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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Is Your Crisis Coming? Anthropology Can Help You Change To Avoid It.

On May 16, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Business Anthropology, corporate anthropologist, anthropology


In March of this year, 2019, I made a presentation to the Society for Applied Anthropology entitled "Anthropology Applications for Business." It was a fantastic experience and gave me the opportunity to talk about my two favorite topics—anthropology and business—and share how we at SAMC apply anthropology to our corporate, business, healthcare and non-profit clients. 

I'll summarize the key points here but you can watch and listen to the presentation in its entirety by clicking on the image below.

Change creates pain in the brain

Companies come to us when they are in a crisis or see one coming. In fact, we've built our business around helping stalled organizations change. As we know from the neurosciences, our brains hate change, they fight it. That's why at SAMC, we've developed an anthropological approach which enables us to evaluate how organizations operate today (obstinate brains and all) so we can better help them change for the future. 

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What Makes Arizona State University the Most Innovative College in the US?

On May 1, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, corporate anthropologist, Higher Education

At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we have been working with a wide range of colleges on Blue Ocean Strategy®, encouraging long-established institutions to step back and look at themselves with fresh eyes.

Why must they do this, and why now? Because times are changing. Colleges, universities, trade schools and all other educational institutions are competing for a smaller and smaller base of high school graduates seeking a college education. In fact, traditional high school graduates now represent only 20% of college student bodies, with the other 80% filled by post-traditional students from all walks of life.

The challenge in higher education: to create innovative solutions that better match the needs of students

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What Can Community Colleges Expect From the US Chamber of Commerce in Terms of Job Skill Creation?

On Apr 30, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Higher Education

To put this article into context, I recently attended a meeting of college presidents. One of the keynote speakers was the senior HR director of a large manufacturing company lamenting the fact that small liberal arts colleges are not necessarily training students for the workplace or providing them with the technical skills necessary for success after graduation.

Times have changed but colleges and universities have not

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Who Are the Successful Innovators in Higher Education?

On Apr 10, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, Blue Ocean Strategy, Higher Education

For many years, we have been working with colleges, universities and higher education associations, primarily conducting Blue Ocean Strategy® workshops and implementing branding and marketing strategic plans. And what we've been seeing lately is that academic leaders are finally realizing that they can no longer wait for their students of the past to return. More and more, they're waking up to the fact that if they don’t start implementing innovative, radically new ways of doing things, they may not have a way forward in the not too distance future. In short, they know they have to change.

Therefore, as change experts, we thought it would be very timely to share some of the major developments we're observing in higher ed and the impactful and fruitful ways in which several institutions are embracing change. 

Higher education today is at a crossroads.

All around the country, colleges and universities are facing more challenges than at any other time in their history. 

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Ready To Seize Opportunities You've Been Missing?

On Apr 9, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Business Anthropology, corporate anthropologist, anthropology

As many of you know, two things I love talking about are change and anthropology, so it was great fun to be interviewed by Acquisition International recently because I got to talk about both! (You can read the article here.)

The interview focused on how anthropology, when applied to business, can successfully drive change and spur growth by showing organizations how to "see, feel and think" with fresh eyes. By using the tools and methods of observational anthropology, companies are suddenly able to "see" opportunities they may have missed, the proverbial acres of diamonds that are all around them, waiting to be seized upon.

What about you? Are you missing opportunities right in front of you?

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Pause and Take a Look All Around You. What Might You See?

On Mar 21, 2019 11:39:07 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: social marketing, anthropology

The importance of turning observations into innovations

We just love reading Todd Schnick’s blogs and his podcast is great. As anthropologists, here is a post that we thought was just up our alley—and yours as well. I fly almost every week and actually never had the “a-ha” moment Todd writes about. But how profound an observation he had. And, he turned it into something we all should remember.

As you know, at SAMC that's a major part of our approach and what we work on with clients: turning observations into insights which lead to innovations.

