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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

How Storytelling Can Transform Your Culture And Energize Your Team

On Apr 11, 2018 10:15:46 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Culture, business culture


What if each of your employees felt really appreciated, an integral part of the team? And what if these positive feelings then translated into better performance, higher output, more idea generation and greater company profit? Wouldn't that be great!

We all want that, right? But these things don't just happen on their own—they're nurtured by a positive culture, one that values and champions every staff member, no matter their position. Many companies already have this kind of culture in place. Do you? If not, do you know how to get it?

For a little guidance, a recent article in Inc.com offers four strategies, all focusing on storytelling, and one of them even comes from me. (You can read the full article here.)

Storytelling is a great way to change your company culture

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How To Help Your Team Stop Mourning The Old And Love The New

On Feb 13, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, healthcare change

 

As we see the healthcare world continue to consolidate, mergers and acquisitions are becoming the lay of the land. But although the process of merging two different (sometimes very different) cultures is becoming more common, it's not getting any easier. In fact, for several of our current and former healthcare clients, it's very, very challenging. 

As I said in my recent article for Hospital Impact, even though mergers may make good business sense, they tend to create a “flight or fight” response in the people in the organization being merged or acquired. Why? Because people just hate change.

Staff members (medical or not) usually are not happy in the new, merged world—they liked the one they had before. They're not sure how well they fit into the new organization's culture so they tend to assume the worst. 

Mergers are really hard on physicians and staff

From a series of interviews we conducted with doctors, nurses and support staff, we learned that people who have gone through a merger or acquisition are angry and irritated. While they are making more money in many cases, and their offices may be running more efficiently, they are unhappy. There are many reasons for this, namely:

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Developing a Positive Culture Where People and Performance Thrive

On Feb 6, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, culture

Can you contribute anything to a positive culture at work? Well, you can do more than you might think, as shown both by research and practice! Whether you are a leader, a consultant or an employee, you can build an organization that thrives because of the type of culturethe values, beliefs and behaviorsthat you encourage.

That’s what Marcella Bremer talks about in her new book, Developing a Positive Culture where People and Performance Thrive,” all about helping organizations become much more effective, "positive cultures."

Positive organizations are better at change, more innovative, more competitive, more profitable, and also contribute more to the world. When we work in a positive organizational environment, we can thrive at work, achieve extraordinary performance and make a meaningful contribution. And who wouldn't want that!  

So, are you ready to drive your change?

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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.” They really need to know how to drive change.

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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Owners Of Family Businesses Better Have A Good Succession Plan

On Oct 26, 2017 8:45:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Family Firms, Culture Change, corporate anthropologist

Did you know that family-owned firms account for 66% of businesses around the world yet only 16% of them have succession plans? That's a scary thought. 

In the U.S. alone, family firms comprise 80%-90% of all business enterprises, generating 64% of the GNP and employing 62% of the workforce. Clearly, family firms are incredibly important to the global economy, which is why the issue of succession should be approached very intentionally to ensure the ongoing health of these businesses, as I write in a recent article for Daily News.

As a corporate anthropologist, a culture change expert and a daughter raised in a family business, I have a particularly strong interest in helping family firms successfully prepare for their succession.

If you're starting to think about the future of your family business, consider these six steps as you prepare to hand over the reins to the next generation (abridged version...read the full article here).
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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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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 sustain your customers you may have to change a culture, it takes a (committed) village

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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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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.

Without a good process for driving change it is hard to build a successful business. 

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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Change: Are You Going To Avoid It Or Embrace It?

On Aug 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Change Management, Trends From The Trenches, Culture Change

As a corporate anthropologist and culture change expert, I work with organizations that need or want to change. I'm an observer, constantly watching for emerging “trends from the trenches,” and I like to share them so that others too can see what's coming.

As I report in my recent article for Forbes.com, one of the biggest trends I'm noticing as I travel around the country is how business leaders are really struggling with today's breakneck pace of change. (You can read the article here.) Rather than embracing change and its possibilities for innovation and growth, they’re fleeing from it. Not good!

The trends are obvious but CEOs don't want to see them

Often, the biggest challenge for people is how to recognize what's happening right in front of them. But for today's CEOs, this is particularly scary because the degree of change is so greatthreatening their business models, fundamental beliefs and long-held strategies—that they feel lost, like the proverbial deer in headlights. But for those leaders who are willing to adapt and change with the times, new levels of productivity await them.

5 trends that today's business leaders should pay attention to:

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