In order to successfully drive a strategic move that creates a blue ocean, leaders have to understand the pattern by which blue oceans are created and captured. Leaders must be willing to go beyond the existing universe of known customers to explore shared unmet needs among noncustomers and not be tied down by the company’s current set of assets or investments. Management must learn to ask a different set of questions that will help them to look across alternative industries, strategic groups within the industry, redefine the industry buyer group, explore complementary product and service offerings, rethink the functional-emotional orientation of the industry and learn to shape external trends over time instead of reacting to them. We call this the Six Paths framework and it assists leadership to transform from head-to-head competition to blue ocean creation.
To overcome key organizational hurdles and execute on a blue ocean strategy, leaders must learn to make unforgettable and unarguable calls for change, concentrate their resources on what really matters, mobilize the commitment of the organization’s key players, and succeed in silencing the most vocal naysayers. In this way, leaders drive their organizations towards creating blue oceans. Likewise, entrepreneurs who apply blue ocean strategy will have a set of principles, tools and frameworks to guide their efforts in an opportunity maximizing, risk minimizing way to unlock new markets.