We are sharing a world that is full of personal choices

We protect those choices. But, we cannot live alone, as Todd points out so eloquently. What should we share and what do we go alone? Great questions to ask yourself and to share in your organizations and at home. Here is Todd's essay. Please enjoy.

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Time to Add Gratitude to Your Life—And Your Company's Culture!

On Feb 14, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, corporate anthropologist, Managing change, Corporate Culture, culture, business culture, gratitude


 
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." John F. Kennedy

This time of year is when we at SAMC reflect on the past and prepare for the future. It is also a time to express our appreciation and gratitude for successes, as well as what we have tried and may not have achieved. 

Reflecting on gratitude and expressing it is as essential to people's personal lives as it is to their businesses and careers. In fact, those who focus on expressing their gratitude tell us that it repays them in spades. So why don't we all do it?

Gratitude: what does that really mean? 

While the terms gratitude and appreciation may seem interchangeable, there are actually some subtle differences. While appreciation is a way of recognizing a job well done, gratitude is more personal. It expresses thanks for a benefit one has received.  

As we work with companies and not-for-profits, we often find that people seem to have a hard time saying a simple "thank you" to someone. We're not talking about an award or special recognition for completing a task, just a simple "Hey, thanks for doing that so well. I truly appreciate it." 

It's rare to hear business leaders say how grateful they are for their team, their clients or their successful company. Why is this?

There's one exception: a long-term client of ours whom we just adore, in large part because they are always expressing their gratitude to us (their consultants), their staff and their clients. As we receive their thanks and hear the same from their staff, we believe that their success is mainly due to this feeling of and consistent expression of gratitude. 

Today's blog is about this gift of gratitude: what is it, why you and your company should embrace it, and how it will make you and those around you smile and shine. Most of all, it is about how to build an organizational culture that goes beyond the functional things that have to be done and creates an entirely new perspective on the people getting it done. Along the way, it also shines a light on how company culture really matters. 

Why should we worry about appreciating others and expressing our gratefulness or gratitude?

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A 5 Step Checklist to Help Businesses Facing the "Value-Challenge"

On Feb 13, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: business strategy, business change, business model innovation

As we work with clients or conduct workshops, we are finding a recurring frustration: CEOs who believe they sell "value" are losing bids over pricing issues. They are realizing that being a "value-add" solutions provider is not as valued as it used to be. And they're having to admit that if they can be easily replaced by another company's solutions at a lower price, what have they actually created? Something ephemeral? Not really of such great "value"? 

What is value anyway? And is your company's value at risk as business changes what it values? 

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Celebrating the Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship

On Dec 21, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, women in business, women entrepreneurs, The Simon Initiative, advisors for entrepreneurs


A day filled with excitement and insights as women gather to launch the Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship.

It is not every day that you get a chance to do what you really want to do! Andi and I have been fortunate. We have been successful entrepreneurs who grew our businesses and are now sharing our experiences with others to help them do the same.

After I sold my company, Andi and I decided to make a contribution to Washington University in St Louis, something which would have a long-term impact, a multiplier effect, by connecting people throughout the university and even into the surrounding communities.

While it started as just an idea, like other entrepreneurs we knew that if we worked hard enough on it, something exciting would emerge. The Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship came out of a lot of good ideas from the talented people at Washington University.

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Blue Ocean Strategy® Can Create a New and Uncontested Market Space

On Dec 12, 2018 7:57:42 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Are you ready for your Blue Ocean Strategy?

Tired of competing against all those "others" that you have been benchmarking yourself against for years, without much benefit?

Isn't it time you started to "create a new market space" and make the competition irrelevant?

That is what a Blue Ocean Strategy can help you create: a market space where you are the "only" — at least for a little while.

Blue Ocean Strategy was conceived by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in 2005 to describe the contrast between opportunity-driven business strategies based on creating new, uncontested market space (blue oceans) and competitor-driven models based on existing wealth and rivalry in the known market (red oceans).

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