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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

"On the Brink" Bronze Axiom Best Business Book

On Feb 28, 2017 10:24:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: On the Brink

I am thrilled to share that "On The Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights," just out since July of last year, has won a Bronze Axiom Business Book Awards in the Operations Management/ Lean/Continuous Improvement category. I’m in very good company with "Sprint" by Jake Knapp and "Let My People Go Surfing" by Yvon Chouinard. 

Since 2007, the Axiom Business Book Awards have honored the year's best, cutting-edge business books from all over the world, with the understanding that business people are information-hungry, eager to learn about influential new books that provide information and ideas critical to success in today's competitive marketplace.

You can learn more about the Axiom awards and the winners here

Want to read some of my book? 
Download a free chapter on my website AndiSimon.com. 

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How To Find Your Blue Ocean Strategy®: Step 4

On Dec 7, 2016 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean Strategy, On the Brink

Ok, so maybe you have realized that your current business strategy has left you struggling to find growth markets. Your game plan has been to shrink costs, find cheaper manufacturers and outsource back office duties. Margins are hanging in there but revenue growth is still slow, maybe stalled. Are you "on the brink?"

In my book, "On The Brink: A Fresh Lens To Take Your Business To New Heights," I describe seven companies that were literally "on the brink." While they were not failing, neither were they soaring. For each of them, it was time to step out of their stagnant environment and find new marketsto literally see the new opportunities that were all around them.

They needed to find a "Blue Ocean Strategy®." Once they did, they were able to discover new markets full of customers who had big unmet needs and where they could add value in innovative ways.

I have written a series of three blogs about the steps we follow with clients to help them accomplish these two vital strategies: open new market space and find unmet needs. Now it is time for Step 4. You can refer back to the others or keep moving forward. And the way forward is really "all around you."

Steps 1, 2 and 3 set the stage. Now it is time to turn those observations into innovations: Step 4

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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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How a Bold, Curious Leader Turned Laclede Chain Around

On Aug 3, 2016 12:00:00 PM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Blogs, On the Brink

In my new book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights,” I share a story about a client, Laclede Chain, that was “on the brink.” Stuck or stalled, however you describe it, Laclede had grown and captured market share but then reached a position in the market where it had to rethink its business model.

Despite the fact that the post-recession market recovery is now entering its eighth year, we at SAMC are getting calls from across the U.S. and Canada from companies that are once again facing that “stall point.” They rebounded well from the 2008 Great Recession but aren’t quite sure why, and now are watching sales slow, clients defect to other companies, and buying processes change. Once again, like Laclede, they have to reinvent their businesses. And once again, they aren’t quite sure how.

Can Corporate Anthropology Help Reinvent a Company?

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U.S. Talent Gap Needs A Blue Ocean Strategy®

On Jul 19, 2016 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean Strategy, On the Brink, Higher Education


6 reasons why the time is now for a Blue Ocean Strategy for Liberal Arts Colleges?

Several important facts surfaced at a recent Blue Ocean Strategy® workshop which we at SAMC led with Michigan industry leaders and independent colleges, hosted by the Michigan College Alliance. There were 6 big ones that were most unsettling:

  1. There is a HUGE problem in the U.S. — a MAJOR TALENT GAP.

  2. As US. News and World Report states: “Employers are looking to hire people with more advanced skills, especially in STEM fields, but job seekers are often struggling to figure out which skills they need and where they can learn them.”

  3. And 500,000 of those unfilled jobs are in IT.

  4. What’s more, we need these people now. All across America, we are running out of skilled workers to fill the 5.8 million jobs that are waiting for them. Take a look:

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Is A Really Big Idea In Plain Sight? Ask Trey Williams!

On Jul 14, 2016 11:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean Strategy, On the Brink



At the Forum for Healthcare Strategists in May 2016, I had the pleasure of hearing Jeremy Gutsche speak about how you — literally everyone — could become a better “hunter” capable of seeing new possibilities right before you. This reminded me of the quote by John Seely Brown: “The way forward is all around you.” This kind of thinking is also at the core of the Blue Ocean Strategy® method that we work with. 

Are big ideas really right in front of you in plain sight?

At Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), so much of our work focuses on this same topic, that of "seeing with fresh eyes." Gutsche’s ideas were a powerful reminder that it is hard work shifting people from doing what they have always done to doing it better, smarter, different. "More of the same but cheaper" isn’t enough to sustain the growth of any business, yours included.

One story along these lines that is very much worth sharing is that of Trey Williams, an entrepreneur and restauranteur from Baton Rouge, who saw things that were right before him and then turned these "aha" moments into big ideas with huge results.

During the healthcare forum, I had a great dinner with Trey whom I had met the week before when I was in Louisiana. I wanted to learn more about how he went from being a successful commercial real estate broker to one of the most successful restaurant owners in his region — selling charcuterie (of all things) to folks in Louisiana, most of whom couldn’t even pronounce the word! They love pork but charcuterie?! And how and why did he switch careers?

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Blue Ocean Strategy® Needs Lots of Exploring

On Mar 25, 2016 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy, On the Brink

There is an adage among folks who work in innovation and creativity that the more ideas you have, the more likely you will have great ones—you just don’t know which ones they are. Often they occur at the intersections of ideas…more random than scientific, more by chance than by choice, and more likely to come from luck than rigor.

This is very important if you are going to find a Blue Ocean Strategy. While you are trying to grow your business by adding value in innovative ways, the opportunities could be right under your nose. You just aren't finding them, aren't able to see the possibilities as opportunities. Is there a way for you to turn observation into innovation to sustain your growth? Yes!

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3 Ways Anthropologist's Toolkit Can Revitalize Your Company

On Mar 24, 2016 10:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Business Anthropology, Corporate Anthropology, On the Brink

What?!? Anthropology in my business?

I heard that more than once over the past few weeks of "Change Matters" workshops. I started talking about how powerful corporate anthropology or business anthropology can be for driving business growth. It’s true. The link between social science and business growth is deep and powerful, and growing. As business model innovation has become essential as company's adapt to today's fast changing environment.

Understanding human behavior and how to change a company's cultures is at the heart of building business success. I know it sounds obvious, but often it is ignored. At their core, all businesses are inextricably linked to the humans who work together and whose customers they serve — even if it’s sometimes hard to see the connection of business to culture.

Corporate anthropologists are finding that people know all too well the challenges of building and sustaining a business, especially in these fast-changing times. They often need a new toolkit, an anthropologist's toolkit. What worked in the past isn't doing so well today. But change is quite literally pain, and they fight it.

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