Looking out on the still surface of a blue ocean, you can’t help but feel a sense of ease and tranquility.
But what lies underneath is a reality far from what the smooth, glass-like exterior portrays. Below is a remarkable, yet unforgiving ecosystem that both teems with possibility and looms with uncertainty. Dangerous conditions can hit at any time, leaving any ship to battle the ocean’s raging waters.
Just like the ocean, there is both risk and reward lurking beneath the surface of every business.
At first glance, we might notice a company’s wins and year-over-year growth, reputable new hires and award recognitions. But what we don’t always see are the inner workings of processes, customer engagement, software management and access, data analytics and business models, all of which can make or break any business.
This analogy came to life for me when I was contemplating my decision to join Blue Ocean Consulting (BOC) as president and read the book the company was named for, “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.”
Authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne’s found that companies tend to engage in head-to-head competition in search of sustained profitable growth that leads to rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. But what they discovered is that lasting success increasingly comes, not from battling competitors, but from creating blue oceans of untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.
Moving a business forward is about pushing limits, digging below the surface and discovering untapped potential you never knew existed. Companies are only able to swim outside the shrinking profit pool and gain a competitive edge if they’re willing to take a closer look from a different angle.
In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School, shares:
In today’s global world, companies must think differently. Globalization increases the speed of change; more competitors from more places produce surprises and shocks. An intensely competitive global economy places a high premium on innovation, which depends on human imagination, motivation and collaboration.
We know exactly what businesses today are up against; they’re under siege with expectations to figure it all out in the least amount of time and at the lowest cost. That’s why our specialty is identifying a business’ untapped potential and discovering opportunities through technology consulting, software development and data analytics. Our model relies on partnerships and collaboration to help businesses outperform their competitors and maximize their value.
We understand the fast-pace reality of digital transformation and that software and data solutions will impact a business’ bottom line. Daniel Newman, principal analyst of Futurum Research and CEO of Broadsuite Media Group shares:
The days of riding the coat tails of one’s ‘brand legacy’ are over. If you’re working for a legacy business, you might think it’s unlikely that new models of business will take over the industry. You’d be wrong. Right now, around the world, your competitors are thinking of new ways to do your job better.”
If you aren’t willing to push the limits, dig deep and evaluate the entire business system, you run the risk of being left behind.
When I joined BOC in 2015, I quickly realized that I had inherited a team of forward-thinkers, problem-solvers and digital visionaries who have the resources, technology and insight to quickly understand unique challenges, to solve business problems and to drive growth.
Having the guts to dig deep to maximize reward and minimize risk is exactly what it takes to swim outside the shrinking profit pool….and enter the vast blue ocean of possibilities.
It’s all there, just below the surface.
Scott Carson is the president and CEO at Blue Ocean Consulting, a consulting and technology firm helping companies create digital solutions to solve business problems and drive growth. How does your company handle what lies beneath the surface? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.