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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

3 Tips for HR Directors to Lead Successful Culture Change

On Nov 29, 2017 12:36:00 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Culture, business change

In a recent blog, I wrote about the daunting challenge facing Human Resources Directors who are tasked with helping their organizations assess and change their cultures. During a workshop on this topic, I explained the tools they could use for diagnosing the values, beliefs and behaviors that make up a company’s culture today and how to determine what these defining attributes should become in the future.

But implementing lasting culture change is far more complex than simply saying:  “Let's be more innovative.” Or, as one client said to me: “I want a culture that really delivers results.” 

For culture change to work, 3 things need to be in place: 

  1. A shared understanding of what the culture is today.
  2. Agreement about what the company’s leadership would like the culture to become in the future.
  3. A process to begin and sustain that transformation, along with ways to monitor, measure and celebrate the successful culture change as it evolves. 
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One Person Cannot Change a Company Culture. Just Ask Uber.

On Sep 26, 2017 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Culture

It's hard to believe. But then again, maybe it's not. Last weekend, Uber’s food delivery service, UberEats, ran a promotion for Wife Appreciation Day. But instead of urging its male customers in Bangalore, India to do something special for their spouses, Uber suggested that husbands “let their wives take a day off from the kitchen.”

Wow.

When Bozoma Saint John, Uber’s new chief brand ambassador, heard about it, she immediately fired off a damning tweet: "Oh hell no. This is completely unacceptable. Will take care of this."

(Lest we forget, Uber conducted an investigation this year into claims of sexual harassment within the company, and fired more than 20 people following a damning review. Senior executives who left the company included Uber founder and chief executive Travis Kalanick.)

The bigger problem: trying to change a culture all on your own

I give Saint John huge credit for working hard to change Uber’s “boys' club” culture, but she’s fighting a losing battle on her own. One person cannot change an ingrained, toxic culture, as I said to Entrepreneur, when asked for my reaction to Uber's latest sexist misfire. (Read the article here.) Here are my comments:

Outliers and change agents are lonely. The core cultural values, beliefs and behaviors are usually pervasive. People still share the same jokes, the same stories and same perceptions of what is important, valued and respected.

To truly change a culture, it takes a (committed) village

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Want To Change Your Organization? Make It Like An Exciting Play.

On Sep 13, 2017 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Culture Change, Corporate Culture, business change

Several clients have recently asked us to help them change their cultures. One is a healthcare client that is preparing for value-based payments. Another is an organization that needs to eliminate layers of management and become more innovative, thus empowering people in the field. A third is ready to open new markets and wants its staff to lead the charge.

Whatever type of organization you are, change is painful. But once you put a process in place, the changes you need can actually happen. People know how to play a new game or get on stage and perform a new role. Why can't they do the same in their jobs? Maybe they need a script, rehearsal time and a good coachyou!!

Our recommendation for a great change process that works!

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Like Uber, Your Company’s Culture Could Bring You Down.

On Jun 27, 2017 12:20:07 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Culture

What is your company culture? As an insider, are you sure you can really "see" what's going on, the good the bad and the ugly? Or like Uber's Travis Kalanick, are you in danger of being pushed out because of a systemically toxic environment? My recent article in Huffington Post explains how you can avoid Uber's mess by evaluating, and fixing, your culture before it's too late. Read it below or by clicking here.

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Could Your Company’s Culture Bring You Down? 
What we should learn from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s downfall: Your company’s culture can bring you down. 

Now that the curtain has been pulled back on Uber’s disgustingly toxic culture, we’re learning that it was not just one problem but a whole host of them that, taken together, led to CEO Travis Kalanick’s resignation. And just like that, what was once the world’s most valuable private company has been plunged into total disarray.
 
If you’ve been following the story, it’s been argued that what started the ball rolling was an Uber site reliability engineer (SRE) named Susan Fowler going public about being sexually harassed at work by her manager, reporting it to company officials (repeatedly) and getting nowhere.
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A Powerful Checklist For Entrepreneurial Success

On May 3, 2017 3:04:28 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Entrepreneurs, business growth strategies, Corporate Culture

I have been both a serial entrepreneur and intrapreneur for most of my life. The difference being that I have set up new businesses both inside and outside of corporations. While there are many similarities, there are also differences—namely, working with and without corporate support. And both have advantages and disadvantages. But for today, I would like to focus on the commonalities.

5 critical issues that strongly affect business success

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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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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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When It Comes To Corporate Culture, Are Men And Women All That Different?

On Jun 7, 2016 9:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Corporate Culture

 

As a corporate anthropologist, I've been keenly aware of the recent shift in thinking surrounding how cultures should be restructured in order for women to thrive in the workplace. This has caused me to ask, What type of culture do women really want and is it that different from what men want, too? To find out, my firm, Simon Associates Management Consultants, conducted research using the cultural diagnostic tool, the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), to see how women and men would prefer their organizational culture to operate in the future as opposed to how it operates today.

The results, which truly surprised us, also caught the attention of Forbes, which recently ran my article highlighting what we found. 

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