Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim

The book is divided into three parts:

1. The first part presents key concepts of blue ocean strategy, including Value Innovation – the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost – and key analytical tools and frameworks such as the strategy canvas and the four actions framework. The four actions framework aids in eliminating the trade-off between differentiation and low cost within a company. The four actions framework consists of the following:

  • Raise: This questions which factors must be raised within an industry in terms of product, pricing or service standards.
  • Eliminate: This questions which areas of a company or industry could be completely eliminated to reduce costs and to create an entirely new market.
  • Reduce: This questions which areas of a company’s product or service are not entirely necessary but play a significant role in your industry, for example, the cost of manufacturing a certain material for a product could be reduced. Therefore, it can be reduced without completely eliminating it.
  • Create: This prompts companies to be innovative with their products. By creating an entirely new product or service, a company can create their own market through differentiation from the competition.

2. The second part describes the four principles of blue ocean strategy formulation. These four formulation principles address how an organization can create blue oceans by looking across the six conventional boundaries of competition (Six Paths Framework), reduce their planning risk by following the four steps of visualizing strategy, create new demand by unlocking the three tiers of noncustomers and launch a commercially viable blue ocean idea by aligning unprecedented utility of an offering with strategic pricing and target costing and by overcoming adoption hurdles. The book uses many examples across industries to demonstrate how to break out of traditional competitive (structuralist) strategic thinking and to grow demand and profits for the company and the industry by using blue ocean (reconstructionist) strategic thinking. The four principles are:

  1. how to create uncontested market space by reconstructing market boundaries,
  2. focusing on the big picture,
  3. reaching beyond existing demand and supply in new market spaces
  4. getting the strategic sequence right.

3. The third and final part describes the two key implementation principles of blue ocean strategy including tipping point leadership and fair process. These implementation principles are essential for leaders to overcome the four key organizational hurdles that can prevent even the best strategies from being executed. The four key hurdles comprise the cognitive, resource, motivational and political hurdles that prevent people involved in strategy execution from understanding the need to break from status quo, finding the resources to implement the new strategic shift, keeping your people committed to implementing the new strategy, and from overcoming the powerful vested interests that may block the change.

Source – Wikipedia