When coaching our clients through a strategy exercise - we prefer a session we have named ourselves as: Blue Sky - Grey Predators. We think of totally different strategies to help them achieve success in their businesses. This session must not to be confused with the well-known Blue Ocean and Red Sea or TQM (Total Quality Management) exercises, we acknowledge the usefulness of those sessions and would incorporate some of the principles but prefer to go outside the traditional “strategy box” and create anew the vision.
During this creative session there is one very simple rule: Record every idea and negate none. Simple - yet - it surprises everybody. When the delegates get out of their “own way” and pause their “self-limited thinking”, the Blue Sky is the limit and Grey Predators soon become insignificant.
We can hatch big ideas during these sessions - or it can be a time when even seemingly positive delegates - the Grey Predators - kill opportunities before they are even born with remarks like: “That won’t work” “I hate this or that.” Our constant response to these remarks: “Just focus on the exercise, pretend and have fun. There’s no right or wrong.” Self-doubt and lack of confidence become very evident as the session unfolds, sometimes they play along and then later their “new” attitude kills the Grey Predator.
Delegates who really engage in this creative process win, because the Blue Sky - Grey Predators session is simple and it works. The good news is that delegates are put in a particularly good position to come up with creative and new strategies - the Blue Sky. But they have to stop thinking about themselves - the Grey Predators - and think about what value they can create for a new or old target market. Why? Because your compensation is in direct proportion to the value you offer. Most businessmen have been told to craft unique value statements or propositions to explain their business output as a way to sell it. These statements are unfortunately all about the business and the business process, we all have rarely read an value proposition/statement where we didn’t cringe and say: “Oh, please ~ not one of those again”
If you want to market your business - ultimately it’s not about the business - it has to be about the unique value you offer to a specific target market. The other good news is that you are free to create this value and assert it any which way you please, kind of like you do when you make art. Most companies focus on matching and beating their rivals and use one or both the following strategies: The Blue Ocean strategy - which is only a paradigm-shifting look at building your business: “Don’t compete with rivals, make them irrelevant.” The Red Ocean strategy is only the story of rivals fighting and competing head-on in a shrinking profit pool. As a result, their strategies tend to take on similar dimensions. What follows is head-to-head competition based largely on incremental improvements in cost, quality, or both.
Our “Blue Sky - Grey Predator” session shows that innovative companies break free from the competitive pack by staking out fundamentally new market space - that is: creating products or services for which there are no direct competitors and eliminate the staff with negative thoughts (the Grey predators). This path to value innovation requires a different mind-set and a systematic way of looking for opportunities, instead of looking within the conventional boundaries, that define how an industry competes, we look methodically across them. By doing so, we find unoccupied territory that represents real value innovation; powerful insights can thus be derived from looking at familiar data from a new perspective. Similarly value innovation opportunities can be discovered by looking across strategic groups within an industry; across buyer groups; across complementary product and service offerings; across the functional-emotional orientation of an industry; and even across time.
We focus in our session on what factors, or acts, exercise a disproportionately positive influence on breaking the status quo, on getting the maximum bang out of each buck of resources, on motivating employees to aggressively move forward with change, and on knocking down political roadblocks that often trip up even the best strategies. By focusing on points of disproportionate influence, leaders are able to break the performance and cost trade-off and topple the four hurdles that block a leap in performance fast and at low cost. The four hurdles are: the cognitive hurdle that blinds employees from seeing that radical change is necessary; the resource hurdle that is endemic in firms today; the motivational hurdle that discourages and demoralises staff; and the political hurdle of internal and external resistance to change.
The “Blue Sky - Grey Predator” session must be booked well in time to ensure all 3 facilitators are available and the logistical arrangements can be put into place. The cost for the session will depend on the complexity, number of delegates, duration and the chosen venue. Contact us in good time for more details and to reserve your space in this ground breaking session ~ you will never look back at the past again.