Blue Ocean Strategy

Before the end of 2007, I finished reading Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, and then I promptly forgot to blog my thoughts (i.e. beyond this). :-)

Cirque du Soleil is the leading example of a business successfully applying blue ocean strategy to break away from the pack and to define new space market space (i.e. it’s not a circus…or is it? It’s not adult theater…or is it?). Having been to several Cirque shows both locally and in Las Vegas, I can’t think of a better model to reference.

The authors present various frameworks in support of their strategic model focused on blue oceans:

  • Four actions framework, featuring the eliminate-reduce-raise-create grid and focused on the analytics behind blue ocean realization
  • Six paths framework, focusing on the formulation and execution of blue ocean strategy by looking across alternative industries (e.g. trade-across dynamics), looking across strategic groups within industries (e.g. trade-up/trade-down dynamics), looking across the chain of buyers (i.e. purchasers + users + influencers), looking across complementary product and service offerings (e.g. identify and eliminate pain points), looking across functional or emotional appeal to buyers, and looking across time (i.e. trends of interest that are decisive to your business, irreversible, and have a clear trajectory)

Reading the emotional appeal that Cemex was able to produce with its 1998 launch of the Patrimonio Hoy program–the emotion that comes from a “gift of dreams”–caused me to think about potential ways to add emotion to my own profession.

I think that there is an opportunity, for example, to cast knowledge management today in a more emotional light. Baby boomers represent a significant amount of knowledge and part of that knowledge is professional and corporate. It seems to me that this “boomer generation” can be better incented to transfer its vast experience in business, for example, by projecting knowledge management as a social cause, casting subsequent generations in a cynical but also free spirited manner, etc.

Thinking about trends of interest, I wonder what new software and services will emerge to support an education process that continues to increase its basis upon teams and collaboration. For example:

  1. Support young students who already launch multiple IM windows to accomplish homework collectively with peers
  2. Shift toward open, public wikis and away from closed, private documents
  3. Shift toward shared authoring instead of solo authoring, increasing the need to promote proper attribution (i.e. credit where its due)–possibly beyond citations and bibliographies
  4. Promote original thought and study, establishing one’s reputation as a strong contributor, team player, leader, negotiator, etc.

According to authors Kim and Mauborgne, “To fundamentally shift the strategic canvas as an industry, you must begin by reorienting your strategic focus from competitors to alternatives, and from customers to noncustomers of the industry.”

I finished my previous post on this book by asking open questions to enterprise content management (ECM) noncustomers. In closing here, my question is simply, if you have addressed content management needs but have opted for a non-ECM solution, what alternative did you go with and why? What was/is missing from ECM that if provided would change that decision?

Update 12/1/2008: For more of my book reviews and to see what else is in my book library (i.e. just the business-related or software-related non-fiction therein), please visit my Books page.