More and more, business leaders are beginning to understand the value of corporate anthropologists, and more importantly, how they can help people at all levels of a company better “see, feel and think” about their business with fresh eyes. As a corporate anthropologist myself, I preach that the importance of anthropology lies in its ability to help people pause, step out and look at the way they have always done things in new ways, and then make these new ways happen. In my recent article in BusinessNewsDaily, I had the chance to expand on this ethnographic approach to business. Perhaps this could help you and your company?
Corporate anthropology is about adaptation
As I explained in the article, the business world is changing. Whether it’s the dawn of artificial intelligence, the rise of e-commerce, the expansion of automated business processes or the influx of millennial workers, business operations are being forced to change the way they do things, I said. On the outside, buyers are responding differently, forcing businesses to rethink their marketing strategies, value propositions and their engagement with the world at large.
As Darwin noted, “It is not the smartest or the strongest that survive, but the most adaptive.” In business as in the natural world, adaptation and evolution select the most appropriate out of many options for a particular need. This makes anthropology a vital part of the business toolkit today for those who want to understand their business and how to keep it active and agile in fast-changing times.
What does a corporate anthropologist do? Teach you about your customers.
A corporate anthropologist basically combines traditional anthropology with business. We study how customers interact with a company’s products, as well as how the habits, policies and procedures within that company — its culture — work, or don’t work.
To gain insights, we talk to customers and ask in-depth questions that help clarify what type of consumer they are, where they shop, how they pay for products and which factors influence their decision to buy. We take this information back to leadership so they can better understand their customers, their pain points and the solutions they’re looking for. Then we help them develop marketing strategies that more effectively target their products to specific consumers. This anthropological approach can help a business be more productive and possibly save money because it’s focused on the specific needs of consumers.
As I state in the article, if companies can harness the lessons of anthropology, they can become more nimble and as a result, more competitive.
To learn more about the value of corporate anthropology
- Blog: Hate Change? Anthropology Can Make You and Your People Love It!
- Blog: Innovative Applications of Corporate Anthropology in Business
- Podcast: Ask Andi—How Anthropology Helps People See Things With Fresh Eyes
Could you perhaps benefit from a “little anthropology”?
At Simon Associates Management Consultants, our specialty is helping organizations accept, prepare and adapt to change. Applying the tools, methods and principles of anthropology is one of the primary ways we do this. We invite you to contact us to discuss how our team of specialized corporate anthropologists and culture change experts can work with you so you and your business can overcome today’s challenges and soar. We look forward to hearing from you.
From Observation to Innovation,
Andi Simon, Ph.D.
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants
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