What are the key lessons of Blue Ocean Shift?

You need two things to shift. Without them you are going to struggle.

First lesson is that you don’t have to be born Steve Jobs or be a startup to make a blue ocean shift. People are quick to discount the possibility that they or their organization could shift from red to blue oceans. But they shouldn’t. As our research over the last ten years bears out, with a clear roadmap and easy-to-use tools making a blue ocean shift becomes possible for organizations of every stripe, allowing them to reach new heights of market creation and growth. Blue Ocean Shift is brimming with real-world examples of companies large and small, old and new, for-profit and nonprofit and even a national government that faced the same types of organizational and bureaucratic hurdles we all face – be they resource, political, or motivational and yet overcame them to shift from red to blue by applying the very process and tools outlined in the book. It’s not about an entrepreneur’s trial and error, anyone can create a blue ocean.

Second is the importance of recognizing our humanness to make change happen. People are paradoxical. We aspire to make a difference. We want to change the world for the better. That’s what makes our energies sore and our hearts beat faster, our adrenaline surge. Yet, simultaneously, most of us fear we can’t. We need reassurance. Blue ocean shift recognizes that we all are replete with creative energy and resilience, at our core, most of us are also incredibly tender and vulnerable. To suspend belief in the limits of today so we can see and create new possibilities and new pathways to growth, we need to inspire confidence in ourselves and our people. Without the confidence to act, few will venture down a new path, no matter how clear the roadmap. In Blue Ocean Shift, inspiring people’s confidence is put on an equal plane with a tested process and market-creating tools to move you, your team, and your organization from red to blue oceans in a way that people own and drive the process. Humanness, not carrots and sticks, is the key to inspiring and building people’s confidence to succeed. It builds psychological understanding into the strategic process so that people are willing to engage fully at every step – even when they are hesitant, may not trust one another, or are skeptical of their ability to succeed on the transformation journey.

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