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On the Brink

On the Brink

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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Now Is The Best Time To Unleash Your Company’s Power and Purpose

On May 23, 2017 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy, women in business, anthropology


A few days ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Eric Dye, professional blogger and founder of EPN (Entrepreneur Podcast Network). He wanted my perspective on a wide range of topics, from corporate anthropology to Blue Ocean Strategy® to culture change to the rise of women CEOs. He was also very interested in my book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" and its stories of companies that have achieved meaningful breakthroughs and growth by applying corporate anthropology to their businesses.

What exactly is corporate anthropology?

During the course of our conversation, Eric asked me the following very interesting questions about how anthropoloy applies to the business world:

  • Influential companies like Microsoft and Intel are hiring corporate anthropologists, believing that understanding and molding corporate culture is a worthwhile investment. Your research and career is dedicated to this field. Why do you think anthropology is important to a company?
  • How can smaller companies put these concepts to use?
  • What is one of the guiding principles of your work?
  • What are you working on now?
  • If you were to give a business owner only one piece of advice, what would it be?

To listen to the podcast, click here:

Andrea Simon/Eric Dye Podcast

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How Corporate Anthropology Can Rescue Your Floundering Company

On May 16, 2017 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy

If you've read any of my blogs lately, you may have picked up on the fact that I get really energized by talking about how corporate anthropology can help businesses see themselves with fresh eyes, identify areas where they are "stuck," and put in motion new processes in order to successfully get going again. 

So as you can imagine, I was thrilled to speak about this very topic in a recent interview with best-selling author, international keynote speaker and senior executive coach John Mattone. Specifically, John wanted to know about corporate culture from an anthropological perspective and how this knowledge can be used to help facilitate organizational change. My specialty!

To hopefully help you as you look for ways to get your company "unstuck" and growing again, I offer here a synopsis of our conversation. You can access the entire interview here.

What exactly is a corporate anthropologist and how can this type of expert help companies?

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How Corporate Anthropology Leads To More Effective Change Management

On Oct 4, 2016 10:34:18 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy, On the Brink

Recently I spent a fascinating half-hour discussing corporate anthropology with Todd Schnick, media and business strategist, talk show host and co-founder of intrepid.media. Specifically, Todd wanted to know how corporate anthropology differs from traditional change management practices. Great question! I then spent our time together explaining how the methods, theory and tools of anthropology give business leaders perspectives into the way users and non-users are really using (or not using) their products and services. Armed with this new observational knowledge, they can then adapt their business strategy to give consumers what they're are looking for in innovative ways.

We talked about Blue Ocean Strategy®, Innovation Games®inbound marketing and culture change. Todd was also very interested in several of the case studies in my new book, "On The Brink: A Fresh Lens To Take Your Business To New Heights," which illustrate how seven companies, large and small, have used corporate anthropology to great success. It was a fun interview!

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What I’m Reading: “The Power of Peers: How the Company You Keep Drives Leadership, Growth & Success”

On Apr 14, 2016 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Andrea Simon, Blue Ocean Strategy, Vistage Speaker

I suspect that if I told you I have conducted over 250 workshops and speaking engagements in the past 9 years for Vistage International, you would look at me and say, "Great, but what is Vistage?" That's why you should read this book, "The Power of Peers: How the Company You Keep Drives Leadership, Growth and Success," to learn more about the Vistage approach and how it can help your business grow. 

Vistage is an amazing organization with over 20,000 CEOs, Presidents and Key Executives from companies in a wide range of industries around the world. Vistage Chairs come from all types of business and coaching backgrounds, bringing exceptional business strategy and leadership skills to their members.

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