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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

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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How Corporate Anthropology Transforms Observation Into Innovation

On Sep 8, 2016 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, On the Brink

Recently, I was very excited to be interviewed by Mukesh Gupta for his podcast, PBTO (Pushing Beyond the Obvious). For our session, “Transforming Observation into Innovation,” Mukesh was in India and I was in New York. We covered a lot of ground and had a great time doing it!

During the 58-minute podcast, I share insights and stories about what corporate anthropology is all about and how it can help organizations change their culture, create new products and services, understand their customers better and most importantly, drive growth.

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Could Corporate Anthropology Help A Struggling Hospital Adapt To Changing Times?

On Sep 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology

In my book “On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights,” I write about one of my marketing firm’s favorite experiences working with a medical center that was literally “on the brink.”

In 2006, I was hired as a consultant at a 400-bed Midwest medical center that was losing close to $20 million a year, was leaking patients to its two competitors, had an entrenched staff (many of whom had been there for their entire careers) who didn’t want to change, and was having trouble establishing a connection with the population it was supposed to serve. On top of all that, it was not considered the area’s go-to medical facility unless you were poor, uninsured, seriously sick or injured, burned or a high risk mother-to-be.

The center’s leadership team was looking for someone to help them better understand their institution’s brand positioning so they could reinvigorate growth, re-brand the hospital for a changing market, and provide internal staff with a strong identity which would hopefully engender pride in their work. Here's what we did.

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Has Your Business Stalled? Maybe It's Time For A Culture Change!

On Aug 9, 2016 12:00:00 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change, ocai-online

Your growth has slowed. Stalled. Possibly even gone in the wrong direction. Maybe it's the competition, the economy or consumers' changing tastes. You probably feel like you need a superman solution!!

But maybe, just maybe, it's your culture.

Are you ready to take a hard look at how you get things done? (or not done?)

All over the country, I lead workshops on culture change for companies that are experiencing slow growth, or no growth, and are seeking a way forward. Culture is vitally important to the success of a firm, yet many leaders ignore or simply don't understand the role of corporate culture. As I listen to these bewildered CEOs, I've realized that many of them are facing similar challenges. Here are some examples:

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What To Do Now That Consumers Are Redesigning Their Own Healthcare Solutions?

On Jun 11, 2016 9:50:31 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Healthcare, Culture Change

While recently conducting anthropological research for several healthcare clients, my team and I have noticed something quite significant taking place: today's consumers are seeking healthcare solutions in very different ways than in the past, now revolving around their convenience and satisfaction. As I state in a June 9, 2016 article published by FierceHealthcare, "today’s healthcare users are designing the care delivery system to match their personal tastes and stylescolored by their frustrations with their current physician and their overall experience with his/her practice." Read my article here.

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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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Time for a Blue Ocean Strategy® for Companies in the Oil and Gas Industry?

On May 16, 2016 3:41:38 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Culture Change, Blue Ocean Strategy

This is not a blog about large global companies coping with the $40 a barrel price for oil. Hopefully, they understand Blue Ocean Strategy® thinking and are putting it into practice, or they are just sitting it out until prices recover.

No, this is about all those companies that support the conglomerates. They too are trying to figure out how to thrive in a market that has experienced not just a decline but a veritable crash of unexpected and dramatic proportions.

These are the small, mid-market companies that erect scaffolding, install piping, build living space on riggings, manufacture seals and gaskets, and manage data analysis. And these days, they are often run by the company CEOs sitting in my lectures on "Change Matters: How to Find New Market Space" or on Blue Ocean Strategy. 

For them, as I have been hearing so loudly, they have to find ways to stay in business and grow again, not just shrink and hope. What can they really do? 

Maybe it is a great time to go exploring? For their business to thrive!

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Is Your Business Stuck? Maybe It Needs a New Corporate Culture!

On Mar 22, 2016 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Change Management, Culture Change, corporate anthropologist

 Is this how you feel, pushing your business forward? For far too many of our clients, growth has slowed. Maybe even stalled! Gone in the wrong direction? Let me share some of the illustrations and see if they fit your company?

  • One case was a fast growing entrepreneur who found his network shifting to other solutions.
  • A client in the B2B world was watching his competitors get acquired and the roll-ups were better able to buy and supply his clients. Growth was a challenge.
  • After a talk I gave to real estate brokers we heard the endless lament that they weren't growing because of how younger people bought homes.
  • In another case a real estate broker couldn't seem to find new agents.
  • Another was an insurance company that was frustrated that young people weren't getting married in their twenties any longer. So they weren't buying houses and needing insurance. In fact, those Millenials were renting apartments and not even buying cars.

When we looked at the business environments from the outside in, the problem seemed to be with those Millenials or the other solutions or the roll-up consolidations. "Not my problem" was the common retort. 

The solution was going to be hard if we had to change our societal trends. Instead, as corporate anthropologists we suggested that they look at their strategy and business to see if it was time to change their business model, their culture and their strategies.

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10 Steps to Change Your Corporate Culture

On Mar 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change


Is meaningful and lasting corporate culture change possible?


It takes genuine buy-in from the executive leadership and a strong understanding of the current vs. desired corporate culture, but if these fall into place, culture change can indeed not only happen but revolutionize a company.

Perhaps you are ready to learn how to change corporate culture? We have been working with clients for whom the process of culture discovery was a real eye opener. Realizing that employees wanted a different type of culture that was more innovative and supportive of risk-taking, leadership found themselves wrestling with deep and important questions:

  • What type of ingenuity and individual empowerment would be accepted and encouraged?
  • How would they choose which processes could be modified or improvised upon? What did it really mean to become more ad-hoc and empowering?
  • How could management become more skilled at relaxing some rules? Would production and compliance wither?

These are difficult discussions to have for any group of people who work together, let alone a corporation with an established track record of success. Questions of power, responsibility, trust and teamwork take on entirely new meanings when examined in the context of intentionally changing the culture of a corporation. 

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Can Your Culture Let You Adapt To Changing Times?

On Jan 19, 2016 3:00:00 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Culture Change

In recent workshops conducted by us, Simon Associates (SAMC), several questions repeatedly came up which reflected a common theme: CEOs are finally realizing that they need to build a culture of innovation into their company’s traditional operating systems.   

Typically, the core competency of a company is the antithesis of a creative, innovative organization. Their strength is and has been the effectiveness and efficiencies of their well-oiled machine—those processes, procedures and teams of employees (and their skill sets) who are very good at what they have always done. And more often than not, their board or senior executive team are very comfortable with those same traditions that brought them to where they are today. 

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