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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

What Makes Arizona State University the Most Innovative College in the US?

On May 1, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, corporate anthropologist, Higher Education

At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we have been working with a wide range of colleges on Blue Ocean Strategy®, encouraging long-established institutions to step back and look at themselves with fresh eyes.

Why must they do this, and why now? Because times are changing. Colleges, universities, trade schools and all other educational institutions are competing for a smaller and smaller base of high school graduates seeking a college education. In fact, traditional high school graduates now represent only 20% of college student bodies, with the other 80% filled by post-traditional students from all walks of life.

The challenge in higher education: to create innovative solutions that better match the needs of students

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What Can Community Colleges Expect From the US Chamber of Commerce in Terms of Job Skill Creation?

On Apr 30, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Higher Education

To put this article into context, I recently attended a meeting of college presidents. One of the keynote speakers was the senior HR director of a large manufacturing company lamenting the fact that small liberal arts colleges are not necessarily training students for the workplace or providing them with the technical skills necessary for success after graduation.

Times have changed but colleges and universities have not

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Who Are the Successful Innovators in Higher Education?

On Apr 10, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, Blue Ocean Strategy, Higher Education

For many years, we have been working with colleges, universities and higher education associations, primarily conducting Blue Ocean Strategy® workshops and implementing branding and marketing strategic plans. And what we've been seeing lately is that academic leaders are finally realizing that they can no longer wait for their students of the past to return. More and more, they're waking up to the fact that if they don’t start implementing innovative, radically new ways of doing things, they may not have a way forward in the not too distance future. In short, they know they have to change.

Therefore, as change experts, we thought it would be very timely to share some of the major developments we're observing in higher ed and the impactful and fruitful ways in which several institutions are embracing change. 

Higher education today is at a crossroads.

All around the country, colleges and universities are facing more challenges than at any other time in their history. 

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Time to Add Gratitude to Your Life—And Your Company's Culture!

On Feb 14, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, corporate anthropologist, Managing change, Corporate Culture, culture, business culture, gratitude


 
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." John F. Kennedy

This time of year is when we at SAMC reflect on the past and prepare for the future. It is also a time to express our appreciation and gratitude for successes, as well as what we have tried and may not have achieved. 

Reflecting on gratitude and expressing it is as essential to people's personal lives as it is to their businesses and careers. In fact, those who focus on expressing their gratitude tell us that it repays them in spades. So why don't we all do it?

Gratitude: what does that really mean? 

While the terms gratitude and appreciation may seem interchangeable, there are actually some subtle differences. While appreciation is a way of recognizing a job well done, gratitude is more personal. It expresses thanks for a benefit one has received.  

As we work with companies and not-for-profits, we often find that people seem to have a hard time saying a simple "thank you" to someone. We're not talking about an award or special recognition for completing a task, just a simple "Hey, thanks for doing that so well. I truly appreciate it." 

It's rare to hear business leaders say how grateful they are for their team, their clients or their successful company. Why is this?

There's one exception: a long-term client of ours whom we just adore, in large part because they are always expressing their gratitude to us (their consultants), their staff and their clients. As we receive their thanks and hear the same from their staff, we believe that their success is mainly due to this feeling of and consistent expression of gratitude. 

Today's blog is about this gift of gratitude: what is it, why you and your company should embrace it, and how it will make you and those around you smile and shine. Most of all, it is about how to build an organizational culture that goes beyond the functional things that have to be done and creates an entirely new perspective on the people getting it done. Along the way, it also shines a light on how company culture really matters. 

Why should we worry about appreciating others and expressing our gratefulness or gratitude?

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Celebrating the Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship

On Dec 21, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, women in business, women entrepreneurs, The Simon Initiative, advisors for entrepreneurs


A day filled with excitement and insights as women gather to launch the Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship.

It is not every day that you get a chance to do what you really want to do! Andi and I have been fortunate. We have been successful entrepreneurs who grew our businesses and are now sharing our experiences with others to help them do the same.

