Ten years ago, world-renowned professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne broke ground by introducing "blue ocean strategy," a new model for discovering uncontested markets that are ripe for growth. In this bound version of their bestselling Harvard Business Review classic article, they apply their concepts and tools to what is perhaps the greatest challenge of leadership: closing the gulf between the potential and the realized talent and energy of employees. Research indicates that this gulf is vast: According to Gallup, 70% of workers are disengaged from their jobs. If companies could find a way to convert them into engaged employees, the results could be transformative. The trouble is, managers lack a clear understanding of what changes they could make to bring out the best in everyone. In this article, Kim and Mauborgne offer a solution to that problem: a systematic approach to uncovering, at each level of the organization, which leadership acts and activities will inspire employees to give their all, and a process for getting managers throughout the company to start doing them. Blue ocean leadership works because the managers' "customers"--that is, the people managers oversee and report to--are involved in identifying what's effective and what isn't. Moreover, the approach doesn't require leaders to alter who they are, just to undertake a different set of tasks. And that kind of change is much easier to implement and track than changes to values and mind-sets.
The Harvard Business Review Classics series offers you the opportunity to make seminal Harvard Business Review articles a part of your permanent management library. Each highly readable volume contains a groundbreaking idea that continues to shape best practices and inspire countless managers around the world--and will have a direct impact on you today and for years to come.
About The Author
W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne are Professors of Strategy at INSEAD and Codirectors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute. They are the authors of the New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller, BLUE OCEAN SHIFT and the international bestseller BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY, which is recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written. Blue Ocean Strategy has sold over 3.6 million copies, is being published in a record-breaking 46 languages, and is a bestseller across five continents. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne rank in the top 5 management gurus in the world in the Thinkers50 list, a title they have held for ten straight years, and are the recipients of numerous academic and management awards around the world including the Nobels Colloquia Prize for Leadership on Business and Economic Thinking, the Carl S. Sloane Award by the Association of Management Consulting Firms, the Leadership Hall of Fame by Fast Company, and the Eldridge Haynes Prize by the Academy of International Business, among others. They are Fellows of the World Economic Forum and the founders of the Blue Ocean Global Network. For more on these authors and their new book, BLUE OCEAN SHIFT, see blueoceanstrategy.com.