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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Is This The Death of Higher Education Institutions?

On Jul 10, 2018 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Igniting Change, Education, Higher Education

Do you see what we see in the world of higher education? Is this the death of higher education institutions as we know them?

For the past 18 months, I have been blogging about higher education.

Part of our portfolio of assignments includes strategic work we have conducted for higher learning institutions. Challenging is the disconnect between the institution and the workplace. There appears to be a built-in bias against the needs of industry. This resistance has created a reluctance on the part of administrations and faculty to understand what their students will need to succeed after they leave the university. Why are colleges failing their students?

Our research among employers delivers a recurring theme: please, they say, you are sending us students with excellent technical skills but without the people skills that they need to communicate, coordinate, collaborate and creatively solve problems. Industry seems to be responsible for those softer skills that higher education should be instilling in their students.

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Why I Love Leading Vistage Workshops

On Jun 21, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean Strategy, business change

 

I just finished leading another CEO workshop for Vistage, the very highly-regarded executive coaching organization. This was one of Chris Noonan’s groups in Denver, and I think it was my 386th Vistage workshop conducted over the past 11 years.

Next year, I am going to reduce the number of Vistage engagements, for a number of reasons. Yet as I finished this one, I realized why Vistage has been so meaningful to me as someone who likes to share what I know with others and help them grow, personally and with their business. To bring you into the experience, I'd like to share some of the magic of the three hours the CEOs and I spent together in Denver.

Vistage members: eager to learn, explore, dig deep and grow

During Chris's typical introduction, he asks each business leader to tell me about their company, themselves and the hot stuff they are working on. These particular folks were much like other Vistage members but different from our clients at SAMC. They come to these monthly sessions with an eager interest in learning something they can apply to their business in some way to bring about big changes and meaningful growth. 

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Want To Get A Fast Start On Your Blue Ocean Strategy?

On Jun 12, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean Strategy, business innovation

Blue Ocean Strategy gets your business moving in new directions as you shift from competing to creating a new market space.

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AI Is Infiltrating Every Corner of the Business World. Is This A Good Thing?

On Jun 5, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: business innovation, technological innovation

"From Siri to Alexa to Watson, we're living in an AI world," says Peter George, CEO of empow, a global cybersecurity firm. I couldn't agree more. From carrying on conversations with humans to propelling self-driving cars, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming an integral part of everyday life. And its influence in the world of business is no exception.

The vast capabilities of AI and how they are being used in business is the focus of a recent American Express OPEN Forum article which features the viewpoints and predictions of eleven business leaders, of which I was one. (Peter George was another.) 

Though we come from different industries, the eleven of us all recognize the enormous value of AI and how it can be used in business to complement, but not completely replace, humans. This is a big subject, and only getting bigger, which is why I'd like to share with you a sample of these leaders' statements, along with my own. Enjoy, learn and share. (You can access the article here.)

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4 Top Ways Technology Is Transforming Accounting Firms

On May 31, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: business growth strategy, business innovation

 

When it comes to adopting new technologies, most people assume that the accounting industry is far behind, stubbornly resisting change. Yet in reality, the opposite is true. Today, the entire accountancy industry is rapidly being transformed, primarily due to productivity optimization brought about by the ever-growing tech revolution. Even at SAMC, we're taking advantage of new technological advances, such as Inbound Marketing.

Gone are the days of accountants being burdened with repetitive, time-sucking tasks. With the dawn of innovative technological solutions like intelligent automation, better predictions and efficient data analysis, today's accountants can now spend more time focusing on helping their clients grow their companies through better business strategies.

And it's not just the accounting industry that's being transformed by highly useful data analytics. Almost every industry these days is affected. Here are just a few of the influences that are revolutionizing the way companies do business today:

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Senior Entrepreneurs: 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Starting a New Business Over 50

On May 29, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Start-up Companies, business growth strategy


You've probably noticed them. Very likely, you're one of them yourself...a baby boomer who is approaching retirement age (or is even well past it). But if you're like many over the age of 50, you may be feeling the itch to start a business and go looking for new opportunities and untapped markets.

And why not? People over 50 have a host of things working in their favor, from decades of work experience to a valuable network of connections to the financial resources needed to start and run a new business successfully. All of these combine to make this a great time to take the leap and try turning your big idea into something big.

