My blue and red ocean visions were inspired by the concept of Blue Ocean Strategy for businesses. I watched a summary created by The Great Courses, and immediately thought of how it could apply to families.
“Blue ocean strategy challenges companies to break out of the red ocean of bloody competition by creating uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant.”
I’m currently reading the book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant. Naturally, not everything about how a business is run can or should map to families, but I’ll talk more about the parallels and differences later. For now, I’ll share the four basic steps that lead to creating a blue ocean of market space called the Four Actions Framework.
Eliminate – Which of the factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated?
Reduce – Which factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard?
Raise – Which factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard?
Create – Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered?
An example might be the easiest way to grasp the basic concept. Cirque du Soleil left the bloody red ocean of the circus market and created its own vast and profitable blue ocean as follows:
Eliminate – star performers, animal shows, aisle concession sales, multiple show arenas
Reduce – fun and humor, thrill and danger
Raise – unique venue (vs. the three-ring circus)
Create – theme, refined environment, multiple productions, artistic music and dance
Eliminating animals was a particularly bold and brilliant stroke. What’s a circus without animals? Clearly essential to the industry, yet expensive to keep and many potential customers have moral objections to keeping trained animals. It was an unthinkable thing to cut, but it worked!
Did you catch that? Success came from cutting what was deemed essential be everyone else.
I believe the same applies to families. It makes no sense to try to do everything. Can we have the strength to cut something others think is essential for the sake of building our own unique family culture?