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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

ITESM CEO Workshops on How to Manage Business Change

On Mar 30, 2017 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Business Anthropology, Culture Change, business grow strategies

Recently, I spoke to the executive education program for the Instituto Tecnológico Y Estudios Superiores De Monterrey (ITESM) in Nuevo León, Mexico. It allowed me to work for two days with 50 CEOs and 250 of their managers. As a business anthropologist, this was a wonderful opportunity to share with them new ways to approach their business growth strategies.

My focus was twofold:

1. Could we help them find new market space?
2. How could they manage business change, lead change initiatives and overcome the inevitable hurdles?

The ITESM program brings together these carefully selected CEOs nine times a year for workshops and speakers such as myself. The goal is to continually bring them new ideas, train them, develop their ability to sustain growth in fast changing times, and build their leadership and change management skills.

What was so exciting was how open they were to see things with "fresh eyes.” Each one asked me, How could they find new markets? Where were nonusers or new solutions to solve unmet needs?

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Entrepreneurs: Think "Business Culture" First, Not Last!

On Mar 16, 2017 11:07:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Andrea Simon, Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Corporate Culture

 

Not long ago, we were working with an entrepreneur who had asked us to evaluate his business in the event marketing industry. While the company was highly creative and doing well, the problems seemed to stem from a recurring pattern of turnover (among the creative leaders, the controller, the new business developers) and workplace disenchantment. People came and went through a proverbial revolving door.

From our client's perspective, the challenge was how to hire the right people to support the company's rapid growth, but we could see that the culture he had created seemed to foster employee disarray. Was the problem in the business segment itself, as the CEO thought? Or was the problem the CEO himself (as we wondered)? Or, perhaps, was it the company's culture? And if so, was this a good time for changing that culture?

For this particular entrepreneur, culture was an elusive "thing" that he knew he should pay attention to. However, he wasn’t sure what his culture actually was, much less why it would lead to so many people coming and going.

As we began our work with him, we could tell that the problem was a little of everything, which is what an organization's culture is all about. 

Could this business leader address his challenges if he saw them with fresh eyes?

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How to Solve the Return on Investment (ROI) Problem for College Students

On Mar 6, 2017 9:21:40 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Higher Education

For the past six months, I have been blogging about some of the problems college students face upon graduation and the underwhelming efforts of colleges and universities to help solve these problems — namely, significant debt as well as a lack of training to compete for careers in our ever-changing economic environment. Along these lines, I came across a NY Times article dated February 18, 2017 entitled: “College Cost Too Much? N.Y.U. Paves Way to Graduate Faster.” The article explains that with the cost of an NYU education running about $66,000 per year (including room, board, tuition and fees), the university faces an “enormous affordability problem” evidenced by complaints from students over the cost of four years of tuition. NYU’s solution? A series of measures to make it easier to graduate in under four years and save money.

The article goes on to say that the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin are also trying to address these issues, but that some experts who study education are questioning this “acceleration effort” because of what students "will miss if they rush through their undergraduate years.” At least the fact that some higher ed institutions are proactively offering ways to reduce more than $60,000 a year in student debt is a good start, and perhaps the trade-off of a shorter college experience for many that must self-finance or borrow is worthwhile.

The future is still in doubt for a lot of today’s graduates

Of course I think that it is great to lower the debt load for these kids, don’t get me wrong…but if colleges don’t give them the skills they’re going to need out in the real world, they often graduate with no hope for a high paying entry level job.

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