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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

How Anthropology Can Save Your Business

On Dec 5, 2017 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Business Anthropology, Corporate Anthropology, anthropology

The reason I love anthropology is because it teaches you to see, feel and think in new ways so you can successfully adapt to change. These days, it’s not the strongest or smartest who will survive—it’s the most adaptive. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the business world, where anthropology is beginning to play an enormous role. Indeed, when anthropology is applied to companies, truly amazing things happen!

This week's Top Picks:
4 ways to learn about anthropology's massive impact on business

Corporate anthropologists are finding that people know all too well the challenges of building and sustaining a business, especially in these fast-changing times. What they need is a new toolkit, an anthropologist's toolkit, because what worked in the past isn't working today. Opening your eyes to the possibilities that are all around you is at the heart of how anthropology can help revitalize a business. Check out the 4 resources below and let me know if lessons learned can help your business. Enjoy!

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3 Tips for HR Directors to Lead Successful Culture Change

On Nov 29, 2017 12:36:00 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Culture, business change

In a recent blog, I wrote about the daunting challenge facing Human Resources Directors who are tasked with helping their organizations assess and change their cultures. During a workshop on this topic, I explained the tools they could use for diagnosing the values, beliefs and behaviors that make up a company’s culture today and how to determine what these defining attributes should become in the future.

But implementing lasting culture change is far more complex than simply saying:  “Let's be more innovative.” Or, as one client said to me: “I want a culture that really delivers results.” 

For culture change to work, 3 things need to be in place: 

  1. A shared understanding of what the culture is today.
  2. Agreement about what the company’s leadership would like the culture to become in the future.
  3. A process to begin and sustain that transformation, along with ways to monitor, measure and celebrate the successful culture change as it evolves. 
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Owners Of Family Businesses Better Have A Good Succession Plan

On Oct 26, 2017 8:45:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Family Firms, Culture Change, corporate anthropologist

Did you know that family-owned firms account for 66% of businesses around the world yet only 16% of them have succession plans? That's a scary thought. 

In the U.S. alone, family firms comprise 80%-90% of all business enterprises, generating 64% of the GNP and employing 62% of the workforce. Clearly, family firms are incredibly important to the global economy, which is why the issue of succession should be approached very intentionally to ensure the ongoing health of these businesses, as I write in a recent article for Daily News.

As a corporate anthropologist, a culture change expert and a daughter raised in a family business, I have a particularly strong interest in helping family firms successfully prepare for their succession.

If you're starting to think about the future of your family business, consider these six steps as you prepare to hand over the reins to the next generation (abridged version...read the full article here).
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Change is Coming...Are You Ready?

On Oct 19, 2017 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Managing change, business change, vistage


A terrific Vistage International colleague of mine, Elisa Spain, published this insightful and very timely blog about the best way to respond to disruptive change. (Hint: it's not to run and hide.) I re-post it below but you can also read it here.

Vistage economist, Alan Beaulieu, CEO of ITR, issued a simple warning in recent days: “It’s been a good year, but there is a change coming,” he said. “Things are going to slow down.”

For those of us who follow ITR, we know the recession Beaulieu expects next year is one that he’s been forecasting for some time. To be clear, he is forecasting a normal cyclical downturn, not a deep recession.

Beaulieu expects the modestly improving economic climate will continue until February, but, he expects the U.S. industrial production index to peak in the second month of 2018. When that happens, look for things to taper off the rest of the year before turning more sharply downward in 2019.

And, here is Beulieu’s most important message, “When the downturn happens, smart company executives will use the slowdown to invest in your business, from equipment to ERP systems, from talent to technology.”

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Are You Ready to Find Your Blue Ocean® And Get Growing?

On Oct 17, 2017 1:02:00 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean, Corporate Anthropology, business growth strategies

At Simon Associates Management Consultants, we have led over 300 workshops and dozens of client engagements to help companies “see, feel and think” with fresh eyes—so they can step out of their current mindset and see new opportunities.

Recently, we presented the workshop “Who will be your customer in 3 years? Maybe they are all around you?” to a group of mid-market CEOs who are members of a Vistage International group led by Ozzie GontagA terrific, inspiring coach (and marathon runner), Ozzie reminded me and his members that growing a business means engaging in a daily battle between leading and lagging indicators.

As Ozzie said in his opening remarks, "Every day you have to challenge your assumptions about what makes your business successful today and what will make it sustainable into the future. These are two different questions."

