A few months back, Dr Steve Harris, teambuilding motivational speaker and The Mind Doctor, discussed the Blue Oceans Strategy from Chan Kim’s 2005 book. Kim’s blue oceans’ metaphor defines a blue ocean as a less contested space. Here, the opposition is not as relevant, and you thrive (Kim, 2005). Dr Steve believes that you can apply the blue ocean strategy at not only an individual level but as well as a business one.

Before you can move your business out of the red ocean and into the blue ocean, you need to have a basic understanding of where you are coming from, and Dr Steve provides some further insight.

The first step towards getting out of red oceans – eliminate. 

To move out of red oceans, Dr Steve Harris firstly recommends that you eliminate criticising, complaining, and catastrophising. While he understands that you don’t want to be controlled, lose your freedom to conscientiously object, or find your social contract abused by excessive order, he says that, at times, you need to push back against the dangerous centralisation of power or immoral practices. This can be achieved by joining like-minded pressure groups where you can jointly express outrage against unreasonable threats.

However, he continues that if you habitually villainise influential people and authorities, your approach becomes like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. Instead, he suggests that you critically reflect on the stress generated from drama and review the ratio between how much you criticise versus praise.

The second step towards getting out of red oceans – reduce. 

The second step is to check your understanding of a situation you find distressing to see if you have been mind-captured by the science of persuasion, tracking your online footprints, and then feeding you content to confirm your bias. He was stimulated to seek a deeper understanding of this while watching the movie The Social Dilemma.

While social media has its benefits, media organisations use an ever-refining, machine learning algorithm that monitors each of us with the aim of keeping us online through engagement-based ranking. Dr Steve says that if you become aware of this aspect in terms of how social media is tightening its grip, it will help you move out of red oceans into the blue.

In addition, he also suggests that you critically reflect on your bias. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do you access multiple perspectives?
  • Have your searches metastasised into an addiction/belief?
  • Do you justify your position by calling the experience an awakening rather than a belief?
  • Has truth and misinformation merged too closely for you to distinguish?
  • Do you check if the evidence is credible by accessing multiple perspectives?
  • Could you be wandering into a polarised bubble of denialism and intolerance?
  • Have you developed a psychological addiction of your opinion?
  • Have you become intoxicated with thinking you know something others don’t?
  • Could the boundaries of your truth be hardening to the extent that you are losing intellectual humility?
  • Does your finding of like-minded allies cause you to deride others who do not share your point of view?
  • Finally, as a self-certified google expert, you may feel the accumulated knowledge from your searches rival a professional qualification.

The third step towards getting out of red oceans – raise.

Furthermore, as Dr Steve points out, you need to consider what you need to improve to get to the blue ocean. He suggests uncovering what you or your business are good at, improving teamwork and aligning culture. Only then can competency skills such as critical thinking be improved and multiple perspectives, creativity, and flexibility be considered.

The fourth step towards getting out of red oceans – create.

Finally, Dr Steve advises that to leave the red and enter the blue oceans, you must create a strategy that aligns with the following criteria:

  • Embraces success and significance.
  • Speaks to national priorities.
  • Addresses stakeholders’ needs and problems.
  • Generates conditional optimism.
  • Introduces wide participation.
  • Bonds staff into an organisational culture.
  • Helps to manage VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity).
  • Enables the business to adapt faster than the opposition to a changing context.
  • Maintains existing values (what we should do) but creates new values with unique differentiators where things formerly impossible become possible.

The rationale for the plan.

The above plan will ultimately set out what you currently consider the best way for your business to become successful and significant.

If you require assistance with stimulating stakeholder passion and creating a shared culture in your business, contact Dr Steve to help you and your employees navigate a way through the volatility of uncertain times and manage the complexities and ambiguities along the way.

As a motivational speaker and teambuilding professional, Dr Steve can assist your company in building the resilience needed to manage unforeseen external changes and planned internal changes.

CONTACT STEVE