Inside the mind of the blue ocean strategist

What does it mean to be a strategist? A common definition: A strategist is a person with responsibility for the formulation and implementation of a strategy. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions.

Not a bad definition. There are numerous proven models that strategist use in business today. Chron.com states its definition of a “strategy model” as one that exists within the term itself. Basically, a strategy model constitutes a strategic plan, or model, designed to improve a process. Organizations use strategy models to improve operations and meet their goals.

Blue Ocean Strategy works outside the primary focus of other strategic models. That focus being the known industry boundaries where competitive rules are understood and accepted. Blue ocean are defined as untapped market space. Typically, the blue ocean is an expansion of existing red ocean competitive, you know where all the bloody competition takes place.

There are tremendously strong strategists in the market that never once refer to Blue Ocean Strategy tools or frameworks. That’s all good. There is room for everyone. Blue oceans are about abundance and new markets. We don’t believe in zero-sum games.

One of the reasons I planted my flag in Blue Ocean Strategy as my “deliverable” is the processes and frameworks that make, asking the right questions, corporate implementation, and employee engagement so much more measurable. My mindset and philosophy is not built to be a natural skeptic or doubter. I don’t instinctively ask the right questions that always lead to discovery. Discovery of solutions to problems or even the problems themselves. I’m guilty of assuming I’m right about most things without sufficient evidence. I’m betting I’m right in assuming I’m not the only one with that problem.

Blue ocean strategy and the tools it provides give me the strategic thinking rail and questioning process to run on.

Let’s highlight the qualities of a Blue Ocean Strategist. These qualities I can now attest are for the most part my qualities as well.

I. Blue ocean strategist do not take industry conditions as given. They set out to reshape those conditions in the favor of their companies or clients.

II. Blue ocean strategist do not seek to beat the competition. They instead, aim to make competition irrelevant.

III. Blue ocean strategist focus on creating and capturing new demand, not fighting over existing customers.

IV. Blue ocean strategist simultaneously pursue differentiation and low cost. They seek a complete break from the traditional value-cost trade-off.

They have an expansive field of vision. As you can see, these qualities are found in some of the most successful leaders in all industries.

Today’s market conditions are forcing the hand of traditionally minded business thinkers. There is little room for sacred cows and words like, that’s how we’ve always done it. In my view, having a strategic rail to run on will enhance a company’s chance of thriving in a post-coved-19 world.

Someone recently asked, what are your attitude about the next 6 months? What are your plans? My answer was this, hope for the best, plan for the worst. How might you plan for the worst? Ask the right questions. Use the right tools.

If you have questions about how Blue Ocean Strategy thinking, mindset, and implementations, feel free to set up a call. No obligation and we’ll chat for an hour or so about anything related to your business that you wish. If blue ocean applies in some way, I’ll let you know and steer you in the right direction. Set up that appointment here. 

Sherman G. Mohr is an Insead Blue Ocean Strategy Institute Certified Blue Ocean Strategist residing in Nashville, TN. He serves as co-founder of marketing/tech/and healthcare firms.