Corporate Anthropologist Says “Make Change Happen”

Dr. Andrea Simon, Corporate Anthropologist who works with organizations in education, healthcare, banking and a myriad of other fields, is bullish about these trying times. She says that the world, as we know it, has simply changed. “In the field of Corporate Anthropology, we create the process for change – seeing, feeling, thinking,” says Andrea Simon.

What made America great are basic business principles that lost their way, and now is the time to get back to the basics. In fact, retro is now the future, as it relates to digging ourselves out of these recessionary times.

Dr. Simon says, “When I work with my various for-profit and non-profit clients, I encourage them to think about these tips as they retool their organizations”:

Six Tips for Trying Times
by Andrea Simon, Ph.D., Corporate Anthropologist

1. You are not what you do:
It’s hard to separate the two. Change requires you to separate what you do from who you are.

2. Change is literally pain—but staying the same is worse:
Change is literally pain—research is showing us how the brain hates the pain of change. Habits are easier, but not necessarily good for your survival. So, how to enjoy the pain of change? Practice! In this economy, fight it; staying the same is even worse pain than change. Denial of change just delays the pain.

3. Explore—get out of the office and into the field:
The more ideas you have the more likely you will have a good one.
From inside the office you can only imagine your options. You have to go exploring outside. Spend a day in the life of a customer. Begin to see, feel and think about them in new ways.

4. Find a colleague to go with:
Ideas come from many minds, so you don’t have to do it alone. Surround yourself with the right colleagues. People in different stages of change can inspire you or bring you down. Find the right colleague for this trying time. Or, find a coach—there is no need to change alone.

5. A picture is worth a thousand words:
Brain science is teaching us that the old adage is true. You have to visualize it. Once you have some ideas flowing, try to tell a story about them; draw a picture; get your team together to start to tell a customer or a potential customer about what you imagine to be the new idea, product, solution, system, operational innovation.

6. Forget the survey stuff:
Your customers cannot tell you what they need or want, or what solutions would be better than what they have. You are going to have to discover it for them, and then with them. The story is that Henry Ford said: “If I asked people how to improve their transportation, they would have told me to make their horses go faster.”

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