the college level, is something that needs to be considered and put into practice much more these days.

You see, good enough today just isn’t good enough! A number of higher education institutions are preparing kids for a world that doesn’t exist anymore. But having said that, I want to be careful not to take anything away from liberal arts. (My degree was in political science but I went on to get an MBA.)

In today’s technically complex world, a lot of students are not prepared for a complicated entry level job. The net effect is that they end up with minimum wages, live at home, have substantial college debt to pay off and can’t afford to marry. Not good for our society and certainly not good for our economy!

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