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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Finding Not One But Two Blue Oceans

On Dec 10, 2018 1:30:51 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean Strategy, advisors for entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs

 

Believer in Blue Ocean Strategy®

Blue Ocean Strategy preaches that finding unmet needs is a critical element to continued organizational success. So, if you are a big believer in Blue Ocean Strategy, like I am, here are two companies that very successfully solve unmet needs.

The first is Warby Parker that provides extensive eyewear selection via the web. I am a user of their website, which lets me select exactly what I want in glasses at a reasonable price point. No longer do I have to settle for whatever my local eyeglass retailer has in stock.

I am also user of Harry’s, an online razor blade and grooming company. Great products that eliminate hassle. Best of all, I don’t have to suffer the inconvenience of shopping at a drug store or supermarket for razors.

The same guy co-founded both companies

Imagine my surprise when I picked up the November 2, 2018 Business Section of the NY Times and found out that the entrepreneur behind both businesses was the same person. Yes, Jeff Raider co-founded both Warby Parker and Harry’s. That’s pretty neat. And while I am not sure if Mr. Raider is a “card carrying” Blue Ocean Strategist, he certainly understands the underlying concept of a finding Blue Oceans.

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What Higher Education Needs Is A More Powerful, Blue Ocean Strategy®

On Dec 7, 2018 7:54:58 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy, Higher Education

A perfect storm of disconnect: higher education and changing times

At SAMC, we do a good deal of work with higher education institutions. Why? Because we're all about culture change and helping organizations find their Blue Ocean Strategy so they can adapt to what's coming (or in many cases, what's already here). And what we're finding is that today's colleges and universities desperately need both — culture change and Blue Ocean Strategy.

Case in point: If you look at classrooms from the years 1900, 1950 and today, you might be surprised, or dismayed, to see that they are all very much the same. Take a look:

While this antiquated educational system still hasn’t changed much, the world outside is changing faster than ever before. What to do?

Higher education needs to re-think its entire approach

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Hate Change? Anthropology Can Make You and Your People Love It!

On Nov 23, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: corporate anthropologist, business change, Culture Change

I often get calls from HR directors who say, "Help! I have a new CEO and he wants me to change the culture." And so I ask, "What's the problem?" And the HR person will say, "I don't really know what our culture is." And my answer to that is, "Well, what would the new CEO like it to become?" And they’ll say, "I'm not sure, but it isn't working so a new culture is what we need." Typically, they just want something different but they don't really know where they're going or how to get there. And they're not alone.

Many clients come to us because the times are changing and they know they have to adapt but they don't know how.

Change is something people hate. The brain hates it. The culture hates it. Organizations hate it. But as corporate anthropologists, we are convinced that what works—yes, really works—to successfully change an organization are the methods, tools and techniques of anthropology

Over and over again, we find that high-performing organizations thrive when they unleash the talent, passion and potential of their people. That has everything to do with building a better culture, and changing a culture for the better is what corporate anthropology is all about. 

To explain the kind of work we do at SAMC to help organizations change, I recently produced this webinar. It will help you understand the pain and challenges of change and why we just hate to do it. Then it will take you through the building blocks needed to change people. I'll touch on a few key concepts here in this blog but to get the full story, you really need to watch the webinar. Just click on the graphic below.
To read the full transcript of the webinar, click here.

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Change Might Be Exactly What Your Organization Needs To Be Successful

On Nov 15, 2018 6:34:51 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: corporate anthropologist, business change, Culture Change

"Continuing to do what’s working is easy. What’s harder is to stop doing the things that aren’t working."

My thoughts exactly. In fact, in a recent Forbes article about how first-time CMOs need to focus on what to keep doing, start doing and sometimes more importantly, stop doing, I'm referenced as saying that just like individuals, fear, habit and hope can keep companies (even the most successful ones) from evolving. 

The article then mentions a previous Forbes blog of mine, "Why We're So Afraid of Change -- And Why That Holds Businesses Back," in which I discuss how so many businesses we work with at SAMC find themselves stuck, experiencing zero growth. The reason? (It's obvious to us but they can't see it.) In the midst of massive change all around them, they insist on using the same outmoded tactics to run their companies while wishing for the old world order to return. Good luck with that.

Beyond fearing change itself, many companies fail to see how the business environment itself is shifting.

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Entrepreneurs Do Customer Research Through Corporate Anthropology

On Oct 26, 2018 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: anthropology, corporate anthropologist, Corporate Anthropology, Business Anthropology

Is your company developing a new product or service? Are you planning a product launch? Do you want a better understanding of customer behavior and needs? Finally, are there major pain points which your product or service needs to solve?

Every successful entrepreneur knows that to grow your startup into a thriving business, you need to understand your customer. Easier said than done...particularly when you're about to introduce a new product or service into the market and compiling a group of statistics isn’t an option. That’s when the smartest course of action is to rely on corporate anthropology.

