Differences in BOS / ROS Cultures

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Blue Ocean Strategy > Best Practices > Differences in BOS / ROS Cultures

Differences in BOS / ROS Cultures
Daniel Newton Obaka
I have discovered over the last five years that in Red Ocean Strategies (ROS) people compete to maintain a competitive edge over the rival companies, organizations or individuals through a number of unprofessional practices driven by a culture of GREED and the 'winner takes it all syndrome'.
The Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS), I believe is driven by a 'GIVE TO SOCIETY culture' by creating and providing commodities where others fail to do. While competition supports innovation, when it is driven by greed it becomes a ROS. In Blue Ocean strategy, one creatively innovates and creates products where ROS will never see it as a necessity.
One of the dire needs of society is integrity, credibility, and culture of excellence. BOS can develop around this 'unique product' - integrity, honesty, and culture of excellence driven by central desire to serve others.

Greater Ethical Standard in BOS
Daniel Newton Obaka
BOS is essentially an ability to identify business areas that are not being contested for and evolve services that meet the demand of the society. And there are plenty of these areas in a fast evolving world with growing connectedness...
Thus, BOS is not out to compete with already powerful, connected, and wealthy organizations. It is an ability to evolve a business system that no one seems interested in.
There are number of unprofessional and unethical practices that some carry out to maintain a competitive edge. For example, bribe to gain a huge contract is one of the instruments of competition.
In BOS, there is no competition and therefore one is not tempted to use unprofessional and unethical tactics to exist.

Difference in BOS/ROS Culture?
Ken, Strategic Marketing, United States, Member
With all due respect the comparison is not realistic... Profits are not bad! Which is what is implied... Only when there are profits do people and or companies have money and resources to give to the causes they deem good not what some bureaucrat or politician thinks worthy.

What is the Need for That Distinction?
Augusto Carreira, Partner, Portugal, Member
I never saw a need for this distinction between Blue Ocean and (bloody) red ocean strategies. A strategy is a timed response to a problem/opportunity. It should be designed. If good design practices are used, like if it was an engineering project, the strategy will have a bigger chance to help the organization succeed.
It is supposed that you are ethical. But if you are a fan of bending morale and ethic, then no strategy, blue or bloody, will prevent you from doing that as long as it suits your goals. This is sad but real.
So, good practice, both technically and ethically, is the key to a good strategy. Unfortunately, the usual strategy making tool set is rather poor and people in need of a strategy take refuge in the next fad that appears attractive to their own mental models.

Culture and Strategy
Glen Tucker, Member
I'm reading these comments with interest, because of the inbuilt "judgemental" paradigm that I sense is quite deeply embedded in some comments.
Culture is so different in different parts of the world and also in different industries. Of course one can use an evaluation tool such as environmental impact and use whole cost accounting which measures not only the direct costs of the product but also the whole range of impacts that any product will have.
For myself, I believe integrity and trust are the backbone of "good" business. People really can see whether an organisation/individuals are being congruent. They may not be able to do anything about it at the time because of some of the global monopolistic practices that certain companies indulge in, but human beings don't forget easily and when the opportunity comes for them to make a choice, they will do.
I therefore believe what works long term, are the tried and trusted practices that marked good business over the centuries and that hasn't changed.

Augusto and I Agree
Jeff Pelletier, Business Consultant, United States, Member
BOS\ROS are strategies, culture does not correlate necessarily with strategy.

'And' People (BOS) versus 'BUT' People (ROS)
Renata Guizzardi, Professor, Brazil, Member
I believe that this discussion of ROS and BOS has something to do with something I realized during my PHD work:
"There are two distinct ways to collaborate with someone in work: the 'and' way and the 'but' way:
- In the 'and' way, one focuses on the positive aspects of the ideas being presented, adding new insights on top of them.
- Conversely, in the 'but' way, one identifies the limitations of the proposed ideas, focusing solely on negative aspects.
Although both ways are valid, there is a risk in taking the 'but' strategy, since looking at the obstacles before an idea is sufficiently mature may lead to a creativity block". Thus, the 'and way' is the approach more prone to generating inovation.
To sum up, I think what I usually call ´but people' are the ones related to ROS-initiatives while 'and people' are the ones who are behind BOS-organizations.
Do you agree?

BOS / ROS Cultures
V Morgan, Consultant, United States, Member
A BOS seemingly stimulates creativity in a world that is changing.
A ROS promotes cost efficiency in a world of competition.

BOS & ROS Cultures
Anubhav Patel, Student (MBA), Member
Creative people can opt for BOS whereas ROS is for competitive people... People should choose whatever attracts them...

BOS versus ROS Thinking
Ceferino Dulay, Jr., Philippines, Member
BOS and ROS require two different mindsets. In ROS, you lean toward problem-solving while in BOS, it is more on innovation or opportunity-finding.
Many problems can be made obsolete with innovation but innovation will require a much higher level of thinking and involves a lot more (calculated) risks.

BOS and Creative Innovation
Daniel Newton Obaka
Going through the discussions on this vital subject of blue and red ocean strategies, it is encouraging to recognize the desire to challenge the old and conventional practices for doing business-profit maximazation through bloody competiton. One observes that the different threads of opinions concerning the Blue Ocean and Red Ocean Strategies come from different world views and belief systems held by each contributors.
In a world of information technology, scientific advances, and evolving cultural integration, the need to re-examine the conventional way for doing business with the purpose to change strategies has become real. In rethinking the future of doing business, it seems clear that we do not need to compete bloodily to shape and redirect the future of humanity. According to Kim and Renee, "... developing uncontested market space that makes competion irrelevant..." is what Blue Ocean strategy is.
I see that Blue Ocean strategies not only stimulate creativity, they also encourage inovative thinking.

BOS and ROS Culture
GS RADJOU, CEO, France, Member
If you take an ocean, it is never red or blue. The colour of the ocean is given by the colour of the sky - and the sky can be turbulent. So, the ocean too. Culture is a way to get agreements with society members. Other ways are individual choice and contractual agreement. There are direct (straightforward), indirect cultures (you suppose to know the codes), and also verbal, non verbal cultures. The art and science of BOS/ROS culture is to be found in multicultural management.

ROS Culture
Michel Lavergne, CEO, France, Member
When ROS rules the corporate world (sharks) and spreads in the civil society, heads start to roll for real... See our revolution in 1792-1794.

Some Color Reflections
Ceferino Dulay, Jr., Philippines, Member
Deep water looks blue. In a Blue Ocean, there are a lot of possibilities that one can discover but then it also requires a lot of courage and foresight to cross its deep waters.
People get a red face when they're angry because of what they see, hear or feel. Their thinking is limited and their aim is to return to the situation before this happened.
Is there a right attitude to take?
- You need the Red Ocean because it fires up the emotion to compete and survive and to take away those that block your path. It's living in the here and now.
- But the Blue Ocean is an adventure into the unknown that has fired up adventurers throughout the ages. They find new lands, new trading routes, new opportunities, but also threats. But these threats only made them stronger and more determined to succeed.
In which strategy are you now?

BOS and ROS do not Directly Correlate with Culture - Yes BUT
Jeff Pelletier, Business Consultant, United States, Member
@Jeff Pelletier: My belief is that culture (real values, real purpose, whether known or not) drive these two. A ROS is driven by a view of scarcity - a value - which informs the strategies. BOS is a view of abundance - ditto.

Blue Ocean Strategy Requires Pro-positive Approach
rafael angel calvo arguedas, Business Consultant, Member
@Renata Guizzardi: Excelent approach!. In life we must be pro-positive. And when we have to disagree, do so with respect.

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Andrew Nelson

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