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. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne identified four key hurdles to strategy execution:

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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.”


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