Value pioneering – how to discover your own “blue ocean”: interview with W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Brian Leavy (Brian Leavy is AIB Professor of Strategic Management at Dublin City University Business School and a contributing editor of Strategy & Leadership. E‐mail:

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Publication date: 1 December 2005



To study blue ocean strategy (value innovation management), which not only reframes the strategic challenge – from competing to making the competition irrelevant – but also provides a series of tools and frameworks to act on this insight in a way that maximizes the opportunity and minimizes the risk.


This interview with Professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne considers the concept of value innovation management and examines the ideas and tools they developed in their book Blue Ocean Strategy (Harvard Business School Press, 2005), the product of a successful twenty‐year research and consultancy partnership.


Blue ocean strategy is applicable across all types of industries from typical consumer product goods to b2b. It offers an alternative approach to the existing strategic planning process, one that is based not on preparing a spreadsheet document but on drawing a strategy canvas.

Research limitations/implications

The interview gives professors Kim and Mauborgne an opportunity to summarize many of their recent research findings.

Practical implications

As blue ocean strategy represents a significant departure from the status quo, managers typically face four hurdles to execution: first, cognitive: waking employees up to the need for a strategic shift; second, limited resources: the greater the shift in strategy, the greater the resources needed to execute it; third, motivation: inspire key players to move fast and tenaciously to carry out a break from the status quo; and fourth, organizational politics. Leaders must identify and effectively deal with internal opponents to change.


Provides a unique overview of value innovation management, its principles, tools, and techniques.



Leavy, B. (2005), "Value pioneering – how to discover your own “blue ocean”: interview with W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 33 No. 6, pp. 13-20.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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