Inspirational Business Strategy & Innovation Quotes

Inspirational Business Strategy & Innovation Quotes That Will Motivate You to Do Your Best Work

Inspiring quotes are a great way to learn more about business strategy and innovation as they can convey the meaning of an idea within a short paragraph or sentence.

The global bestselling business strategy book Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne has inspired millions of readers around the world to innovate their business strategy and set their businesses or organizations on a new path of exponential growth.

As Blue Ocean Strategy has inspired millions around the world get out of a red ocean of bloody competition and into a blue ocean of new market space. It is our hope that these motivational quotes will also inspire your new business ventures, help set the right strategy for your organization, or spur innovative thinking in you or your team.

Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, Professors of Strategy at INSEAD, one of the world’s top business schools, have spent decades researching what it means for businesses and people to succeed. The quotes below summarize the gist of their life-long research on what it takes for companies, nonprofits, and governments to create blue oceans of new market space where one’s success doesn’t happen at the expense of another.

Here are business strategy, growth, and innovation quotes from the #1 Management Thinkers in the World by Thinkers50 that will inspire and motivate you to succeed in business or life. 

Think through how each quote can be applied to your business or life.

We all like to be inspired and great quotes can put us in the right frame of mind to think strategically and innovatively. So let yourself be inspired!

Professors Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne are the authors of the over-4 million-copy international bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy, recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written and the highly anticipated follow-up and the New York Times bestseller Blue Ocean Shift.


In their Blue Ocean Strategy book, Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne used the metaphor of red and blue oceans because red oceans seemed to capture the reality that organizations increasingly face, while blue oceans captured the endless possibility that organizations could create.

Competing in red oceans will always matter and will always be a fact of business life. But with supply exceeding demand in more industries, competing for a share of contracting markets, while necessary, will not be sufficient to sustain high performance. Companies need to go beyond competing. To seize new profit and growth opportunities they also need to create blue oceans.

Here is a selection of the top blue ocean business quotes to inspire and motivate you as you think through your business or life.

“Create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant.”

“Don’t compete. Create.”

“The best way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.”

“Competing in overcrowded industries is no way to sustain high performance. The real opportunity is to create blue oceans of uncontested market space.”

“Blue ocean strategy empowers organizations by providing a set of analytics tools and frameworks that any company can apply and reshape industry boundaries in their favor and leave the competition behind.”

“Noncustomers, not customers, hold the greatest insight into an industry’s pain points and points of intimidation that limit the size and boundary of the industry.”

“The value and profit propositions set out the content of a strategy. The people proposition determines the quality of execution”.

 “A focus on the competition too often anchors companies in the red ocean, and puts the competitors, rather than the customer, at the core of strategy.”

“Blue ocean strategy allows companies to set the rules of the game”.

“Blue ocean strategy is not about finding a better or lower-cost solution to the existing problem of an industry. Instead, it is about redefining the problem itself.”

“The term blue ocean is an analogy to describe the wider potential of market space that is vast, deep, and not yet explored.”

“An effective blue ocean strategy has three complementary qualities: focus, divergence and a compelling tagline.”

“Blue ocean strategy pursues differentiation and low cost simultaneously by reconstructing market boundaries.”

“A thriving blue ocean strategy is built on more than differentiation and low-cost in its value proposition. It must align value, profit, and people propositions so that each reinforces the others.”


Most companies focus on matching and beating their rivals. As a result, their strategies tend to take on similar dimensions. What ensues is head-to-head competition based largely on incremental improvements in cost, quality, or both.

Blue and red oceans have always coexisted and always will. Practical reality, therefore, demands that companies understand the strategic logic of both types of oceans. At present, however, competing in red oceans dominates the field of strategy in theory and in practice.

Blue ocean strategy seeks to remedy this by not only decoding the pattern and principles behind the successful creation of blue oceans, but also providing the analytical frameworks and tools to act on this insight.

Here is a list of our readers’ favorite strategy quotes, some new and old classics that will help you rethink the way you do your business strategy.

