How does Blue Ocean Shift build upon and go beyond Blue Ocean Strategy?

A decade ago we wrote our first book Blue Ocean Strategy, which went on to sell over 3.6 million copies and become a bestseller on five continents. As the tidal wave of interest grew, individuals, governments, companies, and nonprofits started to look at their world through the lens of red and blue oceans. Suddenly people the world over were identifying themselves as in a red ocean with a call to action to get out and create blue oceans.

This raised the conversation and questions to a whole new level: from “what is blue ocean strategy?” to “how can I shift my organization from red to blue oceans?” Established companies were unsure of how to start the process of moving to blue waters, which would often require getting the members of their team to buy into a concept that directly conflicted with the long-established rules of their industries. Entrepreneurs were looking for concrete steps and a systematic process they could follow to create and capture blue oceans at minimal risk.

Hence, what people were keenly interested to understand were the dynamics of actual transformation. What does it take to change, to move an organization – be it corporate, an upstart, a non-profit, or even a government from the red ocean to the blue. Achieving that requires a shift. Not just in strategy. But also in mindset and culture.

To address this challenge head-on we spent the last decade analyzing and comparing the successes and failures of blue ocean projects across the globe that have sprung out of the movement we began to go beyond competing and shift out of red oceans. Analyzing a variety of sectors from business-to-customer and business-to-business, to public, nonprofit, and governments – including what worked and what didn’t – we developed a concise understanding of the process of new market creation and growth that unlocks people’s creativity as much as their confidence to act. Blue Ocean Shift is the result. If our first book is the What, Blue Ocean Shift is the How.

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