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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Andrea Simon

Andrea (Andi) Simon, Ph.D., principal and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), has over 20 years’ experience as a sr. executive in the financial services and healthcare industries. A Blue Ocean Strategy® practitioner and trained in Innovation Games®, Andi brings the unique perspective of anthropology to businesses and organizations that need to “see, feel and think” in new ways.
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Recent Posts

Rising To The Occasion, Women Are Proving To Be The Heroines In This Crisis

On Jun 30, 2020 1:25:02 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, women in business, women leaders

Who do you think are the ones having a harder time adjusting to working at home during the pandemic, men or women? You may not be surprised (I wasn't) to learn that in general, it is the men who seem to find the home-based business environment the most unsettling, at least among the clients I've been talking with throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

As I discuss in my recent article for ceoworld.biz, in the beginning of the new "working from home" reality, women started out challenged at their changed home life, yet quickly found innovative ways to manage their daily lives, balancing their own needs with those who were counting on them. To read my entire article, click here.

Women and men: very different ways of coping with crisis and change

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Ready To Find Your A-Ha Moment So Your Business Can Soar?

On Jun 5, 2020 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology

In March of this year, I had the pleasure of interviewing global credibility expert Mitchell Levy for a terrific On The Brink podcast. Then recently the tables turned and I was the interviewee! Mitch is on a quest to interview 500 thought leaders on credibility for his Thought Leader Life show, and I was honored to be included. I really enjoyed our talk, mainly because it focused on helping organizations change their corporate cultures and grow their businesses in these changing times. As you know, I'm a Blue Ocean Strategist® and a culture change expert so this was right up my alley.

You can watch and listen to our conversation here or click on the image below. You can also catch it on iTunes and Vimeo.

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How To Survive These Scary Times: Blue Ocean Strategy®

On May 29, 2020 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Strategy Expert


Are you ready to leave the bloody waters of the "red ocean strategy" you’re swimming in and instead, experience the clear, uncontested waters of a Blue Ocean Strategy? What's a Blue Ocean Strategy anyway? And how could you find one for your business or organization?

This video shows you!

In response to so many requests bubbling up during this pandemic and economic recession, I created a new video to help you understand three things:

  • What is a “red ocean strategy” in which you are competing against others very much like you?
  • What are the five most important elements of a differentiating Blue Ocean Strategy?
  • How could you use the Blue Ocean Strategy tools to discover unmet needs, non-users and new ways to add value with innovation, opening up growth opportunities that are perfect for your future?

Make the competition irrelevant

Briefly, Blue Ocean Strategy isn't about doing more of the same, cheaper, or competing with others in the same industry you're in today ("red ocean"). It's about finding customers' unmet needs so you can open new market space that you can own ("blue ocean"). In these turbulent, disruptive times, businesses and even non-profit organizations need a Blue Ocean Strategy more than ever so they can not just survive, but thrive.

A trained practitioner in Blue Ocean Strategy, I’ve conducted over 425 workshops and speeches and worked with a wide range of global clients on their Blue Ocean Strategy. It is never easy, but we truly believe that the way forward is all around you--if only you can see it. Let us help you.

To view/download the presentation, click on the image below

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No Time To Be Afraid Of This Blurry Future

On May 26, 2020 7:39:43 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Managing change, business change, culture change expert

As we have been working with our clients during this pandemic, we're noticing a recurring theme. They are unhappy about not knowing what comes next. They've figured out how to deal with living at home, working at home and being at home. But now they're beginning to be uncomfortable and anxious about what's coming next. It's strange, isn't it, that without a clear vision of the future, it's often impossible to live today. I've recently recorded a podcast talking about this, which you can listen to here.

Martin Seligman's work on homo prospectus tells us a lot about how we need to see the future clearly if we're going to leave today...even if the future is an imagined one, because that's the way our brains work. Now the challenge is how to do our work when we're uncertain about what's going to be the new normal. What's more, we're not sure it's coming back to what it was. And we're not sure what it's going to be next.

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Crises Are The Best Times To “Reverse Everything” And Find A Better Way Forward?

On May 12, 2020 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Innovation Games, Andrea Simon, Managing change, culture change expert

During this crisis period filled with uncertainty and disruption, you might pause, step back and turn lemons into lemonade. There probably isn’t much else you can do. If we at SAMC could help you now, it would be to urge you to take some time to use Innovation Games® to bring those big, new ideas to the forefront of your thinking about yourself, your business and your future. In fact, Andy and I recently did an On The Brink podcast about how Innovation Games are a very effective way to not only help you look into the future and rethink where your organization is going, but also figure out how to get there. You can listen to it here.

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Now That You Have Your Crisis, What Do You Change?

