At the center of blue ocean strategy formulation is a structured four-step process created by Kim & Mauborgne that involves visual exploration to unlock people’s creativity for pushing a company’s strategy towards a blue ocean. The four major steps for visualizing strategy are:
|Visual Awakening||Visual Exploration||Visual Strategy Fair||Visual Communication|
|Compare your business with your competitors’ by drawing your “as is” strategy canvas. See where your strategy canvas needs to change.||Go into the field to explore the six paths to creating blue oceans. Observe the distinctive advantages of alternative products and services. See which factors you should eliminate, reduce raise, create, or change.||Draw your “to be” strategy canvas based on insights from field observations. Get feedback on alternative strategy canvases from customers, competitors’ customers, and noncustomers. Use feedback to build the best “to be” future strategy.||Distribute your before-and-after strategic profiles on one page for easy comparison. Support only those projects and operational moves that allow your company to close the gaps to actualize the new strategy.|
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Visualizing strategy can also greatly inform the dialogue among individual business units and the corporate center in transforming a company from a red ocean to a blue ocean player. When business units present their strategy canvases to one another, they deepen their understanding of the other businesses in the corporate portfolio. Moreover, the process also fosters the transfer of strategic best practices across units.