How true! Unfortunately, CEOs of growing companies all too often focus on the past and the present and forget about the future. As Blue Ocean Strategists, our job in these workshops is to open up people's minds to see what is often right in front of them. When they finally "see" the possibilities, it's fantastic, as I describe in my recent Huffington Post article

The essence of Blue Ocean Strategy: finding and then filling unmet needs 

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Andrea and Andrew Simon Take an Anthropological Approach to Help Businesses Soar

On Oct 3, 2017 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy

Andrea and Andrew (more commonly known as Andi and Andy) Simon are no strangers to change. In fact, as culture change experts, change is right up their alley. Recently featured in WAG Magazine, the Yorktown Heights couple are proof positive that change, though hard (and often painful), can be a good thing for individuals and businesses. (Read the full article here.) Specializing in helping businesses take a fresh look at their organizations, the Simons believe that "the way forward is all around you." 

"Our mantra is that we take observations and turn them into innovations,” Andi tells WAG Mag. Earning her Ph.D. in anthropology, then going into academia and banking before founding Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC) over 10 years ago, Andi explains that she and Andy "both enjoy working with people. We also are very curious. At times it is hard to help someone see things in new ways, much less change their behavior. Our approach is designed to help us better understand why people do things, then we find ways to help companies take this knowledge and add value innovatively.” 

Turning their clients into explorers

One of the ways the Simons help their clients "see with fresh eyes" is to take them out exploring. Together, they “hang out” and observe customers and non-customers using (or not using) their clients' products or services. They watch what is happening, then find unmet needs to be solved.

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One Person Cannot Change a Company Culture. Just Ask Uber.

On Sep 26, 2017 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Culture

It's hard to believe. But then again, maybe it's not. Last weekend, Uber’s food delivery service, UberEats, ran a promotion for Wife Appreciation Day. But instead of urging its male customers in Bangalore, India to do something special for their spouses, Uber suggested that husbands “let their wives take a day off from the kitchen.”

Wow.

When Bozoma Saint John, Uber’s new chief brand ambassador, heard about it, she immediately fired off a damning tweet: "Oh hell no. This is completely unacceptable. Will take care of this."

(Lest we forget, Uber conducted an investigation this year into claims of sexual harassment within the company, and fired more than 20 people following a damning review. Senior executives who left the company included Uber founder and chief executive Travis Kalanick.)

The bigger problem: trying to change a culture all on your own

I give Saint John huge credit for working hard to change Uber’s “boys' club” culture, but she’s fighting a losing battle on her own. One person cannot change an ingrained, toxic culture, as I said to Entrepreneur, when asked for my reaction to Uber's latest sexist misfire. (Read the article here.) Here are my comments:

Outliers and change agents are lonely. The core cultural values, beliefs and behaviors are usually pervasive. People still share the same jokes, the same stories and same perceptions of what is important, valued and respected.

To truly change a culture, it takes a (committed) village

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It May Be Up To Home-Care Workers To Save The Middle Class

On Sep 19, 2017 9:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Healthcare, healthcare change

 

Do you know who is going to care for you when you are old and frail? If the current trend continues, it's probably going to be a middle-aged immigrant woman with (maybe) a high school education and little or no training, making $20,000 a year, reports The New York Times.

And that's if you live in or near a big city, the article says. By contrast, if you live in rural America, you'll have a hard time finding someone to look after you. And the situation is only going to get worse. According to MIT's Sloan School of Management, if nothing is done to draw more workers into the field, there will be a shortage of at least 350,000 home-care providers by 2024.

The challenge: How to transform long-term care into good-paying jobs

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How Corporate Anthropology Can Leave You Questioning Your Herd

On Sep 14, 2017 9:50:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology

Just recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by Tamara Kleinberg for Inside LaunchStreet and got to talk about my favorite subject: corporate anthropology! Tamara is a terrific interviewer and asked great questions about anthropology, culture change and what makes humans tick.

We spent a lot of time talking about how we should think of businesses as small scale societies, avoid the challenges of the herd, and turn everyday observations into profound insights. 

Listen to the podcast here:

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Want To Change Your Organization? Make It Like An Exciting Play.

On Sep 13, 2017 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Culture Change, Corporate Culture, business change

Several clients have recently asked us to help them change their cultures. One is a healthcare client that is preparing for value-based payments. Another is an organization that needs to eliminate layers of management and become more innovative, thus empowering people in the field. A third is ready to open new markets and wants its staff to lead the charge.

Whatever type of organization you are, change is painful. But once you put a process in place, the changes you need can actually happen. People know how to play a new game or get on stage and perform a new role. Why can't they do the same in their jobs? Maybe they need a script, rehearsal time and a good coachyou!!

Our recommendation for a great change process that works!

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