On Mar 18, 2020 9:39:26 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Managing change, business change, culture change expert

We often tell our clients that if they need to reignite their business or change their market strategy or create a new business model, they should have a crisis or create one. Well, with the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, the crisis is here, and change is all around us. So what can you do individually and as a business to adapt?

First, don’t panic. Don’t be the proverbial deer in headlights. By being willing to change in big ways and small, you are doing something good to help others and protect yourself. It is ok.

Next, how do you help your folks respond so they too know it is ok? This is a time for exceptional, emotionally intelligent leadership. Keep it simple. You need to lead so others trust your judgments and want to follow you. No one knows exactly what to do right now, so it is a time to learn how to deal with an unknown crisis together.

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How Brilliant Fearless Women Are Rewriting The Script In Hollywood

On Feb 3, 2020 4:19:58 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, women entrepreneurs, women leaders

Once again, it’s awards season in Hollywood. And once again, women have been largely (and very noticeably) snubbed by the film industry.

At the recent Golden Globes, none of these female directors were nominated: Greta Gerwig (“Little Women), Marielle Heller (“It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), Lorene Scafaria (“Hustlers”) or Olivia Wilde (“Booksmart”). What’s going on here? Is the male grip on Hollywood really that tight?

Apparently so. Take a look at this year’s list of Oscars nominees and you’ll see the exact same story: no women directors. 

Should we be surprised? In 91 years, the Oscars have recognized only five women in the Best Director category: Lina Wertmüller (“Seven Beauties,” 1975), Jane Campion (“The Piano,” 1994), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation,” 2003), Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” 2009) and Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird,” 2017). Bigelow is the only one woman who’s ever won, and no woman of color has ever even been nominated.

Sidelining women in film is a recurring pattern, not a one-off

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What Is Futurism And Do You Need It?

On Nov 29, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, future trends, futurism

When we think about today's most celebrated business leaders, usually Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk come to mind. They are often portrayed as prophets, and with good reason. Once asked about his strategy, Steve Jobs said it was first to change his company, then to change the industry, and finally, to change the world. These highly accomplished visionaries are not only able to “see” the future but also create it.   

Possessing highly speculative mindsets, futurists like these chart their companies' strategies over the long term, with foresight that spans decades, not years. This type of outlook allows them to create products and services that fit into their long-term vision, kickstarting a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. As they repeatedly tell the story of this vision, their customers' brains get accustomed to the leaders' futuristic ideas, further accelerating and ensuring their vision's success.

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Is Everyone Winning But You? Time For A Blue Ocean Strategy®!

On Oct 23, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Strategy Expert, culture change expert

At SAMC, we are rather passionate about the power of Blue Ocean Strategic thinking. In fact, I recently spoke to the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association on Blue Ocean Strategy, and I was reminded how the theory, methods and tools of this unique business growth approach are so timely for an industry like this. On the one hand, consumers expect vendors to provide them with the services they need when they need them, not when vendors can deliver their home fuel or when fuel trucks can re-fill gas station tanks. On the other hand, the petroleum industry has collapsed over the past decade, shrinking from 12,000 distributors to less than 4,000. Clearly, this consolidation reflects the changing nature of the fuel delivery industry.

But it also reflects the trends that are coming next. WaWa is a perfect example: a gas station with high quality food that also sells gasoline. This dual-service model has enabled WaWa to outsell 7-Eleven stores and even McDonald's. Its secret? WaWa realized that people want quality food fast, but don't necessarily need a drive-up or a place to sit down to eat. By redesigning their operations, WaWa's leadership found their Blue Ocean Strategy and out-performed the rest of the pack, which were still competing over having the best gas prices in the right locations.

What the oil and gas industry is discovering: cars are going to be electric or hybrids, now or soon

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Blink And The Future Is Here. Are You Ready?

On Oct 16, 2019 8:49:54 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, innovation, future trends

Our weekly podcast, On The Brink, was recently ranked among the top 10 futurist podcasts by TAFFD, an organization focused on "providing a transdisciplinary awareness about the future." This made us wonder, what is futurism? What are we doing at SAMC to share with others what’s coming next? And, how do people actually understand the future?

Deciding to delve into this topic further, like many of you we Googled "What is a futurist?" Here's what we found, from futurist.com: "A futurist is someone who studies and researches probabilities for the future empirically or scientifically."

A futurist is also defined as someone who:

  1. Forecasts the future, using quantitative and qualitative means
  2. Imagines the future, using primarily intuition and writing skills
  3. Creates the future, using techniques of planning and consulting

Wow! That's exactly what we do at Simon Associates for our clients: help them accept, prepare for and adapt to change. In other words, see what's coming and get ready for it now, rather than wait for a crisis to hit and be left scrambling. Who knew we were futurists!

We'd like the share the stories of 3 others we've interviewed who are obsessed with the future, see it coming and are excited about what’s next

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