Blue ocean pedagogical materials, used in nearly 3,000 universities and in almost every country in the world, go beyond the standard case-based method. Our multimedia cases and interactive exercises are designed to help you build a deeper​ understanding of key blue ocean concepts, from blue ocean strategy to nondisruptive creation, developed by world-renowned professors Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. Currently, with over 20 Harvard bestselling cases.






Real-Life Learning and an Interactive Game

Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, JI, Mi, KOO, Oh Young, OLENICK, Michael

Case study trailer


For a strategy to deliver results, successful implementation is essential. While challenges exist in any strategy execution, be it a red ocean or a blue ocean strategy, a firm may find itself facing steeper challenges when executing a blue ocean strategy as it represents a significant departure from the status quo. These challenges pose organizational and management risks that can block strategy execution. To attenuate these risks, companies need to overcome the four key organizational hurdles that can trip up even the best strategies – cognitive, resource, motivational, and political – and build execution into strategy.

The case “Blue Ocean Strategy Implementation: Real-life Learning and an Interactive Game” brings the implementation principles of blue ocean strategy to students, entrepreneurs, and executives alike in a comprehensive and effective way. Through the real-life examples of blue ocean strategy implementation, the case illustrates the hurdles and challenges two companies (Tata Motors and Zappos) encountered in strategy execution and how they tackled them. Aided by the accompanying lecture slides, which incorporated exclusive video interviews with top executives and key stakeholders of the companies, the foundations of strategy implementation are taught in depth. Finally, principles and concepts of tipping point leadership and fair process are applied through an interactive game, creating an engaging and lively classroom experience with deep learning. The interactive game is online, with professors receiving free access to it.

Teaching Objectives:

  • To help students learn how to overcome the four organizational hurdles – cognitive, resource, motivational, and political – in order to successfully execute a strategic shift. Tipping point leadership addresses four hurdles effectively by focusing on factors of disproportionate influence to effectuate organizational changes fast and at low costs.
  • To help students understand that the fundamental base of strategy execution lies in the attitudes and behavior of people deep in an organization. Fair process is an important and integral component that builds people’s trust and commitment so that people can embrace a novel strategy of their own accord and willingly go beyond compulsory execution.
  • To examine the real-life example of the Tata Nano and appreciate how failing to address a key organizational hurdle can have a negative impact on strategy execution.
  • To study the real-life example of Zappos and understand how strategy execution is effectively ensured when a company nurtures a culture of trust and commitment to motivate people to implement the strategy of their own accord.