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Ideas for people pursuing an empowered life,





Recently, to serve a client, I looked into a concept called "Blue Ocean Strategy", as defined by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in their book of that name. The authors describe two kinds of market: The known and very competitive marketplace is called the "Red Ocean", while "Blue Ocean" is used to describe market niches that don't yet exist and are thereby not yet bloodied by the competition.

The point of the book is that competing in overcrowded markets is not a great way to prosper. It points out that real opportunity comes from creating "blue ocean strategies" that cull new markets. Innovative thinking is the way to do that, it affirms, and new territories define new opportunities. With that Blue Ocean strategy, leaders gain a premium: They can jump as much as a year ahead of any competition and establish BRAND identity.

Later, I told my client's management team how leaders who want to innovate must organize around different rules than leaders involved in "Red Ocean" strategies. Rather than try to control a market's erratic behavior or fight for short-term gains to meet performance targets for example, "Blue Ocean" leaders must nurture their collaborators so that they are more cooperative, flexible and creative.

Blue Ocean leaders create an environment that promotes the creative development, leadership and self-empowerment in order that cause innovation to emerge. In this way, they assure their short, mid- and long-term viability and prosperity.

The authors list several examples to support their view and Quebec's "Cirque du Soleil" is one of them. Rather than fight for his place in traditional circus markets that were already in a long decline, founder Guy Laliberté reinvented the very idea of circus by producing a show so innovative it attracted a market.

He thereby sailed on new waters... and his success is still growing. A "Blue Ocean" market bought his billion-dollar idea.

I spoke to the group on the basics of creative thinking in Nature, and spelled out the W5 - who, what, where, when, why - needed for innovation in any marketplace. In my client's case, as customer service is their real product, inventing new client niches is the obvious answer - so I also told them about the 9 places where customers "niche" so they get a jump on serving market needs.

I enjoyed thinking about "ocean strategies". The vastness of the seas reminds me just how big the marketplace really is. The more than 6 billion people on the Biosphere all have to fill a hierarchy of need, each and every single day. It seems to me, creative thinkers should see real opportunities there. I think "Blue Ocean" leaders must focus their attention on 5 « musts » of the "job":

Clarify the position - In the face of the chaos that can be brought on by innovation and change, so workers can immediately adapt to it, strategic leaders must clarify the organization's vision and its values. This engages and empower people to use their creativity by allowing them to favor ideas that fit the organization's identity.

Reinforce relationships - Strategic Leaders must demonstrate the importance of creating new connections to achieve new results - in both systems and personal thinking - by example. Leaders must initiate formal and informal opportunities for teams to address issues; they must assure that their collaborators receive the creativity training and rewards that cause innovation to emerge.

Encourage self-empowerment - Strategic leaders must welcome and even encourage a manageable level of chaos in order to champion evolution, change, creativity and innovation. They'll move people into different roles to increase team adaptability, they encourage new learning, they raise performance expectations, and they introduce new thoughts, new tools and new people, applying them to old ideas.

Share information - Strategic leaders must create informationrich environments in which people are encouraged to explore ideas, to discuss how new findings will impact them, or their work, and the organization as a whole, and to understand the forces at play. In this way they can be proactive and realize the tasks and transformations constantly needed to assure collective prosperity.

Think BIG but long-term - Anchored in "Blue Ocean" waters, strategic leaders must focus on a larger vision rather than their 'small' slice of perception. Innovative new markets emerge as a result of bold thinking.

Remember that "Blue Ocean strategies" are a sort of "competition time-barrier". Leaders who are true to their real job - nurturing the SELF-empowerment of their collaborators - can get the jump on competitors - for a time. Use the time to further invest in your creative capital and the future is yours.



Innovation is the key to corporate survival. But IT DOESN'T JUST HAPPEN!!! It must be made to happen. Click here to download a FREE pdf document with 75 easy ways to stimulate the creativity of your colleagues and collaborators.



We can agree that the creative thinking of its leaders is the common link between an organization's goals and their realization. Not everyone can do it though. Well did you know strategic thinking can be learned?

Check out this exceptional training week in Costa Rica on strategic thinking for leaders.



Price of gas got you wondering? You'll find a URL devoted to the GREEN economy by clicking here; it has links to other organic ways of managing the Planet and her resources. In the meantime, there are "deal maker" web sites where you can download discount coupons. It's near-FREE money.

They want an email address - so just give them one you'll open just for the offers. For example, check out: The Deal Catcher - a discount site for electronics. Or if you are a new parent find discounts for all of baby's needs here.

If you're traveling in the US, the discounts for hotels and motels are here:. And find restaurants discounts here. They promise a new deal every day at Daily Deals..

Or go to the Deal Union for a variety of FREE stuff... but then go back to my paragraph one and explore the green way to prosper if you want real sustainable solutions.



"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor." Henry David Thoreau

"People don't learn by staring into a mirror; people learn by encountering differences." Ronald Heifetz

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." Mark Twain

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write." John Adams

"The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear." Herbert Agar

"For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned it is the season of the harvest." The Talmud



A rabbit doe was very popular with the other animals in the countryside, casually greeting and conversing with them all, and each claimed to be her very best friend. One day, after she heard hounds coming in the distance, suspecting that the hunting season had started, and hoping to escape a nasty fate, she sought the help of those many friends.

She first went to see the horse and explained her situation to him, asking him to please carry her on his back so she could get away from those nasty hounds. But the horse declined, stating that he had important work to do that day to please his master. "Not to worry," he said, "...as I'm sure your other good friends will come to your aid."

So the doe went to see the bull and she told him that she prayed he would repel the hounds with his horns. But the bull replied: "I am very sorry, but I have a date with a lady friend, a lovely brown jersey cow."

But, he added, he was sure their mutual friend the goat would do all he could to help. So the rabbit ran to the goat - who, fearing that his back might suffer some harm if he took the doe upon it - declined. The ram, he felt sure, was the proper animal to see.

So the doe went to him, told him the case and near begged him for his help. The ram sheepishly replied: "Another time my dear, dear friend. I don't think I'd like to interfere on this occasion, as nasty hounds have been known to attack mutton as well as rabbit."

Then, in a last dash of hope, the doe applied to the sow. Well she went on about regretting that she was unable to help as she did not feel she should take responsibility for the situation, as so many older and wiser animals than her humble self had declined. She'd stay in the wallow until the fuss passed.

By this time the hounds were quite near, and the rabbit was shaken by deeply felt voice from her inside, commanding to take to her heels - and luckily she did and escaped, finding a deep, dark hole under the roots of a great tree. The doe rode out her fears until all threat had long passed.

There, alone in that dark hole, cold and hungry, she decided that she had better rely on herself from then on because - if one has too many friends, she has no friends at all. Then, after the danger was gone, she concluded that her creative instinct and quick action could beat the hounds and win the day.


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