<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=179432805882575&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

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. 
Read More → Back to Top

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).
Read More → Back to Top

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.

Read More → Back to Top

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

Read More → Back to Top

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:

Read More → Back to Top

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!

Read More → Back to Top

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:

Read More → Back to Top

Why Change Is So Scary—And Why That Dooms Businesses To Fail

On Aug 23, 2017 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Igniting Change, Culture Change

 

A former client of ours in the construction industry contacted us recently, saying: “We’re stuck. Sales are flat, the competition is killing us, and my sales team doesn't know what to do. Can you help?”

As in so many cases after 2008’s Great Recession, this client's corporate division, once an industry leader, was experiencing zero growth, using the same outmoded tactics to keep factories running while wishing for the old world order to return.

Guess what? Like coal, the old days are not coming back. Our former client's business has now reached a dangerous tipping point that could put the company's entire future at risk. His only hope is to embrace change, and fast.

Why do businesses get “stuck?”

One of the main reasons why companies (or individuals, for that matter) get stuck is because they fear change. Driven by well-honed habits, they are more comfortable doing things the way they've always done them. They resist embracing the unknown. Think of it in terms of a play. People like performing the script they know; when given a different script with new roles to play and new lines to learn, they tend to balk.

Read More → Back to Top

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.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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.
Read More → Back to Top

ITESM CEO Workshops on How to Manage Business Change

On Mar 30, 2017 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Business Anthropology, Culture Change, business grow strategies

Recently, I spoke to the executive education program for the Instituto Tecnológico Y Estudios Superiores De Monterrey (ITESM) in Nuevo León, Mexico. It allowed me to work for two days with 50 CEOs and 250 of their managers. As a business anthropologist, this was a wonderful opportunity to share with them new ways to approach their business growth strategies.

My focus was twofold:

1. Could we help them find new market space?
2. How could they manage business change, lead change initiatives and overcome the inevitable hurdles?

The ITESM program brings together these carefully selected CEOs nine times a year for workshops and speakers such as myself. The goal is to continually bring them new ideas, train them, develop their ability to sustain growth in fast changing times, and build their leadership and change management skills.

What was so exciting was how open they were to see things with "fresh eyes.” Each one asked me, How could they find new markets? Where were nonusers or new solutions to solve unmet needs?

Read More → Back to Top

Growing your business? Subscribe to our blog for great articles delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to the Blog

Subscribe to our Podcast: