Blue Ocean Strategy gets your business moving in new directions as you shift from competing to creating a new market space.
"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.)
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:
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!
Storytelling is a great way to change your company culture
If you are an emerging entrepreneur searching for a big idea or a budding business owner building your new enterprise, you are probably great at seeing things with fresh eyes. You know that people are waiting for new solutions to their recurring problems.
Maybe they are struggling with a problem for which they have still not found the right answer. Maybe your partners and suppliers have pain points dealing with your processes and systems. Or, maybe your own employees might be struggling with company practices that aren’t working.
Whatever the situation, people need some great entrepreneur to see things with fresh eyes—and bring them the help they need!
It isn't more of the same, cheaper.
Whether it is the needs of a new customer you want to serve, or the challenges of your staff with your business model design, or the irritated supplier who wants you to get it right, you have some work to do.
But before you can solve your customers' and employees' issues and improve the situation, you need to know how they really “feel.” What are their thoughts? Their opinions? What changes do they hope to see? Which of your products or services do they wish were different? How do they solve their problems now? Do they decide to use competitors' products?
To answer all these questions, you need to go to the source. Please don't just ask them! Go Exploring!
As you already know if you've read any of my blogs, I am a corporate anthropologist who launched Simon Associates Management Consultants almost two decades ago to help organizations change using the theory, methods, and tools of anthropology. Before that, I was a tenured professor and then an executive in banking and healthcare—always focused on change.
My husband, Andrew Simon (Andy), joined SAMC several years ago after many decades as a successful entrepreneur. Since he was not an anthropologist, our positioning was not going to be an easy one to fit him into. And yet, the more we thought about it, he fit the modus operandi perfectly, as I describe in a recent article I wrote for Home Business Magazine, which you can read here.
The challenge for us was: How could Andy take his expertise and apply it in ways that worked within our company’s market positioning? We knew he was a great innovator and knew how to grow businesses at all stages of their development — from start-ups and early-stage companies to mid-market companies ready to expand their scope and shape. And when you think about it, growing is all about change.
SAMC is all about helping businesses change but we realized we had to change, too.
Guns on display at the Dick's Sporting Goods store in Danvers, Mass., on Wednesday. (C.J. Gunther/EPA/Shutterstock, courtesy of The Los Angeles Times)
Here we go again. There's a school shooting, then a lot of tears and hand-wringing, then nothing happens.
But wait, maybe, just maybe, this time is different.
I'm of course referring to the recent mass shooting in Parkland, FL that killed 17 people, including 14 students, a geography teacher, an assistant football coach and the school's athletic director. In response, three major U.S. retailers—Walmart (one of America's largest firearm retailers), Dick's Sporting Goods and Kroger—have "voluntarily restricted gun sales to make a policy statement and manage their image with consumers," reports The Los Angeles Times.
According to the article, these retailers "are responding to the national uproar that followed the shooting...especially the feverish debate on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. They are not waiting for legislative action to improve matters."
Whether you’ve been in business a long time or are an aspiring business owner, you’ll discover how powerful and empowering it is to be supported by your fellow female entrepreneurs as you navigate your way through the complexities of entrepreneurship as a woman in today’s world.
We’ve put together a list of incredible websites with the mission to empower women entrepreneurs on their journey to success. You may be ready to grow an innovative business to reach your pinnacle of success.
The list below shows you the wide range of missions for these leaders. From the stories you will see on She Owns It to the EveryGirl that might just be you looking for the inspiration to live that great life. Take it from two life-long entrepreneurs. It is a great journey. One we love to share.
As we see the healthcare world continue to consolidate, mergers and acquisitions are becoming the lay of the land. But although the process of merging two different (sometimes very different) cultures is becoming more common, it's not getting any easier. In fact, for several of our current and former healthcare clients, it's very, very challenging.
As I said in my recent article for Hospital Impact, even though mergers may make good business sense, they tend to create a “flight or fight” response in the people in the organization being merged or acquired. Why? Because people just hate change.
Staff members (medical or not) usually are not happy in the new, merged world—they liked the one they had before. They're not sure how well they fit into the new organization's culture so they tend to assume the worst.
Mergers are really hard on physicians and staff
From a series of interviews we conducted with doctors, nurses and support staff, we learned that people who have gone through a merger or acquisition are angry and irritated. While they are making more money in many cases, and their offices may be running more efficiently, they are unhappy. There are many reasons for this, namely:
Can you contribute anything to a positive culture at work? Well, you can do more than you might think, as shown both by research and practice! Whether you are a leader, a consultant or an employee, you can build an organization that thrives because of the type of culture—the values, beliefs and behaviors—that you encourage.
That’s what Marcella Bremer talks about in her new book, “Developing a Positive Culture where People and Performance Thrive,” all about helping organizations become much more effective, "positive cultures."
Positive organizations are better at change, more innovative, more competitive, more profitable, and also contribute more to the world. When we work in a positive organizational environment, we can thrive at work, achieve extraordinary performance and make a meaningful contribution. And who wouldn't want that!
So, are you ready to drive your change?