If you’re a follower of any of our work here at The Blue Ocean Strategist you’ve seen fairly methodical writing that translates Blue Ocean Strategy processes and tools into everyday business scenarios.
We have covered key principles in Blue Ocean Strategy work. Tools like the Price Corridor for the Mass, The Pioneer-Migrator-Settler Map, the Strategy Canvas, the Six Paths Framework, and the ERRC Grid.
We have discussed the mind of the Blue Ocean Strategist and ten red ocean traps that companies fall into while implementing strategies. There will be much more to come.
When I traveled to Insead to do my work at the Blue Ocean Strategy Institute part of the pre-work was to bring a project that had already been developed to the As-Is Strategy and ERRC Grid stage. There would be much more to do to fill in the gaps given the coursework did not assume anyone had actually read Blue Ocean Shift, the second major text.
The process associated with certification had much to do with small group collaboration in break-outs, learning, case studies, presenting one’s project, and then grading the work of others. As projects were up and down voted the up voted projects made it through group vetting and went to the next round. The time was compressed of course but the end result was a “Blue Ocean Fair”. This process is suggested for use in your company’s blue ocean shift.
Let’s go over the process.
It’s determined through what’s happening at your company that a strategic move is necessary.
It’s determined through the use of Blue Ocean Strategy tools that there are some products, offerings, or services that warrant investigation. They have become settlers and are no longer pioneering high profit potential offerings.
Groups have been put together to do field work and ask previous, current, and non customers what problems need to be solved. The Six Paths Framework is utilized by all the participants.
If your time and group size allows for it, the groups select individual initiatives for possible implementation.
A Blue Ocean Fair is held. This exciting pitch day should be positioned as a vital day to the future of your company. The stakes are high. The leap in value defined by the winning offering could set your company on a blue ocean trajectory that makes history.
Ideally, the Blue Ocean Fair brings together senior leadership, all the participants in the blue ocean initiative and any applicable vendors or stakeholders.
Each team presents their strategic options to the entire group. Once this is complete, the teams go to there respective areas. The entirety of the group is then asked to circulate and asked questions of each group. Each group makes available their eliminate, reduce, raise, and create grid where summaries of the implementation are presented. The benefits to the customers and the company are presented as well.
All attendees cast their votes. Once the highest ranking strategic implementations are known, a deeper dive into defense of the initiatives is called for.
Communication throughout the event is key, especially when employees, staff, and outside the company stakeholders or vendors are present.
The team or individual responsible for making the choice on which initiative gets adopted for implementation needs to be prepared to do so at the end of the fair. The decision makers need to be prepped to share concrete reasons for their choice. It is vital. Without strong communication as to the why, when, where, and how the project will move forward, the corporate culture may not adopt the initiative as it should.
One of the move valuable outcomes from a structured process like a Blue Ocean Fair or pitch day is the confidence it imbues into staff and employees. The potential for your company is boundless when staff starts to think outside industry boundaries. When the non customer is considered and people look across industries in thoughtful strategic ways significant insight and growth begins to take place.
If you have thoughts, ideas, or questions about how to hold a Blue Ocean Fair or doing the ground work that leads to one, hit me up for a complementary one hour call. I’d love to chat about your business. Schedule that call here!
Sherman G. Mohr is an Insead Blue Ocean Strategy Institute Certified Blue Ocean Strategist. He also serves as co-founder of marketing, tech, and healthcare firms.