In their book, Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Rene
Mauborgne say that most companies exist in a red ocean of
competition but would succeed far more by creating blue oceans of
uncontested market space.
The same change can be made in our workplaces. Yes, objectives,
productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness remain the targets for
being competitive and profitable, but the workplace can be arranged
so that even higher achievements can be accomplished. A blue ocean
workplace will mean that your people and processes will not operate
like everyone else. Greater results can come from reaching outside
of the norm instead of continuing to be in the same red ocean
functioning the way others do.
The key to a blue ocean workplace is changing the way individuals
operate. While their purpose is essentially the same, the kinds of
people we have, the way they operate, their interaction, their
integrated culture, and responsibilities will change. The blue
ocean model is founded upon the structure that freedom is there for
employees to use responsibly. Therefore, using the blue ocean
approach bridges the gap between authority and goal
accomplishments. In other words, no longer will an employee be
separated from their necessary role in the workplace but will
rather be a continuous part. Create your blue ocean workplace with
the fundamentals of RESPECT.
Reach for responsibility. It is
important in building a blue ocean that organizations reach out and
recruit individuals who can take responsible roles. The blue ocean
workplace will need individuals with special knowledge and skills,
those that can coordinate and create commitment in others.
Functional leaders also will be necessary to consult and
collaborate with others.
Egalitarian culture creation. A
blue ocean workplace is seen as having an egalitarian cultureone in
which employees feel free, equal, and unrestricted in their
endeavors. For example, all ideas become worthy ideas created with
the freedom provided in the workplace. In such a culture, employees
do not feel separated by rank or
Supporters in place. Provide for
supporters not bosses. Employees should have a mindset that they
are not working for someone but rather with
someone. This leads to more innovation. After all, when the issue
of authority is introduced, employees do not feel the empowerment
they could feel when working alongside someone in a helpful,
Pace setting. Everyone has a role
in setting objectives, and they are responsible for making them
Evidence of natural leadership.
Organizations must look for those who have innate qualities of
leadership but also those with learned leadership capabilities. In
doing so, other employees will feel free to consult with known
leaders and also be willing to follow and serve when necessary.
Organizations lacking such leadership characteristics fail in going
forward and remain stagnant and obsolete in their presence in the
Communicate directly. For a blue
ocean to exist, communication must be person to person.
Furthermore, there shouldnt be any intermediaries. Intermediaries
often create more confusion, lack of consistency, and conflicting
Task commitment. In a blue ocean
environment tasks to be completed and their processes are connected
by commitment. As discussed above, there would be individuals that
would feel more empowered and loyal due to the new organizational
structure. Therefore, its much easier to assign tasks or have a
go-to person because they are committed to the
Blue Ocean Strategy
by W. Chan
Kim and Rene Mauborgne.