wisdom to win

 Wisdom to Win
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W. Chan Kim (1952- ) and Renée MauborgneW Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne


Kim (pictured on the left) and Mauborgne (pictured right) are strategy professors at the INSEAD Business School near Paris.


Key book

Blue Ocean Strategy (2005)

(see for more detail Blue Ocean Strategy in the Business Books section)


Companies become successful because of value innovation that involves:


1. Creating blue oceans

These are new markets with:

  • unsatisfied demand. 
  • no competition.
  • differentiated (i.e. distinctive and branded) products with high profit margins.

These contrast with red oceans, full of blood from cut-throat competition.


2. Re-defining your business

For example, Cirque du Soleil saw themselves as theatrical entertainers not circus performers.


3. Combining low costs and differentiation 

(being better than competitors) .


4. Utility levers 

These are ways of achieving customer satisfaction:

  • product simplicity.
  • customer productivity (faster and better service).
  • reduced customer risk.
  • fun and image.
  • environmental friendliness.


5. Tipping point leadership

This is vital to motivate employees to change and innovate by:

  • giving them responsibility.
  • involving them in decision making.


Key quote on strategy

The creation of blue oceans is about driving costs down while simultaneously driving value up for buyers.


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