Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Pursuit of Strategy: From Blue Ocean to Blue-Tree

The well-known Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) described the business aim not to out-perform the competition in the existing industry, but to create new market space or a blue ocean, thereby making the competition irrelevant. If BOS is a once in-a life-time opportunity for organization's expansion, then Blue-Tree strategy is more relevant to business’s continuous growth and well managed progress.  From Blue Ocean -exploring the sea space horizontally to Blue Tree -reaching the tree height vertically, A good strategy is really a multi-dimensional pursuit and indefatigable journey.

  • Is the World a Giant ‘Tree’: Given the basic claim that the world is a giant "Tree Structure", hence any requirements that arise in the world system should be best captured as “Tree only". At organizational scope, business growth may also like to grow a tree, from root, to trunk, to boughs/branches, The right strategy would be to allow the whole to inform on the parts, meaning, the overall context of an organizations existence (stepping out of the organization boundary), would lead to the next step automatically whether the organization is asking the right questions about strategy, which would then lead to an inspection of its services and product offerings (this is a whole new dynamics in itself). One would then be lead to other aspects of one’s competitive advantage.  
  • Both strategy and execution are parts of the same growth model. That model consists of interdependent blocks, that when put together in an end to end process, helps to drive growth: Like pruning or fertilizing a tree, a good strategy will set choices in multiple perspectives, and always include the action as part of strategy.
    • Cultural Change
    - Mindset to grow
    • Focus and Alignment
    - Where to grow
    • Strategic Action Planning
    - How to grow
    • Infrastructure and Collaboration
    - Enabling tools / Business Rhythm
    • Leadership and Accountability
    - Execute the plan
    • Position and Promotion
    - Tell your story 
  • It takes a decade to grow a tree, and it takes a century to develop talent. A blue tree strategy focuses on long term growth, as well as daily progress; Strategic agility is however becoming more and more important as the pace of change accelerates. The logical steps and sufficient knowledge/ insight is needed in developing an effective strategy. 
1) Step 1. Assess industry circumstances (critically assess where the organization is in the "stable-to-dynamic" continuum).            
2) Step 2. Review Product life cycle (critically analyze organization's products and lines of business, within industry context, competitive differentiation and current market positioning).
3) Step 3. Conduct resource assessment (fully understand tangible and intangible resources, both within the organization and in the context of organizational processes).
4) Step 4. Rank resources and relationships between them (determine which are most strategically important - high value, rare, inimitable, unable to substitutable - as well as how resources can be linked together for competitive advantage).
5) Step 5. Choose Strategy (identify strategic framework that makes the most sense for the organization, depending on its circumstances, available resources and how management links those resources. Continually re-evaluating the strategic framework, on a rolling basis, covering a time period that best fits the industry and organization's place in it, is (of course) paramount).

  • A good strategy which supports the proven, repeatable, interdependent, business growth model will provide: Visibility - Capability - Agility
    1) Visibility - Being able to see within your company as well as your competition (vertically and horizontally).
    2) Capability - Knowing what you are able to accomplish and what it will take to expand those capabilities (build versus buy).
    3) Agility - Plan and budget for “what if “scenarios so you are prepared for the possibilities (what could a loss do to the revenue and what are your options). 
A Blue Tree strategy really means the growth mindset to embrace the dynamic planning, one element feeds into the other, to keep stable and robust, and to make a business a true living thing with visibility, capability and agility.


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