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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

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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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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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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Can You See It? The Coming of Age of Corporate Anthropology Is Here.

On Aug 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Corporate Anthropology

   

This truly is the Coming of Age of Corporate Anthropology. All around us, the number of companies that are employing anthropologists is soaring, as are those that are engaging firms to conduct ethnographic or observational research for them. Another bellwether is Google search, where interest in anthropology-trained culture change experts increased dramatically in 2017, as I report in my recent article in Huffington Post. 

I saw this “coming of age of anthropology” not long ago when I spoke for the second year at the Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA) Roundtable. Each June, the MCA gathers with its fifteen independent college members and 120 businesses from across Michigan and beyond to think creatively about how higher education needs to change in order to better serve its students, its communities and the businesses and industries that need its talent. In order to provide industry with the new types of employees it needs, colleges and universities need to change their cultures, their purposes and their methods so that their graduates can find good jobs in today’s market and become valuable elements of fast-changing companies. 

Thanks to the great leadership of Bob Bartlett and Karen Mulligan, the MCA convened a number of lecturers who spoke at length about anthropology, sharing how its methods, theory and tools added significant value to their businesses and why other companies should embrace anthropology as well. 

What is corporate anthropology? 

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How Anthropology Can Help Your Business Soar

On Aug 26, 2017 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Corporate Anthropology, anthropology

 

The reason I love anthropology is because it teaches you to see, feel and think in new ways. These days, it’s no longer the strongest and smartest who will survive  it’s the ones who are the most adaptive. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the business world, as I describe in a recent article I wrote for Quick Base, which you can read here.

Corporate anthropologists, like myself, see the things that are really happening out there in the field, not what business leaders think is going on. We look for the deeper meaning in the interactions that make up people’s lives and the objects they surround themselves with. 

How corporate anthropology can help companies be more competitive

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You Have a New Strategy! How Can You Make it Happen? Part 1

On Apr 8, 2017 10:58:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Change Management, Corporate Anthropology, Corporate Culture


Previously, we wrote about our work with CEOs at ITESM in Mexico. These were 50 very smart, successful business leaders who brought us in to help them find new markets and change their corporate cultures. The real challenge, they told us, was how to change their organizations. There are a number of ways to create a more innovative culture, embed change processes into those old, established ones, and provide more skill-development and confidence so your employees can embrace change. I thought I would share with you some of the things we discussed so you can build your own tool kit for taking the new and making it happen.

Today, in this Part 1 of the discussion, I want to talk about one approach that you might takenamely, to bring in the consultants and let them help you design, develop and implement the new "you." Being management consultants, we often are brought in to do just thatbecome the chief strategists for an organization and help them go through the changes. Yet, we know that it is hard to build a new organization from the outside-in. It doesn't always work well and I want to start this blog with an illustrative case to show you some of the pitfalls that you must anticipate if you are going to use consultants wisely.

This particular client situation was one where those "other" consultants did not achieve the desired results. As a case study, it serves to illustrate how to re-think the best use of outside resources. Use consultants. Let them help your organization develop and implement a change in direction. But make sure those consultants understand how to Engage, Educate and Manage Expectationsthe key to the toolkitamong your own team. 

You may want to get to the toolkit right away so you can start to try this aproach  to take that new strategy and make it happen. Take a look at this webinar before you read furtheror read on!


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Entrepreneurs: Think "Business Culture" First, Not Last!

On Mar 16, 2017 11:07:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, Andrea Simon, Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Corporate Culture

 

Not long ago, we were working with an entrepreneur who had asked us to evaluate his business in the event marketing industry. While the company was highly creative and doing well, the problems seemed to stem from a recurring pattern of turnover (among the creative leaders, the controller, the new business developers) and workplace disenchantment. People came and went through a proverbial revolving door.

From our client's perspective, the challenge was how to hire the right people to support the company's rapid growth, but we could see that the culture he had created seemed to foster employee disarray. Was the problem in the business segment itself, as the CEO thought? Or was the problem the CEO himself (as we wondered)? Or, perhaps, was it the company's culture? And if so, was this a good time for changing that culture?

For this particular entrepreneur, culture was an elusive "thing" that he knew he should pay attention to. However, he wasn’t sure what his culture actually was, much less why it would lead to so many people coming and going.

As we began our work with him, we could tell that the problem was a little of everything, which is what an organization's culture is all about. 

Could this business leader address his challenges if he saw them with fresh eyes?

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Time to Make the Competition Irrelevant, Blue Ocean® Style!

On Jan 19, 2017 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy

At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), we have recently been working with clients who are struggling with an abundance of competition in their "red oceans." As you may know, we are Blue Ocean Strategy® professionals and corporate anthropologists. And, we are big believers that people cannot see what is often before their eyes. 

Red oceans are a metaphor for a highly competitive market space where businesses follow a traditional methodology promoted for years by Michael Porter and others. The thinking goes like this: carve out your market, differentiate your product and service offerings, and find your market space at the right price point to generate a good margin. The only problem is that today, there is too much supply and competition and too little demand for products, services and solutions.

In a business slump? Maybe you need to go exploring!

The best way to do that is to "hang out" and watch your customersand non-customersget their jobs done.

At SAMC, that's what we specialize in: helping clients realize the great potential of finding their "blue oceans" where they make the competition irrelevant, capture and create new demand, go after unmet needs, and value-innovate (not value-incrementalize) their offerings. As John Seely Brownvisiting scholar at USC and the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, famously said, "The way forward is all around you." You just have to see it.

Today, I want to show you how to go visually exploring. This is a key part of how you can begin to see how your clients are really struggling to solve their problems, often with your own products. And what does that struggle represent? Opportunity!

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Broken Corporate Cultures: Time To Stop Blaming And Start Fixing

On Oct 14, 2016 9:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, corporate anthropologist, Corporate Anthropology, Corporate Culture

Sadly, more and more these days it seems that there's an epidemic of business leaders refusing to take responsibility for their or their company's actions, passing the buck to whomever they can: employees, the press, a computer glitch, the global economic turnaround...the list goes on.

What has happened to corporate integrity? To the notion of "the buck stops here"?

As a corporate anthropologist, I believe the problem clearly lies in a dysfunctional culture. Every company has its own individual culture, a set of habits, rules and moréssometimes openly communicated, sometimes unspokenthat govern how employees interact and get along. When this culture is faulty, as we are seeing so often these days, employees can easily lost their way.

Our guest blogger, Cheryl McMillanCEO Coach with Vistage International, has written an excellent and very timely blog on the subject, which I share here. Enjoy.

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