“Every company wants one, yet only a few companies have one: a compelling strategy.”

“The creation of blue oceans is a product of strategy and as such is very much a product of managerial action.”

“A focus on beating the competition is counterproductive. The buyer, not the competition, should be replaced at the center of strategic thinking.”

“Grabbing a bigger share of the market is a zero-sum game in which one company’s gain is achieved at another company’s loss. Blue ocean strategy is a non-zero-sum game that shifts the focus of strategy from win-lose to win-win.”

“Blue ocean strategy is an opportunity-maximizing risk-minimizing strategy.”

“For any strategy to be successful and sustainable, an organization must develop an offering that attracts buyers; it must create a business model that enables the company to make money out of its offering; and it must motivate the people working for or with the Company to execute the strategy.”

“While good strategy content hinges upon a compelling value proposition for buyers and a robust profit proposition for the organization, sustainable strategy execution is based largely on a motivating people proposition.”

“Visualizing strategy can help managers predict the company’s future growth and profit.” 

 “Pain points and boundaries are not constraints. They are blatant opportunities to change the playing field of strategy.”

“Blue ocean strategists simultaneously pursue differentiation and low cost. They aim to break, not make, the value-cost trade-off.”

“Do you have one simple picture that captures your overall strategy, a picture that every manager understands and that puts everyone on the same page?”

“Instead of treating execution as something that happens after the strategy has been set, it needs to be built into the strategy from the start or people won’t own it.”

“If your company is like most, your strategy is probably a hodge-podge or initiatives that individually may make sense, but collectively fail to produce a clear vision.”

“There are two types of strategy: structuralist strategies that assume that the operating environment is given and reconstructionist strategies that seek to shape the environment.”


Achieving profitable growth is a tremendous challenge many companies face. Why do some companies achieve sustained high growth in both revenues and profits? Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne have studied high-growth companies and their less successful competitors, and found that the answer lies in the way each group approached strategy.

The difference was in the companies’ fundamental, implicit assumptions about strategy. The less successful companies took a conventional approach: Their strategic thinking was dominated by the idea of staying ahead of the competition. In stark contrast, the high-growth companies paid little attention to matching or beating their rivals. Instead, they sought to make their competitors irrelevant through a strategic logic Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne call value innovation.

This following selection of innovation quotes examine value innovation and how it differs from conventional or technological innovation.

“The core concept to blue ocean strategy is value innovation, which dials up value for buyers and simultaneously drives down costs for companies.”

“Many companies take their industries’ conditions as given and set strategy accordingly. Value innovators don’t. No matter how the rest of the industry is faring, value innovators look for blockbuster ideas and quantum leaps in value.”

“Value innovation not technology innovation is what opens up commercially compelling new markets.”

“Many technology innovators fail to create and capture blue oceans by confusing innovation with value innovation.”

“The logic of value innovation starts with an ambition to dominate the market by offering a tremendous leap in value. Value innovators never say, Here’s what competitors are doing; let’s do this in response.”

“Simply creating something original and useful through innovation is not enough to create and capture a blue ocean.”

“Focusing on beating the competition and aiming to build competitive advantages frequently leads to imitative, not innovative approaches to the market.”

“Value innovation anchors innovation to the value it gives buyers, not to the cleverness of the technology. It can be achieved with our without new technology.”

“Value innovators don’t assume that just because competitors are doing something they should follow suit and do it too. They pursue a quantum leap in value.”

“Corporate graveyards are full of companies that got to market first with innovative offerings not linked to value”.

“To stand apart in overcrowded markets, you need to be creative through value innovation.”


Inspirational business or strategy quotes are great to get your mind going but unless you act on them, they’re of no use. So put the strategic advice from these motivational business quotes into practice, or better yet, learn more about blue ocean strategy and how it can jump-start your business strategy and innovation work. We list some of the helpful resources to continue your education below.

Do you have a favorite business, strategy or innovation quote? Share them on social media and tag us in your post. Let’s spread positivity and inspiration.


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