Four Hurdles to Strategy Execution

Once a company has developed a blue ocean strategy with a profitable business model, the next challenge is strategy execution. The challenge of execution exists, of course, for any strategy. Companies, like individuals, often have a tough time translating thought into action whether in red or blue oceans. But, compared with red ocean strategy, this can be especially difficult for blue ocean strategy as it represents a significant departure from the status quo.

To varying degrees, companies may face four types of hurdles to strategy execution. Knowing how to triumph over these organizational hurdles is key to successful strategy execution. W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne identified four key hurdles to strategy execution:

  • The Cognitive Hurdle: Waking employees up to the need for a strategic shift. Red oceans may not be the paths to future profitable growth, but they may have served the organization well historically, so why rock the boat?
  • The Resource Hurdle: It is assumed that the greater the shift in strategy, the greater the resources it requires for execution.
  • The Motivational Hurdle: How do you motivate key players to move fast and tenaciously to carry out a break from the status quo?
  • The Political Hurdle: As one manager put it, “In our organization you get shot down before you stand up.”

© Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne. All rights reserved.

An organization wedded to the status quo
Limited Resources
Opposition from powerful vested interests
Unmotivated Staff

© Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne. All rights reserved.

Blue Ocean Strategy & Shift Tools

Explore the foundational tools and frameworks
of blue ocean strategy and blue ocean shift

Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne have created a comprehensive set of analytic tools and frameworks to create blue oceans of new market space.

Learn how to put these practical market-creating tools into practice to move from red ocean of competition to blue oceans of new market space and to do so in a way that people own and drive the process.

Red Ocean vs. Blue Ocean StrategyRed Ocean vs. Blue Ocean Strategy
Value InnovationValue Innovation
Strategy CanvasStrategy Canvas
Four Actions FrameworkFour Actions Framework
Six Paths FrameworkSix Paths Framework
Pioneer Migrator Settler MapPioneer Migrator Settler Map
Three Tiers of NoncustomersThree Tiers of Noncustomers
Sequence of Creating a Blue OceanSequence of Creating a Blue Ocean
Buyer Utility MapBuyer Utility Map
Price Corridor of the MassPrice Corridor of the Mass
Four Hurdles to Strategy ExecutionFour Hurdles to Strategy Execution
Tipping Point LeadershipTipping Point Leadership
Fair ProcessFair Process

All analytic tools © Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne. All rights reserved.


Create a business strategy that sets you apart with blue ocean strategy tools and frameworks.

Blue Ocean Studio is an interactive and collaborative platform that will guide you through the proven blue ocean tools and process.

[SPECIAL OFFER] Now the annual subscription comes with complimentary access to the bestselling Blue Ocean Practical Introduction Online Course and its Companion Workbook.

Learn the fundamentals of blue ocean strategy through the online course and apply them to your business in Blue Ocean Studio.


Powerful tools to create
your business strategy


Get the Blue Ocean Online Course for FREE with
annual subscription to Blue Ocean Studio

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website and continuing implies your consent - Read our full cookie policy Okay, don’t show me again