How Corporate Anthropology Can Leave You Questioning Your Herd

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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People are most comfortable in a herd and tend to resist change

I shared with Tamara how the herd is typically not motivated to change until there’s a crisis. In today’s times, this means that people tend to group together and resist change to politics and power. To avoid following the herd, we should seek for ways to become open-minded to disagreement, and resist the urge to push new innovation away.

Key takeaways from our discussion:

  • Corporate anthropology is a social science approach to studying our society and how humans organize themselves. Corporate anthropologists, like myself, take observation and turn it into innovation.
  • Why 30-somethings don’t answer the phones!
  • How do you turn observation into innovation? Really listen to what the consumer is telling you and turn it into what they are asking for. 
  • Go out into the field and observe your customers. The disconnect between what the customer really needs, and what you think they need, is your big opportunity.
  • Humans make decisions using heart to head processes. We need to ask ourselves which group do I want to belong to? Do I want to be an outlier in this decision?

3 great blogs about culture change:

  1. Change: Are You Going To Avoid It Or Embrace It?
  2. Why Change Is So Scary—And Why That Dooms Businesses To Fail
  3. 5 Ways To Make Your Team Awesome Agents Of Change

Ready to change?  

At SAMC, we’re all about helping organizations adapt to change. If you’d like to discuss how we could help your business thrive in these rapidly changing times, please contact us for a free 1-hour consultation. We love talking change and look forward to hearing from you.

From Observation to Innovation,


Andi Simon, Ph.D.
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants

Check out my latest Huffington Post article