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Creating new markets with “blue ocean” strategy

I might appear to have been living under the rock, because it is only now that I read the famous “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. The main idea behind the book is to focus on creating new market space, instead of getting entangled in deadly fight for existing one.

Red oceans are existing markets. Red from competitive blood. Blue oceans are (usually) undiscovered market spaces. No competition there.

It is well described how to operate on red oceans. Strategic positioning, benchmarking, etc. Red ocean strategy is heavily inspired by the military (zero sum game). I’m afraid that we consultants work usually on red oceans.

The book might well be inspiring, even if it simply reuses some concepts supporting individual creativity in the corporate setting. Concepts like “out of the box” thinking, identification of hidden constraints, taking unusual point of view for inspiration etc. is repackaged for use in the enterprises.

Remarks related to improving corporate planning process itself by turning it more into “strategic conversation” remind me of Kees van der Heijden approach, which used scenarios to facilitate uncovering hidden drivers and communicating the strategy.