Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blue Ocean Strategy Maps

I recently read the book Blue Ocean Strategy and while the book is more focused on figuring out how to change an existing business to explore new opportunities (blue oceans, instead of red oceans where there is already much competition bloodying one another) I really liked the strategy maps concept.

Here is a blurb about Strategy Maps that I copied from the Tech Talk blog whom I think copied it from elsewhere:

Blue Ocean Strategy offers both a process and a set of supporting tools that practitioners can use to navigate. It begins with a �strategy canvas� that visually maps the current industry environment in two dimensions. The horizontal dimension includes the range of factors on which an industry currently competes and those factors in which it invests. The vertical dimension shows levels of performance against each factor, measured qualitatively. A strategy canvas is a conceptual tool remarkable in both its simplicity and its usefulness. It can be used to understand the current strategy of a company and its competitors, to communicate the strategy, and to imagine business directions. To do the latter, Professors Kim and Mauborgne recommend that a company create several alternative, radically different strategies, each aimed at delivering superior value to potential � not existing � customers by:
  • Reducing cost by eliminating some factors that the industry takes for granted and reducing other factors below the industry standard
  • Enhancing differentiation by raising some factors well above the industry standard and creating additional factors that the industry has never offered.
I think the strategy map concept might be even clearer as a spider diagram, especially if you only map yourself to a single competitor. The strength however is in the ability to quickly discern where the key opportunities lay and how you might change the playing field to your strategic advantage.

I used the strategy map with fairly powerful results recently in a board level strategy meeting.

6 comments:

Graham Glass said...

Thanks for the recommendation Tim, I just ordered the book!

Cheers,
Graham

Tim Wolters said...

Cool! How goes it in the world of on-line education? Looks like you're making good progress from reading your blog.

Sorry I didn't ping you b4 railscon but ended up not going due to other
commitments.

John M said...

Kaplan and Norton at Harvard BS published "Strategy Maps" in 2004 as a supplemet to balanced scorecard work. A great book and clear provider of direction.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim,
I came across your blog recently as I was doing some research on strategy maps. I had a few questions and was wondering what would be the best way to get in contact with you to discuss a few of them?

Thanks!
Bobby
bpham@activestrategy.com

www.cordoba-3d.com said...

For my part every person may read this.

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