Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Blue Ocean Strategy

I bought this book a while ago after a reference on a blog somewhere. I never got round to reading it but it was referred to during a course Julian and I were on at the University of Nottingham as part of the EMDA High Growth Program.

I steeled myself for the read and it was entertaining and thought provoking in pretty much equal measure but I had to push myself through to the end of Part One.

The key chapters for me came in the Part Two. 'Reconstruct Market Boundaries' and 'Get The Strategic Sequence Right' represented the meat of the book. They actually provided something to action.

Was it useful to me? The jury's out on that really. I was up for a good session building the Esendex strategy canvas and looking for where we should be going next. What happened was I ended up post-rationalising our strategic decisions into the various elements of the Blue Ocean Strategy.

Which leaves me with a question. Is this book just documenting the process entrepreneurs like me go through anyway or am I missing the point and using it to praise myself by validating the conclusions I've come to.

The notion of a strategy canvas is great but it's something that is easy to dress-up in hindsight. Emphasise the elements of the business that worked, gloss over the elements that ended up being ill-advised. The businesses that are featured in the examples are undoubtedly success stories but does the strategy canvas tell the whole story?

It would be wrong for me to say reading this book wasn't useful but it wasn't the seminal experience I think I was probably hoping for.

1 comment:

Toby Treacher said...

I think the book can be hard work at times Blue Ocean thinking is a bit more flexible than the book suggests. Having just been on the "experience" at Insead, some of application seems extremely powerful. More @