Designing Your Company Work Space To Better Implement Blue Ocean Strategy

Designing Your Workspace To Better Implement Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy is one of the best-selling business strategy books on the market today. First published in 2005, the book has sold over 3.6 million copies in 46 languages. In their book, authors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne reveal their insights, research, examples and processes to help companies change how they compete and to expand their universe of potential customers.

We believe that you can implement Blue Ocean Strategy within your company easier and faster by creating a work space that facilitates teamwork, provides visual inspiration, and leverages technology. In this article we will explain the blue ocean strategy, and how you can leverage your work space to better execute it.

 

What Is Blue Ocean Strategy?

Businesses that compete head-to-head within existing markets are hampered inside a cut-throat “Red Ocean,” suffering from low growth and profits. On the other hand, organizations that create a blue ocean strategy differentiate themselves by changing their offering in a new way that lowers costs, increases customer value, and captures uncontested market space.

Key Steps + Visual Tools To Implement Your Blue Ocean Strategy

To help readers better understand blue ocean strategy, the authors use several tools and frameworks to analyze and revolutionize a company’s place in its market. Perhaps the most important tool is the Strategy Canvas:

Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas

Blue Ocean Strategy, Strategy Canvas

The Strategy Canvas maps a company’s value curve, which is a visual representation of company’s current and potential factors of its own (and competitor’s) offerings. It starts with a curve of the current market reality, and then evolves to the new, blue ocean strategy. Blue ocean strategies change the value curve by changing (eliminating, reducing, raising) the amount the company offers on traditional competition factors, plus simultaneously creating new factors. This new value curve creates a new bundle of offerings that appeals to a larger universe of potential clients.

Blue Ocean Strategy includes other visual tools to help organize, analyze, and brainstorm new strategies. Here are 4 of those tools (as visualized on the Blue Ocean Strategy website). These visual tools can be the starting points of great graphics (either printed or presented with technology) within your strategic team’s work space.

Buyer Utility Map: By examining the intersection of the buyer’s experience (in 6 steps from start to finish) with 6 “utility levers” (which are ways companies provide value to customers), managers find new offers that provides greater value and convert more non-customers.

Buyer Utility Map

Blue Ocean Strategy, Buyer Utility Map

(Imagine setting up this graphic on your wall, with the large dots as blue and red magnets, to help managers brainstorm potential new offer bundles).

Three Tiers of Non-Customers: A key aspect of a successful blue ocean strategy is growing your market beyond its current customers, to include soon-to-be, refusing, and unexplored customers. (Your team can add to a wall or digital graphic its own definitions of your three tiers of customers).

Three Tiers of Non-Customers

Blue Ocean Strategy, Three Tiers of Non-Customers

Six Paths Framework: Provides 6 proven ways to redefine market boundaries, comparing the business-as-usual red ocean market limitations, versus the blue ocean alternative view that expand markets.

Six Paths FrameworkBlue Ocean Strategy, Six Paths Framework

 The Four Actions Framework and the Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid: Challenges managers to improve their company’s value curve by eliminating, reducing, raising, and creating factors in its overall offering. (These 4 questions could be each on their own white board, with ample room for brainstorming answers).

Four Actions Framework: Eliminate / Reduce / Raise / CreateBlue Ocean Strategy, Four Actions Framework

Creating Work Spaces That Foster Blue Ocean Thinking

Blue Ocean Strategy is a powerful book for inspiring your team to create a new competitive position in the market, and thus expand your sales and profits.

However, the same work setting that has kept your company stuck in its current market dynamic is less likely to help your managers break free from its inertia. Consider the value of a new work space paradigm to help unshackle your team and spark greater strategic thinking.

We have designed several Innovation Labs to help boost creativity and original thinking that leads to business growth – perfect for inventing your company’s blue ocean strategy. Whether you create a new Innovation Lab or revitalize other work spaces, consider:

Unconventional workspaces, with open floor plans, trendier furniture, white boards on wheels, and architectural elements that provide greater flexibility and signal a willingness to experiment.

innovation lab

Environmental graphics that inspire revolutionary thought and demonstrate your company’s commitment to achieving your own blue ocean strategy. Graphics could include large versions of some of the process tools shown above. In addition, you could place on walls your favorite motivational quotes from the book:

Blue Ocean Motivational Quotes

Interactive technology, which can range from multiple flat screen monitors placed around the work space to show blue ocean strategy visual tools and quotes, to large, touch screen video walls that allow for greater group interaction and team focus.

multi-touch interactive wall

Kim and Mauborgne have even developed their own online software, called Blue Ocean Studio, to help companies work through the process of building their blue ocean strategy. This software could be integrated into whatever tech configuration works best in your work space design.

Getting Started

Are you fired up to get started on your path of uncontested market space, expanded customer markets, greater sales, and increased profits that comes from a blue ocean strategy? We would love to help you achieve your blue ocean strategy with a branded environment that supports and inspires your management team. Contact us to get started.