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Finding your Blue Ocean

In November 2013, I had the opportunity to speak at the Annual WiMBIZ Conference about the Blue Ocean Strategy in relation to MitiMeth, my Social Enterprise. In preparing for my talk, I had to research and find out what the strategy was all about. I smiled as I conducted my research. The truth be told, when I started out on the MitiMeth journey, all I wanted to see was my "Green" ocean (that's the color of the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos!). Unfortunately I couldn't see my Green ocean because it was covered with invasive aquatic weeds! I was peeved but at the same time intrigued and bothered. Rather than brush my frustration with the sight aside, I dared to see an opportunity where others saw nothing but a challenge. The popular saying is that when life hands you lemons make lemonade out of it. When the environment hands you invasive weeds, make aesthetic crafts out of it! On June 18, 2015, I had the opportunity to share my Blue Ocean Strategy with a group of women at the WIMBIZ Roundtable Lunch in Ibadan held at Chrysallis Cafe.

The Blue Ocean Strategy

What? Creating uncontested market space and making the competition irrelevant. This is your Blue Ocean Strategy!

How? By altering existing boundaries and creating demand that “did not exist”

Proposition? Value; Profit; People

If you make profit the end all and be all, you’ll get easily frustrated when the chips are down.

What to do?

1. Seek to continuously add value. Pursue Differentiation and Low Cost simultaneously. Create unique products with a story and also leverage existing skill sets. What customer benefits can we add, that have never been offered before?

2. Develop an offering that attracts buyers. Something they are just dying to have once they hear about it or see it.

3. Create a business model that enables the company to make a tidy profit; Unless you are a not-for-profit organization!

4. Motivate the people working for you in the company to execute the strategy. You must.

Takeway? Whether you are creating your Blue Ocean from a Blue ocean or a Blue ocean from a Red ocean or a Blue ocean from a Green ocean - Be the best and offer your best. Differentiate yourself. Differentiate your business. Don’t cut corners. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. And remember what Henry Longfellow said "The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do......"

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