Swimming in the big blue ocean

Blue Ocean graphicThe Blue Ocean Strategy leadership strategy has been around for a number of years, ( W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne pub, 2005).  Considered an all-time classic management book it encourages today’s leaders to stop competing, get ‘innovating’ and yes, start swimming in your big blue ocean!

But how exactly do we define then refine the innovation message? One of the things we know for sure about innovation is that it is ‘thinking outside the box’ i.e. changing the way we think about doing things and we all know that is not the easiest things to do!   Even though we live in a world now where things change in front of us daily: new and improved technology gadgets …digitized and robotic processes.

Chan Kim and Mauborgne say that there are 3 propositions for success when we consider the highest level of strategic leadership:

  1. VALUE proposition (an offering that attracts buyers)
  2. PROFIT proposition (creating a business model that enables the company to make money
  3. PEOPLE proposition (motivating the people who execute the strategy)

They further suggest that most organizations stay safely within the RED Ocean strategy when they fail to incorporate all 3 propositions

But there are those who adopt the Blue Ocean strategy and step out on their own ledge. Let’s take some success stories like Facebook founder Zuckerman whose venture captured millions who simply want to ‘chat and share’. This venture has turned it into a billion-dollar industry called ‘social media’ which most business leaders rely on as part of their marketing campaigns to get ‘the word out’

Another great example is Google, where you can find just about anything on the internet using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Google Analytics to track online marketing success

… And now Blue Ocean ‘brings it home’! Here in Trinidad and Tobago, a group of shrewd business innovators called ISLAND PEOPLE have mastered the Blue Ocean strategy in the art of mas making (costumes) during the local Carnival celebrations. Using the internet and a shoebox delivery service they’ve brought convenience, comfort and a new value proposition to those willing to pay for it. With a few collaborations they’re also able to use Apps and a few ‘taps’ so masqueraders world over can order costumes, secure airline tickets, book accommodations, and pay for non-stop partying, music and drinks way ahead of the much touted “world’s greatest festival”.

The whole idea of Blue Ocean Strategy is to move away from slugging it out with your competitors and finding ‘blue oceans’ i.e. new market spaces to grow your business

In the world of technology today just think of the possibilities for e-commerce, bio and nano technologies and more. Then push the clock forward and ask how many now unknown industries are likely to exist as a result of these technological developments that emerge almost everyday. It’s time to swim in our own blue ocean!

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To share or not share ….who’s guilty?

We seem to be always ‘holding court’ these days whenever the issue of teenagers and internet privacy come up. Let’s take some incidents in the recent past: one teen whose naked photos sent to her boyfriend lover went viral after their break up; another teen’s post of some students beating another girl in full camera view and the case of cyber bullying to the point of suicide. The reports are endless, some horrific and we then discharge the guilty verdict on all teens using the internet.

But this verdict depends on who defines privacy and how. Surveys show that teenagers have tended to be more savvy when it comes to protecting their privacy. Let’s take the survey the Global Cyber Security Capacity center at University of Oxford, England where the results show that almost 95% of users in the 14 – 17 age group had their privacy settings checked or changed on social media, compared to 55% in the age group 45 to 54 years.  Lots more statistics at the Pew Research Center.

Whereas older adults seem more concerned with what their kids are posting and to whom, they have less concerns on their own privacy settings, changing passwords and blocking undesirables which may make them more vulnerable to cyber-crime.

When dealing with the issue of privacy many young people are more concerned with who they let into their social boundaries and networks and less with the wider network of marketers, government and public agencies and phishers, which older adults may be absorbed with. In their quest for privacy, the younger gen seem to always find ways to ‘bob and weave’ among the plethora of public eyes. Let’s just recall that they were the first on Facebook before the older gen tsunami came on; then the first to migrate to Instagram. Now Snapchat and Yik Yak seem to be the apps of choice! Fact is that the younger gen will find more innovative ways to write a new language that deludes online networks (and parents!) so they become free to share within their own private networks and trump the social norm known as privacy. Who knows how many are investigating facial recognition technology as the next wave of digital privacy? Let’s hear from the jury now.

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I think this link is worth a share!

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If Your Life Is A Story, How Do You Make Sure It Has A Happy Ending?

If Your Life Is A Story, How Do You Make Sure It Has A Happy Ending?.

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If Your Life Is A Story, How Do You Make Sure It Has A Happy Ending?

We always need to remind ourselves that it’s our own script we write everyday!

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Ex Machina … Taking another look at Artificial Intelligence

ex machina graphicVirtual reality gets more intriguing by the minute! The most recent is the movie, Ex-Machina  in which scientist/entrepreneur Nathan develops Ava a female robot with more than just bare artificial intelligence. His creation is meant to prove that Ava is conscious; possesses self-awareness and is capable of loving another being! The story unfolds into an action thriller with an almost bizarre twist where robot Ava turns on her protagonist, abandons the ‘love’ she has built for Caleb in her quest to discover civilization and consequently find out more about herself!

Besides its dramatic ending, the movie certainly uncovers several issues: AI, ethics and human responsibility; the role of other emerging technologies like genetic engineering and agile robots; Is AI free to be used for experimentation by free-wheeling billionaire techies …what boundaries can we place to ensure that AI is used only in ways beneficial to humankind? …who will be provide the stewardship for keeping AI safe as the AI arms race heats up? …if ‘deep learning’, (another branch of AI coined by Google) continues to evolve can machine intelligence in fact threaten the very existence of humankind?

Two things I know for sure about this movie: 1) Ex Machina keeps you on the edge of your seat and 2) leaves many questions reeling around in your head. Besides those I mention above, I wonder whatever became of Ava, once she escaped from Nathan’s stranglehold and found herself in ‘civilisation’… and what about her ‘love interest’ Caleb, whom she brutally left behind at the mountain retreat?  Maybe Ex-Machina II will tell!

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Learning on the Go!

According to the statistics portal, Statista, there’ll be 2.13 billion social network users worldwide by 2016! The population will reach just over 7 billion (according to www.geoba.se/population/com) and there’ll be over 8 billion mobile devices by then!

These incredible statistics give a snapshot of the rate at which technology is advancing and changing the fabric of our lives. With such pervasive influence, it’s no surprise that we must also confront these technology realities in the workplace. Consider therefore, not being ready for the ‘new Net Gen worker’ who is digitally wired and web-entrenched… who wants collaborative environments and cloud-based programs …smart boards and blended learning… bite size information that’s interactive, engaging and on-time!

The face of the new worker is mobile, global and a finger touch away. Mobile Learning for HR Professionals will be my topic of choice at the HRMATT 10th Biennial conference on June 11 and 12, 2015 at The Trinidad Hilton, Trinidad and Tobago. (http://www.hrmatt2015conference.com/)

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