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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

How Apprenticeship Programs Boost Graduates AND The Economy

On Dec 14, 2016 9:49:11 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Higher Education

When you sort through the presidential election campaign rhetoric from this past year, you learn that there are really a number of bad ideas or no ideas. But just as I was thinking about that, I read a December 1, 2016 NY Times article, “What Trump Might Do For Working-Class Families,” which includes a section on “Apprenticeships.” That is what I want to talk about today.

Apprenticeships…an interesting idea and these days, maybe a necessity

Apprenticeships? A captivating idea that I have been advocating as I write my blogs on higher education…what works and what doesn’t. And I think I have been consistent in saying that training young people through apprentice programs, even at the college level, is something that needs to be considered and put into practice much more these days.

You see, good enough today just isn’t good enough! A number of higher education institutions are preparing kids for a world that doesn’t exist anymore. But having said that, I want to be careful not to take anything away from liberal arts. (My degree was in political science but I went on to get an MBA.)

In today’s technically complex world, a lot of students are not prepared for a complicated entry level job. The net effect is that they end up with minimum wages, live at home, have substantial college debt to pay off and can’t afford to marry. Not good for our society and certainly not good for our economy!

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How To Find Your Blue Ocean Strategy®: Step 4

On Dec 7, 2016 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean Strategy, On the Brink

Ok, so maybe you have realized that your current business strategy has left you struggling to find growth markets. Your game plan has been to shrink costs, find cheaper manufacturers and outsource back office duties. Margins are hanging in there but revenue growth is still slow, maybe stalled. Are you "on the brink?"

In my book, "On The Brink: A Fresh Lens To Take Your Business To New Heights," I describe seven companies that were literally "on the brink." While they were not failing, neither were they soaring. For each of them, it was time to step out of their stagnant environment and find new marketsto literally see the new opportunities that were all around them.

They needed to find a "Blue Ocean Strategy®." Once they did, they were able to discover new markets full of customers who had big unmet needs and where they could add value in innovative ways.

I have written a series of three blogs about the steps we follow with clients to help them accomplish these two vital strategies: open new market space and find unmet needs. Now it is time for Step 4. You can refer back to the others or keep moving forward. And the way forward is really "all around you."

Steps 1, 2 and 3 set the stage. Now it is time to turn those observations into innovations: Step 4

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The Star Of This Year’s HubSpot Inbound Marketing Conference? The Consumer.

On Dec 1, 2016 11:16:48 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Inbound Marketing, HubSpot

Over the past several years, I have blogged about my experiences at the HubSpot Inbound Marketing conference. So, it is time to do so again.

Setting the stage

But wait a minute. Let me set the stage before I talk about Inbound 2016. Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC) has built a business around helping organizations change. As corporate anthropologists, a big part of our work is teaching business leaders how to use their own eyes to see, feel and think in different ways about their companies.

Intentionally, our business is eclectic. We have clients in healthcare, higher education and those that are tough to put into a box, such as cement companies, professional organizations and non-profits. Why do all these different companies hire us? Because of our process. As Blue Ocean Strategists®, we help clients forget about the competition and instead, focus on how they can meet their customers’ unfulfilled needs, thus creating new markets.

With that as a backdrop, I’ll now talk a little about the conference, Inbound 2016, within the context of what we do at Simon Associates. It was a well-attended conference (18,000 people) and offered many subject areas across multiple content sessions. But what I would like to focus on here is the keynote speech given by Brian Halligan, HubSpot Co-founder and CEO.

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