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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Are You Ready For The Digitalization Disruption?

On Jan 15, 2020 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: business change management, future trends

Back in the 1990s, the only way to communicate with out-of-office employees was by sending a personal message via colleague or landline phone. I can also remember when we wanted someone in the office to read something, we passed it along with a “buck slip.” And if you were at the end of that slip, you might not see it for months!

Yet today in the age of the internet, smartphones, streaming and the cloud, we are always connected, and the line dividing our personal and professional lives is increasingly becoming blurred. New technologies are constantly coming at us, causing organizations across industries to experience digital disruption. What does it all mean?

Digitalization is changing the workplace so dramatically that the acquisition of new digital skills has become a prerequisite for success

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Why It Is Easier To Do Nothing Than To See The Obvious?

On Jan 8, 2020 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: business change management, business leadership, business culture

Back when I ran a company, at one point we thought a situation was one way, and then the facts changed and it became another way. Yet when we reviewed our strategy, the new facts were not considered. New facts…no shift in direction! Nothing changed in our strategic planning and yet there were big changes in the external environment.

Sound familiar? How frustrating is it? As a consultant or manager in your organization, how many times do you point out something that is obvious, that should be fixed, and yet nothing gets done! And then you get that dreaded comment, “I know you’re right. Sometime when I get a chance, I will fix it.” Or how about: “I know but I just don’t have time to fix it.”

To me as the consultant or the outsider looking in, this is very deflating. It’s a real downer, particularly when the log jam is over something we discussed before. I sometimes want to ask, “What didn’t you get, or hear, since this is an important element in what we are doing right now?” No excuse, right?

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The Strategic Planning Process for Higher Learning Institutions Has Never Been More Crucial

On Dec 17, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean Strategy, Higher Education

Performance outcomes are directly a result of a sound (or unsound) strategic plan

I recently read an article (third in a series) in the November 22, 2019 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled, “Admin 101: Tips on Carrying Out Your Strategic Plan.” The author, David D. Perlmutter, a professor and dean of the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University, readily admits that “one of the great paradoxes of higher-education leadership is that most of us who find ourselves in administrative positions have not studied the kind of work we end up doing on a day-to-day basis. We manage budgets without understanding financial theories. We work with people but never learned interpersonal communication principles. And we carry out new strategic plans without even looking at the research on the relationship between planning and performance outcomes.”

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What Is Futurism And Do You Need It?

On Nov 29, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, future trends, futurism

When we think about today's most celebrated business leaders, usually Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk come to mind. They are often portrayed as prophets, and with good reason. Once asked about his strategy, Steve Jobs said it was first to change his company, then to change the industry, and finally, to change the world. These highly accomplished visionaries are not only able to “see” the future but also create it.   

Possessing highly speculative mindsets, futurists like these chart their companies' strategies over the long term, with foresight that spans decades, not years. This type of outlook allows them to create products and services that fit into their long-term vision, kickstarting a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. As they repeatedly tell the story of this vision, their customers' brains get accustomed to the leaders' futuristic ideas, further accelerating and ensuring their vision's success.

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Why Organizations Should Encourage Employees to Recognize Mistakes and Learn From Them

On Nov 7, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: behavior change, business model innovation, business leadership

Every last one of us makes mistakes — that's a given. If you aren't making any mistakes, chances are you're not trying anything new, which is a mistake in itself. The famed UCLA basketball coach John "the Wizard of Westwood" Wooden said, "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

Although they often feel like huge gaffes or missteps (especially when it’s you who’s made them), mistakes can lead to great ideas and innovation. But in reality, they are the stepping stones that propel us out of our comfort zone into the growing zone, where great lessons can be learned. After all, how can you tell if something works if you don't try it?

Contrary To Popular Belief, Mistakes Are Not Failures

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Is Everyone Winning But You? Time For A Blue Ocean Strategy®!