As an entrepreneur building a business, you can gain a crucial competitive advantage by using the methods and techniques of anthropology to help you tap into the behavioral patterns of your consumers. From a customer's first encounter with your product to the purchase stage to their return visit, anthropology enables you to get a better grip on how individuals interact with your brand.

As a result, you'll be able to successfully develop a product offer and a customer experience that meet consumers' demands and solve their challenges. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are a few examples of how to successfully apply anthropology to your business.

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Entrepreneurs, Be Smart and Pick the Right People to Help You Grow

On Oct 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: business leadership, Entrepreneurs, advisors for entrepreneurs


 

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted!

It is not easy being an entrepreneur. Starting an entirely new type of business is never easy. If you are in a startup mode, you often must turn out a product or service, make the sales calls, run the books and at the same time ensure that you are following your business plan. Often you don’t have people in the organization to help you reflect on this plan; think about the business, and bounce ideas off.

Getting the right advice is not easy

Where to go to get advice is a tough question? Unless you have a partner or a gifted staff member, where do you go?

Perhaps you like to talk with friends and your significant other. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t. (I have been very fortunate because my wife is a business person and understands what I am saying, how I feel, and helps me sort through issues.)

Even that is not enough.

I was very fortunate to start a company, build it over 20 years and sell it for a lot of money. As successful as it all turned out, there were times where I felt like I was on a high wire without a safety net.

Do you have a safety net, yet?

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Hire Anthropologists! It Might Be Your Smartest Business Move

On Oct 13, 2018 7:27:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: anthropology, corporate anthropologist, Corporate Anthropology, Andrea Simon, business change management, business leadership

Recently I was interviewed by INSIDE Public Accounting on the business applications of corporate anthropology. I will be speaking at IPA's 2018 PRIME Symposium conference, so this interview served as a kind of sneak peek into what I will focus on in the culture change workshop I'll be conducting. (You can read the entire interview here.)

My focus was on the importance of observational research to better understand why people behave the way they do, especially when interacting with a product or service. By observing behaviors, anthropologists are trained to see things people do not always know they are doing. These observations then lead to all types of insights, changes to processes, modifications to services, and even innovations.

Equally important was how these "new" ideas and insights help organizations rethink what they are doing. Often, they can better hone in on their targets because now they have a deeper understanding of their own "ways of doing things" and how well they align (or don't align) with their customers' needs.

Since we know that change is painful, observing with fresh eyes how something is being done can often enable people to better see ways to change those habits. Pretty amazing insights emerge from a little anthropology!

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How Anthropology Unleashes Your Employees' Talent

On Oct 11, 2018 10:23:33 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: business change, Culture Change, Corporate Culture, Corporate Anthropology

 

As you may know, our mission at Simon Associates Management Consultants is to help organizations change. Whether it's a large high-performing organization or a mid-size owner/operator, helping businesses change is our focus and our specialty. It's exciting work!

But, change is something that people hate. The brain hates it. The culture hates it. We see this all the time with our clients. Most organizations have a hard time implementing new ideas and new ways of doing things, even if they are good ideas and better, more productive ways of doing things.

So, what to do? How can you successfully change your organization? As corporate anthropologists, we have found that what works over and over again is "a little anthropology." Watch this webinar and you'll learn why and how you can do it too.

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How Blockchain is Transforming Business, Today!

On Oct 11, 2018 9:16:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: technological innovation, blockchain, block chain, Andrea Simon, corporate anthropologist, Culture Change

Blockchain technology is continuously improving and developing, and it’s here to stay. It might have seen its first application with the advent of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but its real potential lies in its ability to transform the business landscape as we know it.

What's Blockchain, You Ask?

Basically, blockchain is a digital ledger that currently is used to track, record and store transactions on blocks. When applied to business, these same blocks of data have the potential to perform any type of sale, goods exchange, contract, payment, monitoring or recording.

As this technology becomes fine-tuned over the coming decade, companies will start to integrate blockchain more and more into their processes and business relationships. And with so much potential on the horizon, it’s worth taking a look at how exactly blockchain technology can transform business.

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Innovative Applications of Corporate Anthropology in Business

On Oct 9, 2018 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: culture, anthropology, Corporate Culture, Corporate Anthropology, Andrea Simon

Applying the humanities to business isn’t anything new. In fact, the corporate world has a long tradition of embracing various studies of human society and culture to explain and benefit its many strategies. And when it comes to anthropology — the study of human and social behavior — the story isn't much different.

But as the pressure mounts for college students to take STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), the humanities and social science programs are struggling to sustain their relevance. Nevertheless, there are still humanities majors who dominate the business world, and 75% of today's entrepreneurs were liberal arts majors, in part because there were no programs teaching entrepreneurship when they were in college.

Fortunately for those with anthropology degrees, there has been an increase in recent years in the application of anthropology to the world of business. This has given birth to the term "corporate anthropology" — the study of human values, beliefs and behaviors in the business environment. Now, anthropology is thriving in business, driving change and innovation in a number of different areas.

Here is a brief overview of how corporate anthropology is changing its role in the business arena, how business is changing anthropologists, and why should you try it for your own company.

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