Number 1 in Thinkers 50

INSEAD professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy, have been voted today, November 18th, as the world’s most influential management thinkers in Thinkers 50 –  the “Oscars of Management Thinking”.

The ranking is based on a set of metrics and input from global advisors. Among the established criteria there are originality and practicality of ideas, international outlook, ability to inspire, and presentation style. You can find out more details about Thinkers 50 and the full ranking here.

Kim and Mauborgne’s work builds on many years of research into how companies with smaller competitive advantage managed to become successful against the odds. By changing the unit of reference from successful company or industry to successful strategic move (a specific set of managerial actions and decisions involved in making a major market-creating business offering), the authors discovered a pattern in their analysis.

The commonalities among these success stories involve changing the paradigm from competing in an existing market space to creating a new market space, which they named “blue ocean”. To be able to create this new demand, these companies created a highly differentiated value proposition from the “norm” and targeted non-customers. Blue Ocean Strategy proposes a structured process and tools for replicating this type of successful strategic moves, called the Blue Ocean Strategy formulation process.

Following the success of their book published in 2005, the professors have worked relentlessly to demonstrate the applicability and relevance of their concept and formulation framework. They created a series of articles among which How Strategy Shapes Structure and Blue Ocean Leadership and supported the work of consultants and organisations to value innovate in all sectors – public, social and private, in almost all industries, some of the success cases being documented in their second book, Blue Ocean Shift.

Today they received the recognition which they deserve for their work.

For me, this is also a moment of personal reflection. I first came across the Blue Ocean Strategy in 2007 during my MBA at INSEAD. I attended one of Professor Kim’s presentations during our Strategy class and I was mesmerised with the beauty of the concept and the power of the tools, but also with Prof’s way of thinking and personality. Following that experience I enrolled in his Blue Ocean Strategy elective course, and after my MBA I joined him in Malaysia in the think-tank he created to value innovate in the public sector. Upon my return to Europe, for the last 10 years I have applied the Blue Ocean Strategy thinking and its innovation process in various consulting engagements with success across many industries.

Thank you, Professor Kim, for being a great mentor and such an inspiration to me!

You can find out more on our website about Blue Ocean Strategy and how it can help growing your business.


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