I started reading Blue Ocean Shift by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne and I found this paragraph to be inspiring and hopeful:
“For us, as business scholars, the world we aspired to help advance wasn’t one defined by competing and dividing up markets or the globe, where one’s gain comes at the expense of others. Competition exists, and win-lose scenarios abound, but they weren’t what captured our imaginations, nor what we believed our world needed more of. What we admired, what inspired us, were the organizations and individuals that went beyond competing to create new frontiers of opportunity, growth and jobs, where success was not about dividing up an existing, often shrinking pie, but about creating a larger economic pie for all – what we refer to an blue oceans. Blue oceans are less about disruption and more about nondisruptive creation, where one’s gain doesn’t have to come at the expense of others.”
My favourite business question is: What problem are you solving? This question tries to establish if what your business is trying to do, actually matters. Basically, are you doing work that matters?
My second favourite question is slowly forming to be: Are you in a blue ocean or red ocean?
In other words are you fighting for an existing market share or are you creating a new market?
Blue ocean strategy is a theory of market creation, a well articulated theory by Prof Clay Christensen and Efosa Ojomo in their book: The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty.
Basically Blue Ocean Shift is a systematic process to move your business from cutthroat markets with bloody competition [what is called red oceans full of sharks] to wide-open blue ocean, or new markets devoid of competition.
Are you involved in a cutthroat, zero sum game of win-lose and eliminating the competition or are you striving to build a future that looks different and better than today?
When you walk away from the noise of the red ocean, you realise the blue ocean of endless possibilities.
Sawubona, we see you.
Image by Ludovic Charlet