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Through three examples from the start, we can see inspiring alternative approaches to the wild competitive marketplace.
An orchestra that would not compete on technical skills, but favor its country hopes and heritage.
SEB, instead of staying in the narrow and competitive field of french fries cooker, revolutionized it with requiring one spoon of oil only.
Prison alternatives in Malaysia using idle land between military area, teaching prisoners new skills and a second chance to become productive members of society.
[quote, Alfred Lord Tennyson]
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
For us, as business scholars, the world we aspired to help advance wasn’t one defined by competing and dividing up markets or the globe, where one’s gain comes at the expense of others. Competition exists, and win-lose scenarios abound, but they weren’t what captured our imaginations, nor what we believed our world needed more of. What we admired, what inspired us, were the organizations and individuals that went beyond competing to create new frontiers of opportunity, growth, and jobs, where success was not about dividing up an existing, often shrinking pie, but about creating a larger economic pie for all—what we refer to as blue oceans. Blue oceans are less about disruption and more about nondisruptive creation, where one’s gain doesn’t have to come at the expense of others.
PART ONE - Blue Ocean Shift
1. Reach Beyond the Best
Rather than focus on technical excellence and musical sophistication, NYOI would focus on the power of music to heal, bridge the deepest divides, and showcase the hidden glory of Iraq’s rich heritage.
From Orchestras to French Fry Makers
Christian and his team set about to do just that—to identify and challenge the industry’s most basic assumptions. When they did, they had a revelation.
Christian’s team discovered that there were two facts that everyone accepted without question—two facts that in essence defined the industry. The first was that making fresh French fries required frying. The second was that frying required a lot of oil.
The result was ActiFry — a whole new type of French fry maker, first launched in France in 2006 and since rolled out globally. ActiFry requires no frying, and uses only one tablespoon of oil to make two pounds of fries, with roughly 40 percent fewer calories and 80 percent less fat than the same size serving of traditional fries.
The industries of national youth orchestras and French fry makers are clearly worlds apart.
As different as these two organizations and their industry settings are, however, they succeeded in the same way. Both shifted from competing in crowded existing markets to creating new market space.
Blue ocean shift is a systematic process to move your organization from cutthroat markets with bloody competition—what we think of as red oceans full of sharks—to wide-open blue oceans, or new markets devoid of competition, in a way that brings your people along.
The Gift of a Second Chance
Prisons: overcrowded, costly, and ineffective.
as Paul MacAlindin did at NYOI and Christian Grob did at Groupe SEB, it sought to identify and challenge the industry’s fundamental assumptions.
Chief among these was the long-held assumption that all criminals need to be put in prisons. Was there an alternative to very costly, high-security prisons, which could have high impact at far lower cost?
Many military bases around the country had idle land.
For petty criminals, who were the largest inmate population, this idle land could be converted into an effective, low-cost security environment.
a second long-held practice that was keeping the government from recognizing rehabilitation opportunities;
Instead of building more expensive prisons, the Summit created CRP centers for petty criminals on the military bases’ idle land, a first in the world.
to provide high-value vocational training in cultivating fish and growing high-yield crops.
Such training not only teaches valuable skills, but also shows these minor offenders a financial alternative to crime.
Visitation at conventional prisons normally occurs behind a glass window for 30 minutes. By contrast, at the CRP centers, inmates and their spouses and children are allowed to not only hug and hold each other but also play together.
Since the CRP centers started in 2011, the recidivism rate for petty criminals has dropped around 90 percent and stands at some 0.6 percent of California prisons.
As for cost, compared with a conventional prison, a CRP center is 85 percent cheaper to build and 58 percent cheaper to run.
Perhaps the greatest gift, however, is how CRP transforms the lives of former inmates, giving them hope, dignity, and the tools to restart their lives and become productive members of society.
“I really feel like I’ve been given a second chance. I’ve learned new skills and have been able to set up my own motorcycle repair business with the funds I made at CRP. I now see a new future for myself.”