Blue Ocean Strategy offers a unique approach to thinking about innovation. The basic premise is that you seek out territory for innovation that is not in a crowded competitive space (called a “red ocean”). The Blue Ocean Innovation strategy can take months to complete if it’s conducted as it was intended to be — as a blueprint for a new operating model. However, I have had great success in creating Blue Ocean Strategy style workshops for innovation on a smaller scale.
The Blue Ocean Strategy tools of mapping the competitive space and seeking out white space are good tools for many different types of innovation projects — particularly new product development. I have successfully used these tools to facilitate structured workshops which help brand teams come up with new products and new ways to market those products. The key to these workshops is in getting the clients to focus on areas the competition has ignored. This strategy is similar to the one discussed years ago by Michael Porter when he said if everyone else is going in one direction, you might be better off going the other direction.
The tools I have found most useful in facilitating smaller scale Blue Ocean type projects are: 1) Creating the “as-is” strategy map; 2) Six Paths analysis; 3) Identifying non-customer commonalities — The 3 tiers of non-customers and 4) 4) Four Actions framework and the “to-be” strategy canvases. Use of these tools, together with some simple fieldwork conducted by team members between the 2 workshop days, can yield some very surprising, interesting and fertile results!
Posted by Cindy Diamond
CEO, IGNiTE. . . fueling innovation and creativity