Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On the Blue Ocean with George

By Drew Eisenbeis

            This week in the readings there were lots of interesting articles about strategy options. The article that I particularly liked was Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.  

            The Blue Ocean Strategy article demonstrated to me on of my favorite thought processes as it requires thinking outside of the box with a ‘why-not’ attitude. I liked that it requires management to have a clear focus and understanding of the markets that surround and affect their business. I especially like that at the core of the Blue Ocean Strategy is that it engrains the need for direction, the requirement, to innovate and go after untapped markets.

The article started to get me thinking about other industries and times when there was a Blue Market Strategy. Was Subway a Blue Markey Strategy?  Everyone was doing burgers and fries, so Subway did subs. By Subway choosing to be in the same fast-food market, but not compete with the same food items, was subway using a Blue Market Strategy?

            The other example of Blue Market Strategy that I kept hearing in my head as I was reading the article is from Seinfeld. In the episode The Pitch the show portrays the creation of the ‘Seinfeld show’ and George famously says, “Everybody's doing something, we'll do nothing.”  In the dialog that George and Jerry have, it is seen how George realizes what everyone else is doing and what they should be doing. Here is a link to the video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQnaRtNMGMI

            The Blue Ocean Strategy is one of my favorites, and has me thinking about other business ventures. I wonder how many businesses have started based on an idea that was really a Blue Ocean Strategy? The formation of new ideas and new business ventures is one that is critical for companies as they progress. In another article we read for the week, Stress-Test Your Strategy: The 7 Questions to ask, it mentions that adaptation is a key to success. The Blue Market Strategy and adapting for the future seem to go hand in hand in many ways.

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