Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pink Speedos and Boar Sandwich Day

First congrats to INSEAD Rugby Team which last Saturday kept the tradition alive by remaining King of Europe for as long as one can remember. Score was 22-10 against LBS.
Today was such an amazing day! I will not uncover yet everything, but the whole class was on a roll.
Strategy Prof. Dominique went mad when he saw how pumped up we were. The word was: everyone prepares cases carefully and is ready to participate. And God we did! 100% hands raised (on the first simple questions though). Supposedly we are now his favourite section... A nice case on Circus industry was the pretence to unleash our creative thinking: from How Boar Sandwiches could actually be sold at Cirque du Soleil (my personal fav) to How Cirque du Soleil's loyal customers could be compared to Gilligan's Island cult following, or How Cirque du Soleil's surrealism was similar to smoking weed. That was wild. Oh yeah, Dean Fatas going to the traditional circus was not bad either... And the one about pink speedos, I forgot :-( Somebody mentioned it though, I was not dreaming!
A bit too much for our Marketing Professor Miguel (who, on a previous occasion, had found that we were having too much fun...)
He got a point though, when he claimed that we were all belly laughing like his children ;-)
But then, it's mid term, we really need some kind of release. The good thing is, we made plenty of Champagne fines today...
On a more serious subject, we finally discovered the Blue Ocean. This Strategy Theory comes from star INSEAD Professors Kim Chan and Renee Mauborgne, initially as a critique to Porter's 5 Forces analysis. While Porter's model presumably is static, and does not consider High Value/Low Cost as a business strategy (but as operational efficiency), Chan and Mauborgne analyse recent examples of this Value strategic choice. Cirque du Soleil, French hotels Formule, Ryan Air are some obvious choices. Blue Ocean is creating new market space, free from competition, by combining 2 segments from 2 "static" Porter model industries. For instance, Cirque du Soleil is a combination of Circus and Theatre, Swatch a combination of Watch and Fashion... By creating their own market space, these companies are enjoying swimming in the Blue Ocean, rather than fighting in the bloody Red Ocean. It seems intuitive, I'll tell more once I take the course by Kim Chan himself later in the year.
To know more about Blue Ocean:

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