Last week I discovered a great new book! Maybe you’ve already heard about Blue Ocean Strategy but I have to say this is a book that has some huge, very transferable ideas for church from the strategy standpoint. HUGE!
The main metaphor of the book is the difference between the red ocean of business as usual, competing over the same space with very similar products and services vs. the blue ocean of untapped market space. "Red oceans represent all the industries in existence today. That is known market space. Blue oceans denote all the industries not in existence today. This is the unknown market space."
You might be saying, "Mark, the church pretty much has its business, its industry, figured out. We don’t really need to figure out how to tap new market space or create a new industry." And I’d say, "really? Maybe we all need to think again."
One of the examples in Blue Ocean Strategy is Cirque du Soleil; a company that developed imaginative and innovative new strategies to meet the real needs of potential customers. Where their competitors were stuck in a business as usual mode (star performers, animal shows, aisle concession sales, and 3 rings) Cirque du Soleil developed a new strategy that includes noncircus factors "such as theme, multiple productions, refined watching environment, and artistic music and dance." Think about it. Are they still competing with Ringling Bros? Or have they entered a blue ocean of new opportunity?
What if the church could do the same?