The book review for this week is Blue Ocean Shift Beyond Competing by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.
Blue Ocean Shift is the second book in the “Blue Ocean journey” for Kim and Mauborgne. Here they expand on the concepts defined and outlined in Blue Ocean Strategy published in 2005. It is easy to see that the authors have been busy with research, consulting and projects since then! This book has updated tools, concepts and compelling case studies. Entire countries have got on board and kicked off Blue Ocean initiatives (Malaysia’s National Blue Ocean Shift Summit)!
My takeaway from this book is the Blue Ocean shift diagram (below) and the understanding behind it. Each business leader must continuously strategize on how to move into or stay in a Blue Ocean market. This is a daunting task and takes significant effort, creative thought, innovation, wisdom, and action. However, the alternative, the Red Ocean of cut throat competition, MUST be avoided to avoid the slip into becoming a Red Ocean commodity!
This week’s book summary is The Four by Scott Galloway.
Although I may not completely agree with Galloway’s perspective in this book, he provides a combination of solid research and cynical humor to paint a picture of how a few companies are reinventing the world as we know it. His detailed study of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google show how these massive companies were formed, the market spaces they created, and the incredible societal and business impacts they have made and are making.
My takeaway from this book is Galloway’s “T Algorithm” which is his definition of the factors needed for a business to rise up and compete against The Four. The eight factors are:
Excellence in your business is critical to business success and longevity. Without excellence your business becomes just another business in a sea of businesses. Without excellence your business will fade into mediocrity and commoditization . . . which is the race to extinction!
Conversely, excellence will differentiate you and your business. Excellence will open up opportunities and doors that are not available for the “generic masses.” The higher your level of excellence, the more business opportunities you will have!
How to Become Excellent
Most business owners understand that they need to create a differentiated, high-quality product or service to be successful in today’s marketplace.
However, many businesses derail because they are trying to create a “perfect” product. Perfectionism causes them to either never launch or launch too late to capture the market they are after.
Worse yet, many companies think they know what the market wants and they spend millions of dollars creating an amazingly perfect product that no one wants!
The Perfect Product . . . Is a Myth!
Every business leader must have a rock solid organizational system in place so that they can lead a differentiated business. Failure to differentiate yourself results in a race for the bottom!
In a last week’s post I wrote about how a differentiated leader must have instant access to all of their past and current business notes, data, ideas, and plans. I mentioned that all of this information must be organized and indexed electronically in a manner that allows easy access from anywhere, at anytime, using any platform. Finally, I stated that this is not a product but a system that contains two distinct elements:
- a cloud based software tool (see last week’s post for more details)
- a systematic approach to organization for an effective business leader
This week we will focus on a systematic approach to organization that will help you become an effective and focused business leader!