Life applications of the Blue Ocean Strategy

blue ocean

By Anthony O. Alcantara

You may not have heard of the Blue Ocean Strategy, and you may not even care.

But whether you’re a businessman or a teacher or simply someone who wants to improve life, the Blue Ocean Strategy can be useful.

Definition first. The Blue Ocean Strategy is a business strategy developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne of INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools based in Fontainebleau, France.

It is a strategy that helps create a market space pregnant with possibility. The authors contend that bloody “red oceans” of rivals clawing each other for shrinking profit pools are unnecessary and, well, unintelligent. Blue Ocean Strategy helps create “blue oceans” to make competition irrelevant.

The authors have one analytical tool that I think is particularly relevant to improving life: the eliminate-reduce-raise-create grid.

You simply draw a 2 by 2 grid with the words eliminate, reduce, raise and create in each box.

In the “eliminate” box, you write what things, habits, or ways of thinking you can eliminate in your life to make it better. Should you put smoking, eating fatty foods, playing too much video games in the box? You decide.

In the “reduce” box, you write those things that you can reduce. Should you include eating in fancy restaurants, gossiping in the office, reading comics?

In the “raise” box, you write the things you should do more. Should you read more? Exercise more? Expand your personal and professional network?

In the “create” grid, you can include things that you’ve been putting off for a long time. Should you finally go for that vacation in Europe? Should you try out yoga? Should you reinvent yourself and try another career?

It’s funny how many business ideas apply to life. Perhaps we should find ways to connect the dots more often.

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