Oceans To Be Conquered - Embarking On Newer Blue Oceans

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1085 , Published on 01 November 2012
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I recently concluded my EMBA two year stint from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Dubai. As a practice the last course is conducted by the Dean and it is a simulation course, Cross Functional Simulation (CFS). Once you complete the course you are a certified BOSS – Blue Ocean Strategy Simulation.

Executives and non executives with a management background are well aware about this strategy developed by W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, the teacher student duo. The strategy explains how to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant. The course was for seven days and the simulation is played in 9 rounds that represent the 9 years in the life cycle of a company.

The most interesting part about the simulation is the ERRC – Eliminate, Raise, Reduce and Create Grid. Six rounds of the simulation are played to bring about changes in the product offering through permutations and combinations in the ERRC grid. In the last three rounds a player can only change the ERRC grid with respect to Value Innovation. All changes implemented in the ERRC grid with respect to production plan, marketing plan, product features and corporate projects is directly proportional to the Share Price Index (SPI), Market share & EBIT.

The reason I give a brief introduction as above is because I wish to draw an analogy to the life that each executive would now be living after the completion of the course. All this while since the last two years there are various aspects that each one of us have gathered with respect to Finance, Human resources, Marketing, Operations and Management. Now we are ready to tread on the corporate path so as to implement all that we have absorbed. Henceforth life will be nothing but revolving around this ERRC grid.

There is a fundamental template that each one of us is presently carrying – basic set of features – skills set, personality traits, experience sets, moral sets.

These sets have to be altered within the ERRC framework. Each individual now will have to continuously work upon:

Eliminating features from the personality traits which are objectionable,

Raising features with respect to the skill sets,

Reducing obnoxious elements from the moral sets,

Creating continuously new experience sets.

The simulation however was played over 9 rounds but fortunately the ERRC grid has to be implemented on a daily basis by every individual and all that has been absorbed in the last 2 years will stand the test of time henceforth.

Yes there were corporate projects undertaken each year during the 9 rounds. Each project had a vesting time some could be realized the same year and others took several years to bear fruits.

This is similar to some qualitative work which each individual can take up either as a social responsibility, philanthropy or maybe as simple as mentoring or being a life coach to some soul. Or else nurturing an entrepreneurial seed which will bear fruit

The book written by the teacher student duo – Blue Ocean strategy talks about a red ocean where competition exists and you have to fight for your space and then there is a Blue Ocean where you create your own niche by value differentiation and this is where you cater to non customers and eventually make them your customers. Too much of effort, isn’t it? Yes it is because it is out of the box. This is extremely exciting when once goes through the simulation.

NO BLUE OCEAN WILL ALWAYS REMAIN BLUE. IT WILL TURN RED AND HENCE I DERIVE THAT BLUE OCEANS NEED TO BE CREATED ALL THE WHILE.

Hence each one of us who leave the campuses for good will have to continuously keep working on the ERRC grid that is symbolic to each of us and emerge as a blue ocean in ourselves. Our endeavor should be to try and remain blue but as is the truth – there is always room for improvement, hence we shall keep altering the ERRC grid and embarking on newer blue oceans.

This article has been authored by Imambee Shaikh from SPJMIR.


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