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Apprehension of the Unknown

Question:How can businesses and individuals overcome apprehension of the unknown related to innovation?

When most people think of creativity, imagination or innovation, they tend to feel threatened because all these require risk-taking. However, they need to have confidence that there is a systematic process for creating commercially compelling blue oceans. What we set out to do with blue ocean strategy was to de-risk the process of creating new markets, so executives can responsibly engage in these endeavours.In conducting our research we asked whether there are systematic patterns in the way companies create new markets, what we call ‘blue oceans’. This is key because if there are patterns, a theory, tools and frameworks can be built which will allow for the systematic pursuit of blue oceans. Our database of over 150 blue ocean strategic moves across the past 120 years confirmed that there are indeed patterns. Based on these patterns, we developed the theory of blue ocean strategy and a set of tools and methodologies that executives can apply systematically to create blue oceans in an opportunity-maximizing, risk-minimizing way. While creativity has generally been thought of as non-systematic and unstructured, blue ocean strategy challenged that. The focus of our book is not on creativity by genius or of random occurrence, but on creativity that can be inculcated with a set of systematic tools and methodologies found in our research.