Always at the forefront of innovative, influential business ideas, Forbes.com is currently featuring a cutting-edge article by Andrea Simon, Ph.D., principal and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC). Dr. Simon’s article, “Why We’re So Afraid of Change — and Why That Holds Businesses Back,” examines how in today’s economic landscape, a great many CEOs are struggling with changes in their market space, supply change, consumer behavior…everything.
Dr. Simon writes, “A former client contacted us recently, saying: ‘We’re stuck.’
As in so many cases after 2008’s Great Recession, his division, once an industry leader, had experienced zero growth, using the same outmoded tactics to keep factories running, while wishing for the old world order to return. It never did. Our client is now desperately hoping his division’s leaders will embrace change, maybe even a ‘Blue Ocean Strategy®‘. They’ve reached a dangerous tipping point that could risk the future of their business.”
Why are they “stuck?,” Dr. Simon asks. “Beyond fearing change itself, they failed to see how the business environment was shifting. Old distribution channels were shrinking. Contractors had cut distributors out of the supply chain. Consumers had found better prices on the Internet. With product life cycles continually shortening, competitors were upstaging each other’s products in no time. If you can’t change, you risk becoming antiquated,” she states.
A corporate anthropologist and certified Blue Ocean Strategy practitioner, Dr. Simon recognizes the human brain’s strong aversion to change. In response, she has developed proven strategies that when applied to businesses, their leaders and their employees, enable people to “see” ways in which they can improve the way they do things, and in so doing, get “unstuck.” In her article, she shares these three primary guidelines:
- Get out of the office. Venture into the world. Stop going to your industry’s trade shows; instead, see what other industries are doing.
- Go exploring. Shadow your consumers; watch how they do their jobs, listen to their pain points, and come up with new solutions to nagging consumer problems.
- Build an innovative culture. Encourage the free exchange of ideas, which ultimately turns good thoughts into actions and measurable results.
If you truly want to see, feel and think in new ways, Dr. Simon advises, “you have to fight your brain’s desire to stay put. To ignite change, you need to do it yourself first. You need to recognize that new ideas come from trying new solutions in your own head and changing your brain’s focus. Then you can roll out the rest of the plan to your company.”
To read Dr. Simon’s article in its entirety on Forbes.com, click here.
Andrea Simon, Ph.D., principal and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC), has over 30 years’ experience as a senior executive with financial services and healthcare institutions, and as an entrepreneur. Dr. Simon helps companies develop brand positioning, redesign their culture, and improve financial performance through innovative and effective product development and marketing. She is particularly effective at understanding how customers really see, feel, and think about a company’s products, services, and customer experience. Please go to www.simonassociates.net for more information.