On Oct 23, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Strategy Expert, culture change expert

At SAMC, we are rather passionate about the power of Blue Ocean Strategic thinking. In fact, I recently spoke to the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association on Blue Ocean Strategy, and I was reminded how the theory, methods and tools of this unique business growth approach are so timely for an industry like this. On the one hand, consumers expect vendors to provide them with the services they need when they need them, not when vendors can deliver their home fuel or when fuel trucks can re-fill gas station tanks. On the other hand, the petroleum industry has collapsed over the past decade, shrinking from 12,000 distributors to less than 4,000. Clearly, this consolidation reflects the changing nature of the fuel delivery industry.

But it also reflects the trends that are coming next. WaWa is a perfect example: a gas station with high quality food that also sells gasoline. This dual-service model has enabled WaWa to outsell 7-Eleven stores and even McDonald's. Its secret? WaWa realized that people want quality food fast, but don't necessarily need a drive-up or a place to sit down to eat. By redesigning their operations, WaWa's leadership found their Blue Ocean Strategy and out-performed the rest of the pack, which were still competing over having the best gas prices in the right locations.

What the oil and gas industry is discovering: cars are going to be electric or hybrids, now or soon

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Blink And The Future Is Here. Are You Ready?

On Oct 16, 2019 8:49:54 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, innovation, future trends

Our weekly podcast, On The Brink, was recently ranked among the top 10 futurist podcasts by TAFFD, an organization focused on "providing a transdisciplinary awareness about the future." This made us wonder, what is futurism? What are we doing at SAMC to share with others what’s coming next? And, how do people actually understand the future?

Deciding to delve into this topic further, like many of you we Googled "What is a futurist?" Here's what we found, from futurist.com: "A futurist is someone who studies and researches probabilities for the future empirically or scientifically."

A futurist is also defined as someone who:

  1. Forecasts the future, using quantitative and qualitative means
  2. Imagines the future, using primarily intuition and writing skills
  3. Creates the future, using techniques of planning and consulting

Wow! That's exactly what we do at Simon Associates for our clients: help them accept, prepare for and adapt to change. In other words, see what's coming and get ready for it now, rather than wait for a crisis to hit and be left scrambling. Who knew we were futurists!

We'd like the share the stories of 3 others we've interviewed who are obsessed with the future, see it coming and are excited about what’s next

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Need To Change? Why Not Turn To The Experts

On Oct 7, 2019 3:41:00 PM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, Culture Change, business culture

At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we were interested to learn that worldwide Google searches for culture change experts were up 178% in the past week (Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2019).

We were interested, but not surprised. These days, just about every company wants to “change their culture.” We know this because we get calls from frantic HR directors about it almost every day. The problem is, they aren’t really sure what their corporate culture is today, much less what they would like it to become in the future. Nor do they know how to get it there.

That's where we come in.

Ready to change your culture? We can get you there.

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What This Successful Entrepreneur Has Learned In Business

On Oct 2, 2019 11:23:49 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Entrepreneurs, Blue Ocean Strategy, Start-ups

Starting a company: how do you do it?

Often I get asked, what is it like to start a company? Or, what do you have to do to become an entrepreneur? Or maybe, lessons learned for developing a company? Or something else about being a business builder. 

Thinking back, I can’t tell you how many startups I have tried that haven’t worked, or how many times I have been “On the Brink.” It is often easier to talk about your successes, not your failures. But I do have some tangible learning experiences from both successes and failures, and I think it is appropriate to provide you with a list of those so that hopefully, you don’t have to experience the same pain that I went through. Remember, it is a lot easier looking through that rearview mirror rather than facing the barriers in front of you.

A little background

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Has Your Company Stalled? Anthropology Can Help You Get Unstuck.

On Sep 26, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Business Anthropology, corporate anthropologist, anthropology

I recently had the very great pleasure to be interviewed by Shannon LaNier on the Morning Dose for CW39 Houston. He wanted to know all about my book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights," what an anthropologist does, how Simon Associates Management Consultants helps companies off the brink so they can soar, how to help an individual or an entire company change...all the things I love talking about. Truly delightful.

Here's a quick synopsis of what we discussed:

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