"Blue Ocean Shift" co-author to appear at two Ann Arbor events March 30

Renee Mauborgne, who with W. Chan Kim co-authored two business books, Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift, will speak at two Ann Arbor events Friday, March 30.


Mauborgne will first speak at an Ann Arbor SPARK fireside chat at 10 a.m. at SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty in Ann Arbor. At noon, she will be the featured speaker at an Entrepreneurship Hour sponsored by the University of Michigan's Center for Entrepreneurship, held in Stamps Auditorium on north campus. Both events are open to the public.


Mauborgne will talk about the principles behind the two books. Blue Ocean Strategy outlined a plan for finding "uncontested market spaces," or "blue oceans," rather than competing head-to-head in markets already saturated with competition, which the co-authors call "red oceans". The follow-up book, Blue Ocean Shift, looked at companies that were putting the first book's strategies into practice. Ann Arbor businessman Ted Dacko's success story was featured in the authors' second book.


Mauborgne says the two authors' journey started in the Midwest during the economic downturn of the mid-'80s and seeing Detroit "crumble before our eyes."


"That's when the Midwest shifted from being the vibrant economy it once was to the 'rustbelt' of America. It was a very sad time," Mauborgne says. "We set out to understand what it would take to thrive, not merely survive, as competition heated up across the globe."


When asked why the Blue Ocean books stand out in a world full of self-help and business strategy advice, Mauborgne and Kim say there are three main criteria: relevance, actionability, and rigor.


The two authors note that Blue Ocean Shift is a culmination of research that initially involved a study of more than 150 strategic moves in more than 30 industries across 100 years.


"By studying and understanding what works, what doesn't, and how to avoid the potential pitfalls in making a blue ocean shift in a variety of sectors ... Blue Ocean Shift lays out a systematic step-by-step process for inspiring people’s confidence and seizing new growth," Mauborgne says.


More information about the SPARK fireside chat is available at SPARK's events page. To learn more about the Entrepreneurship Hour event, visit the Center for Entrepreneurship website.


Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township. You may reach her at sarahrigg1@gmail.com.


Photo courtesy of Melanie Boscherie.

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