The Global Downturn and the Imperative for Blue Ocean Strategy

    TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - Despite the pain, recessions are historically
times of enormous creativity and breakthrough business launches. Microsoft,
General Electric, FedEx, CNN, and Apple are among the hundreds of companies
that created blue oceans during an economic downturn. Counterintuitively,
innovation goes up when the economy goes down. Yet most companies choose to
cut spending on innovation during a recession and shift their focus from
growth to preservation, waiting out the storm until the economy picks up
again. All companies have to cut costs, and invariably one of the early
victims is often spending on innovation activities such as R&D, training, or
education budgets. Long-term projects are shelved, hiring is frozen, and
workers are made redundant. Worse, risk capital evaporates. This is akin to
medical patients deciding to reduce their expenditures by not spending money
on medication. Innovative thinking is stifled when it is most needed.
    Yet, good ideas are not expensive. As buyers are forced to make better
choices within limited means, businesses also must make better strategic
choices within their limited means. When times are lean both consumers and
companies must make smarter decisions. Real customers continue to face real
problems. For companies this means they must find ways to create new value,
while reducing costs. This is also called Value Innovation: the cornerstone of
Blue Ocean Strategy. To achieve value innovation, it is the ideas that matter,
not your resources. It's about taking existing market elements and
systematically reconstructing them to create significant new value for your
customers and your company. As a result, lean times create innovation that is
smarter than the innovation that springs from fatter times. They are "smarter"
because they are based on ideas - not big budgets, R&D, or technological
    As Stanford economist Paul Roemer has been telling us for years, great
advances come from great ideas. Yet ideas do not fall from the sky; they come
from people. Every new thing that gives pleasure or productivity or
convenience, be it an iPod or tweaks in a manufacturing plant, is the result
of human ingenuity. To reiterate, it is during difficult economic times when
we are forced to think more creatively how we create growth. Fortunately, Blue
Ocean Strategy provides a proven and practical approach to create the ideas
that will lead to breakthrough growth through value innovation: dramatically
higher value and lower costs.
    Professors Kim & Mauborgne have spent the past decade developing a set of
analytical tools and frameworks to make the pursuit of blue oceans as
methodical, codified, and executable as competing in the traditional
competitive landscape. They studied companies around the world and developed
practical methodologies in the quest of blue oceans. The ideas, tools, and
frameworks used have been further tested and refined over the years in
corporate and public sectors practices in Asia, North America, and Europe.

    Blue Ocean Strategy, with its actionable frameworks and tools for both
strategy formulation and execution, provides companies with a risk minimizing
and profit maximizing approach for companies to grow their way out of the this
economic downturn.
    Blue Ocean Strategy applies across all types of industries from the
typical suspects of consumer product goods to b2b, industrial, pharmaceutical,
financial services, entertainment, IT, and even defense.

    Blue Ocean Strategy Conference

    This month, Canadian business and government leaders will get to hear
first hand from two distinguish speakers; Professor W. Chan Kim, the
Co-founder and Co-Director of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute and The
Boston Consulting Group Bruce D. Henderson Chair Professor of Strategy ad
International Management at INSEAD, France (the world's second largest
business school) and Jason Hunter, Director of Training and former INSEAD Blue
Ocean Strategy institute Executive Fellow as they speak and teach about this
ground-breaking strategy and how you can achieve freedom from competition at
the inaugural Blue Ocean Strategy Conference on February 26th & 27th, 2009 at
the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
    The conference will also include a panel component in the afternoon of
day two where certified Blue Ocean Strategy consultants will present case
studies of companies in North America that have successfully
adopted/implemented Blue Ocean Strategy. This would provide attendees with a
diverse representation of the applicability of Blue Ocean Strategy.

    FREE Conference Preview

    In conjunction with the conference, the Blue Ocean Strategy Canada Office
is holding a FREE one-hour Conference Preview on Thursday, February 5th, at
the Holiday Inn Airport from 6pm-7pm (600 Dixon Road). Call or email to
confirm attendance.

    Exclusive interviews with Professor W. Chan Kim can be arranged.

For further information:

For further information: Leena Sharma, Country Manager, UCSI Blue Ocean
Strategy Regional Centre, Canada Office Inc, (289) 291-3849,,

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