Here are two more reasons why the "over 50" age set is an opportune time to start a business: the internet revolution and the explosive growth of technology, both of which have generated important new tools for older entrepreneurs to consider. Running a thriving, modern company today depends on advanced technology capabilities and extensive internet knowledge, both of which you and your company need to have. Here are 5 things to consider as you start to develop a business strategy for these fast-changing times, which I'd like to share here:

5 tips for starting a business over 50

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Blockchain Is Not Coming, It's Here. Are You Ready?

On May 25, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: business innovation, blockchain

 Photo courtesy of The Roanoke Star

Whether you know all there is to know about blockchain technology, or whether you know nothing about it, this worldwide phenomenon is changing how we do business, conduct commerce, keep our currency secure, even book a hotel. Its influence is growing by leaps and bounds, so if you're not familiar with how it works, you need to get up to speed, fast.

That's the essence of a recent article I wrote for The Roanoke Star, in which I said that people typically think of blockchain only in connection to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and DigiByte. But the blockchain technology is really what people should be paying attention to. (Read the article here.)

Originally created to keep cryptocurrency transactions secure, blockchain now has seemingly limitless applications

As I state in the article, blockchain's value lies in the fact that once data is recorded, it can’t be changed without the approval of a majority of network participants. This creates a (supposedly) fraud-proof system and authenticates the information that’s exchanged.

As examples, here are just a few of the ways blockchain is being used today:

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How To Get Family And Friends To Invest In Your Startup

On May 2, 2018 6:52:19 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, business growth strategies, Start-ups

 

Do you have a brilliant idea for a startup but have little or no capital to bring it to life? Feeling guilty that you’re mentally running through a list of wealthy relatives and financially stable friends whom you can hit up for an investment? Don’t feel bad. Some of the most successful startups were funded by those nearest and dearest to the founder.

Why You Should Pitch to Family and Friends

It’s no secret that when looking for investors for your startup, the first people you should approach are those in your inner circle. In fact, they may even be offended if you don’t. Moreover, if you contact venture capitalists or angel investors first, these “financial types” may question why no one from your family, friends or community are backing you. This may in turn lead them to question your integrity and credibility. 

Yet, it’s understandable why you might be hesitant to involve family and friends. Not everyone has entrepreneurial families (like Walmart) who get excited at the thought of a new business venture. For those people, it’s almost expected of them to either take up the family business or build something of their own, and tapping the relatives is practically a given.

However, some families just aren’t adventurous when it comes to investing in business ideas. Maybe they’re in traditional office jobs and have been employees most of their lives, with little risk involved. Maybe they’ve raised a family and have never worked outside the home. Or maybe they’re just not good at envisioning what could be rather than what already is. These types will be more difficult to convince.

So if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to present your idea in a way that proves you’ve considered all the potential risks and rewards. To get you started, here are some tips on how to approach family and friends to help you launch your new business:

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How Storytelling Can Transform Your Culture And Energize Your Team

On Apr 11, 2018 10:15:46 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Culture, business culture


What if each of your employees felt really appreciated, an integral part of the team? And what if these positive feelings then translated into better performance, higher output, more idea generation and greater company profit? Wouldn't that be great!

We all want that, right? But these things don't just happen on their own—they're nurtured by a positive culture, one that values and champions every staff member, no matter their position. Many companies already have this kind of culture in place. Do you? If not, do you know how to get it?

For a little guidance, a recent article in Inc.com offers four strategies, all focusing on storytelling, and one of them even comes from me. (You can read the full article here.)

Storytelling is a great way to change your company culture

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Why Is the Buyer's Journey Critical for Successful Entrepreneurs?

On Apr 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Inbound Marketing, business growth strategies, buyers journey

Thanks to the digital revolution, people are not buying things the way they used to—they just aren't. The old sales funnel we knew for decades is long gone. 

As entrepreneurs, this means that you now need to build your business growth strategies differently in order to capture buyers on their journey, not yours. Since the buyer’s journey is an essential framework for any marketing strategy, you must start to think like your buyer and understand the steps he or she is taking to make a purchase decision. 

This new mindset is crucial if you are going build your sales volume fast enough to succeed. 

How Has the Buying Game Changed?

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