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On the Brink

On the Brink

Want to Change Your Organization's Culture? Try the OCAI!

On Oct 18, 2018 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, Culture Change, ocai-online, Corporate Culture, business culture

 

I have had so many requests for help using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument, the OCAI, that it seemed timely to tell you more about this great method and tool for evaluating your culture today and what you would like it to become in the future (www.ocai-online.com).

A business, by definition, needs to be in a constant state of motion. If you want to grow and succeed in the market, you need to always be moving forward. The same can be said for organizational culture. In both cases, change is the driving force that can help your organization reach its goals and fulfill your ambitions.

Why is corporate culture important?

Understanding organizational culture is hard, and changing it is even harder. But it is the essence of what your organization is all about. In order to implement meaningful change inside your business, you will have to look inward and evaluate your current culture. Only then is it possible to determine where you want to go from there and create a strategy that can help you reach your destination.

Fortunately, recent developments in understanding and improving organizational culture have created new methods that can help you achieve change. One such method is the OCAI and here is how you can use it to implement change in your organization.

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When Was the Last Time You Really Looked at Your Business?

On Apr 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, Change Management, Culture Change, business change, business leadership

When was the last time you looked at your business with fresh eyes? Maybe it is ready for some significant changes? How would you know? How would you make them happen? As we often tell our clients "If you want to change, have a crisis or create one." If not, very little gets done. But the pressures to change are accelerating. People really hate to change. What to do?

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How to Dramatically Transform Your Company Culture

On Jan 11, 2018 10:51:39 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, Culture Change, business change



In a recent blog ("4 Great Ways to Become a More Innovative Company"), I wrote about CEO's and other executives who typically have spent much of their leadership time at the head of a successful ship. But when it comes time to adapt to change, they have a hard time keeping their companies afloat when the market winds shift and they need to rethink strategies to change course. Do they just need to add some innovation? Or do they have to change their company culture?

Maybe a little of both. How does that kind of change actually happen?

Let me tell you a story.

At my consulting firm Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we've been working with a Fortune 500 company whom I'll call “Client X.” The challenge before us is to figure out how to reconcile, on the one hand, a business that has grown to dominate its market by doing things well in one particular way, with on the other hand, changing customers who are demanding new things from their network of retail outlets. 

Additionally, and almost right on cue, new managers from Generation Y are rising in this company's ranks and proposing new, innovative ways of doing things. A big collision is coming. 

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Are You Becoming a More Vulnerable Leader?

On Jan 11, 2018 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, Culture Change, business change

 

Here at SAMC, we are watching a situation in which a business leader is trying to transform an organization that has really been allowed to wallow for a long time. Staff has been coming to work and doing a job but not much has been happening to either inspire or frighten them.

But now, with new leadership and a fast-changing market, they are threatened. While trying to mobilize and motivate his employees, the new CEO is finding that they are throwing up the classic four hurdles of those who know intellectually that they have to change but really don’t know how—or even if they want to.

The four hurdles (and you may have seem them yourself) are: 

  1. The cognitive one where they claim they really don’t know what the leader is talking about.
  2. The motivational excuse where they just really don’t want to put any effort into changing.
  3. The resource resistance where they blame the slow pace of change on not having the resources.
  4. The politico hurdle where they are waiting to see what others are going to do before they risk their own necks embracing the leader’s initiatives. 

The new leadership team is responding with a wonderful mix of business acumen, personal strength and at times, softer concerns. They are showing that they are vulnerable, caring and concerned but also strong and determined to help this organization adapt, or die. Watching this careful dance made us realize that the growing body of research and literature about the success of a vulnerable leader was playing out right before us. 

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4 Great Ways to Become a More Innovative Company

On Jan 9, 2018 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, innovation


For years, I opened my CEO workshops with this question:

“Are you an innovative leader helping your company remain competitive in a fast-changing business environment?” 

As soon as I asked it, every hand would go up.  However, when I asked for a success story about an innovation or a product improvement, I would only hear stuttering and stammering.

Eventually I realized that executives raise their hands because they want to be seen as innovators, but the reality was that they were long on promise and short on performance. I don’t fault these leaders—their hearts are in the right place. We all want to be innovators, but when it comes to making it happen, we often falter.

What’s the innovation problem?

We see examples of extremely innovative corporations, like Apple, Amazon, Uber and Google, but they are notable because they are not the norm. The norm is that corporations are good at a few core things, but when the market changes, they are slow to respond—and often aren’t able to respond at all. Maxwell Wessel wrote a great article in HBR literally titled "Why Big Companies Can't Innovate.”

As a corporate anthropologist, companies usually call me in when they are going through one of these crises, so I have the good fortune and tremendous challenge of working with smart executive teams right at the moment when the things that have worked so well for them in the past aren’t working so well any more.

Over decades of doing this kind of work, I have seen many reasons firsthand that stand in the way of innovations. Here are a few of the themes I see over and over:

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Frustrated By 5 Big Must-Do Changes In Your Business?

