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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

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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What Professional Services Risk If They Continue To Avoid Change

On Dec 12, 2018 8:56:56 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, business culture

Despite how much people love the abstract notion of change, when it really happens, they hate it. That's because real, lasting change requires some big shifts in how you do things. And what we're seeing with many of our clients is that adapting to today's new technology, new business environments and new generations’ approach to the workplace is bumping up against people’s resistance to change and their understanding of what this thing called “culture” really is. 

Changing corporate culture is particularly difficult because the human brain is designed to rely on habits and certainty. When people hear the words, “We have to change the way we do things here,” their brains immediately look for ways to protect the status quo.

So given all the roadblocks that people's brains put up, how do you drive change?

The challenges of changing a culture, particularly a professional services firm

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Finding Not One But Two Blue Oceans

On Dec 10, 2018 1:30:51 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Blue Ocean Strategy, advisors for 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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