Does the blue ocean leadership process require a deep belief and buy in to be successful?
Kim & Mauborgne: For any strategic or organizational transformation to be implemented effectively, a deep buy in is a must. Without an intellectual and emotional understanding of the logic for change, people will not engage in voluntary cooperation, and execution will be in doubt. The four-step blue ocean leadership process itself nurtures deep belief and strong buy in. The process is founded upon the principles of fair process: engagement, explanation and expectation clarity. Senior managers spearheading the process conduct interviews and draw canvases themselves. During the course of these exercises, they develop a strong belief in the need for change and in how changes should be made. On the other hand, their engagement signals the importance of the initiative, making people at all levels feel respected. Since the to-be profiles are generated with employee’s own input, people have confidence in the changes to be made. As the process allows employees to develop a deeper relationship with their leaders, they also feel more deeply engaged with the leadership. Finally, at the leadership fair, a slice of the organization across the three management levels gets to vote in selecting the new leadership profiles. While the top managers have the final say on which to-be profile to go with, they are required to provide a clear, sound explanation for their decision in front of attendees. Each of these steps helps to create buy in as well as trust and voluntary cooperation for the successful implementation of the new leadership practice.