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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

Triumph Over Your Obstacles And See With A Fresh Lens

On Jun 11, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: women in business, anthropology, women entrepreneurs

 

I have been researching my next book about successful women entrepreneurs and female business leaders. As I have dug into the lives of these women whom I've interviewed, I've realized that there have been countless women over the years who have pushed the boundaries for the times they were living in and broken through to achieve lasting impact.

Each month, I will share with you some of my “aha” moments when I learn about one of these amazing women. Their stories have led me to acknowledge and be grateful for their remarkable lives. Perhaps we should remember them more often. Celebrate their triumphs. Let them remind us of what we must do to continue opening doors to the future for our daughters and granddaughters, regardless of the hurdles we have to vault or the challenges we must confront—and there are certainly an abundance of those all around us.

For June, I wanted to share Helen Keller’s story with you.

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Is Your Crisis Coming? Anthropology Can Help You Change To Avoid It.

On May 16, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Business Anthropology, corporate anthropologist, anthropology


In March of this year, 2019, I made a presentation to the Society for Applied Anthropology entitled "Anthropology Applications for Business." It was a fantastic experience and gave me the opportunity to talk about my two favorite topics—anthropology and business—and share how we at SAMC apply anthropology to our corporate, business, healthcare and non-profit clients. 

I'll summarize the key points here but you can watch and listen to the presentation in its entirety by clicking on the image below.

Change creates pain in the brain

Companies come to us when they are in a crisis or see one coming. In fact, we've built our business around helping stalled organizations change. As we know from the neurosciences, our brains hate change, they fight it. That's why at SAMC, we've developed an anthropological approach which enables us to evaluate how organizations operate today (obstinate brains and all) so we can better help them change for the future. 

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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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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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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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Hate Change? Anthropology Can Make You and Your People Love It!

On Nov 23, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, corporate anthropologist, business change

I often get calls from HR directors who say, "Help! I have a new CEO and he wants me to change the culture." And so I ask, "What's the problem?" And the HR person will say, "I don't really know what our culture is." And my answer to that is, "Well, what would the new CEO like it to become?" And they’ll say, "I'm not sure, but it isn't working so a new culture is what we need." Typically, they just want something different but they don't really know where they're going or how to get there. And they're not alone.

Many clients come to us because the times are changing and they know they have to adapt but they don't know how.

Change is something people hate. The brain hates it. The culture hates it. Organizations hate it. But as corporate anthropologists, we are convinced that what works—yes, really works—to successfully change an organization are the methods, tools and techniques of anthropology

Over and over again, we find that high-performing organizations thrive when they unleash the talent, passion and potential of their people. That has everything to do with building a better culture, and changing a culture for the better is what corporate anthropology is all about. 

To explain the kind of work we do at SAMC to help organizations change, I recently produced this webinar. It will help you understand the pain and challenges of change and why we just hate to do it. Then it will take you through the building blocks needed to change people. I'll touch on a few key concepts here in this blog but to get the full story, you really need to watch the webinar. Just click on the graphic below.
To read the full transcript of the webinar, click here.

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Change Might Be Exactly What Your Organization Needs To Be Successful

On Nov 15, 2018 6:34:51 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, corporate anthropologist, business change

"Continuing to do what’s working is easy. What’s harder is to stop doing the things that aren’t working."

My thoughts exactly. In fact, in a recent Forbes article about how first-time CMOs need to focus on what to keep doing, start doing and sometimes more importantly, stop doing, I'm referenced as saying that just like individuals, fear, habit and hope can keep companies (even the most successful ones) from evolving. 

The article then mentions a previous Forbes blog of mine, "Why We're So Afraid of Change -- And Why That Holds Businesses Back," in which I discuss how so many businesses we work with at SAMC find themselves stuck, experiencing zero growth. The reason? (It's obvious to us but they can't see it.) In the midst of massive change all around them, they insist on using the same outmoded tactics to run their companies while wishing for the old world order to return. Good luck with that.

Beyond fearing change itself, many companies fail to see how the business environment itself is shifting.

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Entrepreneurs Do Customer Research Through Corporate Anthropology

On Oct 26, 2018 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Business Anthropology, corporate anthropologist, Corporate Anthropology, anthropology

Is your company developing a new product or service? Are you planning a product launch? Do you want a better understanding of customer behavior and needs? Finally, are there major pain points which your product or service needs to solve?

Every successful entrepreneur knows that to grow your startup into a thriving business, you need to understand your customer. Easier said than done...particularly when you're about to introduce a new product or service into the market and compiling a group of statistics isn’t an option. That’s when the smartest course of action is to rely on corporate anthropology.

As an entrepreneur building a business, you can gain a crucial competitive advantage by using the methods and techniques of anthropology to help you tap into the behavioral patterns of your consumers. From a customer's first encounter with your product to the purchase stage to their return visit, anthropology enables you to get a better grip on how individuals interact with your brand.

As a result, you'll be able to successfully develop a product offer and a customer experience that meet consumers' demands and solve their challenges. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are a few examples of how to successfully apply anthropology to your business.

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Hire Anthropologists! It Might Be Your Smartest Business Move

On Oct 13, 2018 7:27:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, corporate anthropologist, Corporate Anthropology, anthropology, business change management, business leadership

Recently I was interviewed by INSIDE Public Accounting on the business applications of corporate anthropology. I will be speaking at IPA's 2018 PRIME Symposium conference, so this interview served as a kind of sneak peek into what I will focus on in the culture change workshop I'll be conducting. (You can read the entire interview here.)

My focus was on the importance of observational research to better understand why people behave the way they do, especially when interacting with a product or service. By observing behaviors, anthropologists are trained to see things people do not always know they are doing. These observations then lead to all types of insights, changes to processes, modifications to services, and even innovations.

Equally important was how these "new" ideas and insights help organizations rethink what they are doing. Often, they can better hone in on their targets because now they have a deeper understanding of their own "ways of doing things" and how well they align (or don't align) with their customers' needs.

Since we know that change is painful, observing with fresh eyes how something is being done can often enable people to better see ways to change those habits. Pretty amazing insights emerge from a little anthropology!

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