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On the Brink

On the Brink

What Amazing Things Happen When You Make Change Your Friend?

On Mar 9, 2021 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Change Management, Managing change, change, culture change expert

Photo courtesy of The Good Men Project

Ah, change...love it or hate it, it's inevitable. It comes whether you like it or not. That's why the best approach is not to resist change and do battle with it, but to find ways to make it your friend. This is the message of a recent article I wrote for The Good Men Project, entitled "Don’t Let Change Be a Stranger; How To Embrace It as Your New Best Friend." You can read it here.

Even before the pandemic, people did not like change. Change is pain, it literally hurts our brains to have to change. That's why our brains work so hard to resist change, preferring to stick to old habits and patterns. But with all the disruptions that the pandemic has brought, from work-life balance to childcare to online schooling to endless Zoom meetings, our previously predictable world has been turned upside down. What to do?

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How Data Visualization Can Transform An Organization's Decision Making

On Sep 12, 2016 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Culture Change, Managing change, healthcare change, data analysis

Today, the volume of raw data collected by healthcare organizations can be overwhelming. The urgent challenge for healthcare strategists, then, is to figure out ways to make sense of all this information. But how?

I offer a powerful solution to this problem in my article recently published in Spectrum, a publication of SHSMD (Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development). I point out that data—even “big data”—means nothing out of context. It needs to be visualized to have real value. And for this to happen, it needs a story.

As you may know, I'm a corporate anthropologist. And when I work with organizations, in healthcare as well as in other industries, I apply a variety of concepts, methods and tools to help them transform their data into a compelling “story,” or messaging, to communicate logical solutions and strategies that leaders and their teams can act upon.

What kind of story?, you might be wondering. More than just graphs or dashboards, I'm talking about a story that makes the data come alive in the minds of those you want to influence. It really is true: a powerful narrative can change or affirm an organization’s strategy and inspire actions.

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Can Corporate Anthropology Make Mergers & Acquisitions More Successful?

On Aug 16, 2016 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Culture Change, Managing change, business


Last December, The Wall Street Journal officially declared 2015 the “Biggest M&A Year Ever," consisting of numerous mega-deals worth over $5 billionUSA Today reported that $4.85 trillion in “corporate wedding vows” were exchanged. And The Atlantic’s review of what it calls the “Merger Bonanza” points out that we may very well be in the middle of the 7th major wave of rapid merger activity over the last century—other notable periods being the early 1900s during the consolidation of steel and oil, the diversification wave in the 1960s, and the shifts caused by deregulation and globalization in the 1990s. 

Yet lying behind those big numbers is an equally big fact: big groups of people are now coming together to work in new teams, navigate new corporate cultures and establish new roles and responsibilities. Even though M&A is down in Q1 this year, the corporate world will be navigating the cultural implications of the 2015 frenzy for years to come.

Mergers and acquisitions = corporate culture shifts = friction, fear of change and new expectations

Long-term, a host of workplace cultural shifts threaten any company that is absorbing another, that is being absorbed, or that is combining with another large, successful company on a global scale.

So, what can be done to make the chances of success and long-term profitability better?

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Managing Change in Fast-Changing Times

On Mar 17, 2016 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

, Managing change

At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we help companies, and the people within them, realize that yes, “Change is Pain” but they can indeed change.

When a business undertakes a change process, something we have found that works well is for those involved to think of the journey as a play in which they are performing. They all have roles to play, scripts to learn and a stage on which to perform. The kicker is that slowly (or sometimes, all of a sudden), they realize that no one is coming to their performance. This means they need a new play, new script, rehearsal time, stage direction and applause.  

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