Executive summary: INSEAD is currently setting up the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute based on the findings from INSEAD professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in the interrnational bestselller "Blue Ocean Strategy" - sold in a million copies in its first year and now published in 39 languages. In the new institute "classrooms should be moving from paper cases to more visual movie-oriented ones,” says Renée Mauborgne.
Edited by Peter Horn
INSEAD is currently setting up the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute: The institute in the making will be based on the findings of the international bestseller, "Blue Ocean Strategy" written by INSEAD professors Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim. The book sold more than a million copies in its first year of publication and has being published in 39 languages. There are no plans for a follow-up book at this stage. In an interview the authors strategy professors Kim and Mauborgne tells INSEAD Knowledge that they knew there would be an audience for their research as their articles in the Harvard Business Review sold half a million reprints. “Looking back (...) what we are satisfied with is (...) if we were to write it again, could we have done anything differently, we would say not really,” says Renée Mauborgne. The Blue Ocean authors say they would still have undertaken the same research journey, starting with inductive study based on cases and deductive research based on data. However, Kim says they felt this inductive/deductive approach “wasn’t good enough”, so they began to apply the theory to “actual companies, to write some of the case stories” which appear in the book, albeit with the names of the companies disguised. The research focuses on around 150 cases and highlights “Blue Ocean strategic moves” such as Cirque du Soleil and [yellow tail] wines. In short, Blue Ocean Strategy is concerned with products, processes and people, says Kim. It “looks at the entire value chain, a system-wide approach and the way of thinking, rather than talking about entrepreneurship or some sub-system of the entire organization. “(...) Unless there’s some new enlightenment, we will repeat the same process of a research journey. (...) Its commercial success is a secondary interest, even though it’s exciting to see what happened,” says Kim. Business schools are not pure science: “Business school is not going to be pure science - it never can be. By definition, business is applied science. You cannot have pure science in businesses, because business theory goes with the phenomenon … In pure science like physics, you can find theory with truth that endures 100 years, 200 years. You can have different arguments, but quantum physics is lasting,” says Renée Mauborgne. “Applied science, like business science is about management. It needs to change according to how an organization evolves. (...) You cannot use management theory from 1920 and apply it to 2020. Most of the time business is evolving. Look at the recent internet and bioscience revolutions,” Kim says. Blue Ocean Strategy InstituteINSEAD is currently setting up a Blue Ocean Strategy Institute at its Europe Campus in Fontainebleau. Researchers at the Institute will be on hand to answer questions about blue ocean thinking, Kim says, adding that it will also help to raise INSEAD’s profile. “The main purpose of the Institute is mainly an academic one as it will dedicate itself to the academic development of Blue Ocean Strategy theory.” It will also have a pedagogical ambition as it will be looking to develop short Blue Ocean Strategy “theory movies” in contrast to the current paper-based case studies produced by Harvard and others. “Multimedia can be introduced in a very constructive way in terms of creative content,” says Mauborgne. “If you want to teach industrial history from 1900 to 2000, this is certainly good way to learn by watching how industry has been evolving. In middle of it, the class can discuss the implications using analytics and have a rich conversation. Classrooms should be moving from paper cases to more visual movie-oriented ones.” As for other future Blue Ocean developments, Kim says that for the time being, he and Mauborgne are “very occupied with deepening and broadening Blue Ocean Strategy … because we’ve just started to explore the topic and there are so many things to do.” The authorsRenée Mauborgne is a INSEAD Distinguished Fellow and Affiliate Professor of Strategy and Management at INSEAD, France, the world's second largest business school. She was born in the United States. Mauborgne is a fellow of the World Economic Forum. Her Harvard Business Review articles, co-authored with W. Chan Kim, are worldwide bestsellers and have sold over a half a million reprints. Their Value Innovation and Fair Process articles were selected as among the best classic articles ever published in Harvard Business Review. In 2005 she was selected as the highest placed woman on Thinkers 50, the global ranking of business gurus, and was named along with her colleague W. Chan Kim, as "the number one gurus of the future" by L'Expansion, one of France's leading business magazines. The Sunday Times (London) called them “two of Europe's brightest business thinkers. Kim and Mauborgne provide a sizeable challenge to the way managers think about and practice strategy.” The Observer called Kim and Mauborgne, "the next big gurus to hit the business world." Kim and Mauborgne co-founded the Blue Ocean Strategy Network (BOSN), a global community of practice on the Blue Ocean Strategy family of concepts that they created. BOSN embraces academics, consultants, executives, and government officers. Blue Ocean Strategy has become an “International Bestseller”, after reaching the “Wall Street Journal Bestseller”, “BusinessWeek Bestseller”, and “National (American) Bestseller” status. It has been published in 39 languages, covering over 180 countries, breaking HBSP's historical record of most foreign language translations ever achieved. Blue Ocean Strategy won the Best Business Book of 2005 Prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair. - (EM, 2 Oct 07)