Blue ocean leadership is a concept derived from the blue ocean strategy formulated by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, professors at INSEAD business school. Blue ocean strategy says that leaders in industries are created not by competing with each other (red ocean) but by creating “blue oceans” of uncontested market space with tremendous potential to generate value. Profs Kim and Mauborgne now apply the same revolutionary concept to one of the key assets of industry- human capital-to see whether the same concept can be created to harness the untapped potential of the human capital.
Members of an organization treat leadership as a service that is either ‘bought’ or ‘not bought’. Leaders have bosses on either side of the organization ladder- bosses who they must deliver performances to and subordinates who need their guidance and support. People valuing a leader’s practices are effectively ‘buying’ their leadership, working together with excellence. However, when the leader’s ideas are ‘not bought’, it leads to disillusionment and disengagement from employees.
DIFFERENCES WITH CONVENETIONAL LEADERSHIP FORMS
Blue Ocean leadership is different from conventional leadership in the following salient ways:-
• Focus on acts and activities- Traditional leadership programs stresses on the underlying values and principles for a good leader. While these are important factors, it isn’t very easy to change. However, our activities can be changed through proper direction and supervision. It is for this reason that Blue Ocean Leadership focuses on acts and activities rather than the underlying values and principles.
• Connect closely to market realities- Blue Ocean Leadership stresses on 360...
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...hile it is easier to change activities, a leader with out-dated values and qualities with little connection to the customer requirements, will also lead to disenchanted employees. Therefore just concentrating on activities will not suffice. It is important we understand the importance of values and qualities and the role it plays to make the leader a role model.
The basic fundamental idea about the Blue Ocean Leadership is simple- as a manager, see what actions you are doing and what value it is bringing to other stakeholders be it customers (external or internal), senior colleagues or subordinates. Activities, being easier to change than qualities, can herald a company into a new paradigm of employee engagement. However until we have more case studies like British Retail Group, it will be very difficult to make Blue Ocean Leadership an accepted reality.
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