On Jan 4, 2018 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, Culture Change, Blue Ocean Strategy

You must be reading a lot about what everyone is getting set up to do in the next year. We thought we would share with you some of the trends we are seeing in our trenches as we are out in the field working with clients or conducting CEO workshops. Give some thought to how these might be relevant to you and your growth strategy, and as always, please share your ideas with us. We’d love to hear from you.

What are our clients’ growth and innovation goals for 2018?

Here are some of the ones we’re seeing:

1. Redesigning the business. One client is repositioning their services firm for the growing demand among their clients and prospects to be better able to solve complex business needs. This is much more than what they used to do for them. Increasingly, they are finding that their clients want a partner with expertise who helps them become more agile in fast-changing times.

It doesn’t matter if it is CPA firm or a law firm or a design firm—limited scope of services seems to be out. Broader capabilities are becoming essential. If you cannot do it yourself, you need to bring in collaborators or freelancers or partners and operate as a general contractor. In today’s market, you never want to say you cannot do something (because if you do, clients/prospects will go elsewhere).

2. Culture change has become essential. As culture change experts, we work with and provide coaching for a number of executives, both in the U.S. and globally. We are seeing a big change in their realization that culture is “everything” or at least “a lot of the things.”

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Applause for this week's "On the Brink" Podcast Winner: Lauren Mathys

On Sep 4, 2017 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, On the Brink

Congratulations Lauren Mathys!! 

Lauren won this week's drawing for a copy of my book "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights."

Founder of Bluecrest Consulting, Co-Founder of LeadershipTraining4U.com, and a Blue Ocean Strategy® Network member, Lauren specializes in approaches which break the traditional rules of strategy, innovation and leadership to boost performance in organizations. Her particular area of expertise is in Blue Ocean Strategy, also known as Value Innovation, and Blue Ocean Leadership. With over 20 years' experience  in the biopharmaceutical industry, Lauren has had the opportunity to put into practice both competitive strategy and value innovation frameworks across a number of areas.

Lauren obtained her Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD (with Blue Ocean Strategy co-creator Prof. W. Chan Kim as her Stratgey Professor) and her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Both a Swiss and U.S. citizen, Lauren lives outside Geneva, Switzerland with her husband and son.

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Don't miss out! Subscribe to our podcast now and you too could win a free copy of my award-winning book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" during our weekly Monday drawings.

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Congratulations to last week's "On the Brink" Podcast Winner: Roy Ortman

On Jul 15, 2017 8:38:19 PM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, On the Brink

Way to go, Roy Ortman!! 

Roy was the lucky winner of last week's drawing for a copy of my book "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights."

A graduate of American University, Roy spent the majority of his career in the financial services industry, primarily in the investment business in New York City. He is a founding partner of The Hampton Group, a strategy consulting firm, and joined Accenture, a large management consulting and technology firm, in 1995 when The Hampton Group was acquired. Roy is currently the Strategic Plan Coordinator at Delaware Valley University and lives in Doylestown, PA.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to "On The Brink" now

Subscribe to our podcast and you too could win a free copy of my award-winning book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heightsduring our weekly Monday drawings.

Subscribe to "On The Brink" Podcast

To listen to current "On The Brink" podcasts, click hereListen to the On the Brink Podcasts

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Celebrate this week's "On the Brink" Podcast Winner: Nick Mattone

On Jul 11, 2017 4:38:40 PM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, On the Brink

Congratulate Nick Mattone!! 

Nick won this week's drawing for a copy of my book "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights."

Both Andy and I worked with Nick while we were preparing for our executive coaching certification offered by Nick's father, John Mattone. Nick manages John's outstanding program, Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching Process and Certification, which in 2015 was named one of the three Top Advanced Leadership Development Programs that Change Lives (along with Tony Robbins’ Creating Lasting Change and John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership).

Having earned a global reputation for possessing a special ability that unlocks and unleashes greatness in leaders, John has been ranked as one of the world’s top leadership authorities and speakers by the research organization, Globalgurus.org. 

If you would like to know more about Nick, John and the programs they offer — to build your executive coaching skills, develop your leadership capabilities or unlock your company's potential — contact nick@johnmattone.com.

And more good news: John will be one of our upcoming "On The Brink" podcast interviewees in the near future. Don't miss out! Subscribe to our podcast now and you too could win a free copy of my award-winning book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" during our weekly Monday drawings.

Subscribe to "On The Brink" Podcast

To listen to current "On The Brink" podcasts, click hereListen to the On the Brink Podcasts

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Our First "On the Brink" Podcast Winner: Marie-Christine Lammers

On Jun 26, 2017 3:00:00 PM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, On the Brink

Marie-Christine Lammers, ethno-psychologist, corporate trainer and consultant from Gabon, was our first winner of the "On the Brink" Podcast drawing!

We are so excited to celebrate with Marie-Christine. Here is something about her you should know, in her words:

"Driven by passion (curiosity?) for human behavior and thinking, I combine a psychoanalytical approach with a vast knowledge of organizational changes and challenges in multicultural environments. Living and working in Africa [throughout] my doctoral research and academic career, I [have] run a consulting business for over seven years.

My dream is to extend this experience to other cultural settings as well and to partner up with strongly committed people striving in the sense of positive change and solidarity worldwide."

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