After I sold my company, Andi and I decided to make a contribution to Washington University in St Louis, something which would have a long-term impact, a multiplier effect, by connecting people throughout the university and even into the surrounding communities.

While it started as just an idea, like other entrepreneurs we knew that if we worked hard enough on it, something exciting would emerge. The Simon Initiative for Entrepreneurship came out of a lot of good ideas from the talented people at Washington University.

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Content is Still King: How to Get Great Google® Results

On Aug 9, 2018 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Inbound Marketing, business growth strategies, content marketing, Google search, SAMC Inbound

Great digital marketing campaigns are based upon, among other things, great content. As you might know, the role of content in SEO power is evolving. No longer are keywords central to the way you write your copy. Rather, Google is now looking for how well you answer the question in someone’s search query.

Changes in SEO are forcing us to adapt how we write content

At SAMC, we try to tell our story to the right audience, regardless of how they come up with their search question. Whether they ask Alexa to find them a great business consulting firm or they type in "how to do a Blue Ocean Strategy," we need to be the first answer. This is getting even more challenging with Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) at the top of the first page of a search.

Furthermore, while great content will always be king, the delivery of that content has changed as well.

How to evaluate your online presence?

Let’s take a look at the SEO changes and how in response, you should look at your online presence with fresh eyes.

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5 Ways Twitter Turns Likes Into "Love You"s

On May 10, 2016 1:00:00 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, Inbound Marketing

We often get asked, Why use social media? We come back with, Why wouldn’t you?

Twitter is one of the best sources of inbound marketing out there. If your company is not using Twitter, it is time to change. I must confess that I didn't start out embracing Twitter, even though I went to hear Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO, speak at Twitter Boot Camp (what seems like) many years ago.

As we at Simon Associates Management Consultants see Twitter turn into a must-have for book publishing, client development and growing our consulting and inbound marketing business, it's becoming crystal clear that all those "likes" turn into #hashtags that "love you." And, most importantly for marketers, the conversations are deep and endearing.

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What Are Buyer Personas And Why Should They Matter To My Business?

On May 4, 2016 10:55:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Inbound Marketing, Blogs

So here’s a question for you (actually two): Do you really need to have a particular person in mind when you’re writing blogs? Isn’t it enough to just put useful, relevant information out there that establishes your products or services as the best solutions for what people are searching for?

Maybe a decade or so ago, yes, but in today’s highly competitive market…no. Knowing who your target market is—i.e., who is most likely to buy what you’re selling—is key to writing effective blogs that get read by the widest possible audience of qualified prospects.

In two previous blogs, I talked about how to write great blogs (“10 Tips For Writing Great Blogs That Get You Noticed”), then how to get people to read them (“How To Make Sure Your Blogs Reach The Right Audience”). Now I’d like to focus on whom you should write your blogs for: the buyer persona.

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Does Social Media Drive Website Traffic? Let's See!

On Apr 25, 2016 2:00:00 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Inbound Marketing, social marketing

All that social media buzz! Does it really work? And which might work best for you?

We were curious too. To see how social media worked for a client, Simon Associates Management Associates (SAMC) just completed a case study that we have put together as a white paper on the impact of social marketing on the growth of website traffic.

While only one study and one case, the white paper does point out that power of using a wide range of social channels and why the right ones should be an important part of your inbound marketing mix.

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How to Choose the Right Inbound Marketing Company

On Apr 21, 2016 2:00:00 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Emerging Trends, Inbound Marketing, SEO

There are so many new platforms emerging and agencies promoting themselves as inbound experts that it has become challenging for companies to evaluate the different options available to them. For all transparency we are HubSpot certified partners and have been using their platform for our own company and our clients since 2014. Long enough to have learned what works really well, what we might wish worked differently, and how we might feel recommending HubSpot to our clients. In all candor, it is an amazing platform.

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