Are you thinking about writing yet another Business Plan with the intention to grow revenue? If you work like most organizations, you will look at best-practice, analytics, CRM reports and KPIs, possibly taking industry analyst views into account. The eye is firmly set on comparison with the closest competitors together with customer satisfaction or NPS scores.

The outcome is mostly the same. Do more with less! Where can we cut cost to maintain margin?  Where do we invest to maintain competitive? We must improve the customer experience! The topic of Innovation may come up, but retention of existing revenue sources and new business growth take priority. As long there is no crisis – why upset the applecart and invest in innovation?

As much as a traditional approach is common sense, it just doesn’t take the business forward. In fact the contrary is the case. It keeps it in the “me-too” game and a holding pattern until crises hits.

Looking at established KPIs and competition doesn’t challenge the status quo. The pursuit of “Best Practise” keeps us in the same old competitive playground and drives markets into commoditization. Listening to industry analysts just re-enforces what we know already and doesn’t take us outside the nine dots. Doing things a little bit better or faster for a little bit less keeps us in the hamster wheel, – or as BOS would call it – competing in a red Ocean.

How would it be if you apply the mindset of the leading Value Innovation Methodology to your business planning?

Customer centric Value Innovation is about leaving the “red ocean” of fierce competition and create new revenue streams. Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) offers a research based, structured pathway that takes business planning thinking to a different level.

Why? You look at your business from fresh perspectives, you gain more clarity of your situation today, you identify opportunities for both – improving current business – and identifying gold nuggets for innovation initiatives.

Focus on the Big Picture – Going beyond analysis paralysis

Stepping back and allowing yourself to look at the big picture in your industry will challenge your assumptions, crystalize your position in the market and point to opportunities.

Here the BOS Strategy Canvas brings lazersharp clarity into your current market position.

Protecting Profit – Value up AND Cost down

Traditional strategy thinking forces a choice between expensive differentiation OR low-cost volume markets. BOS thinking pursues the opposite, the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation AND low cost. The hallmark of breakthrough strategies.

Play to your strength – Strengths in Differentiation

Finding your high ground to compete on and out-position the competition is essential for any business plan. Moving from feature-function-price comparison to focusing on customer value creation will free your thinking from incremental improvements to true differentiation that is meaningful to customers.

From “Why me” to “Why not me” – Challenging unhealthy assumptions

Every planning session I have ever attended circles around the “why me” question.

Our customers force the question upon us when we go into sales mode. When you turn it around and ask “why not” – a whole new world opens up that not only identifies latent opportunities for value creation which will help you compete more effectively, but also often deliver “aha-moments” and fresh insights for innovative ideas.

Built in Execution – A Strategy without Action is worthless

Hand on heart: how many plans have been written in your business that have never been executed? Translating strategy into an action plan is hard. Implementing it even harder. Managing change while running BAU is difficult. The BOS methodology builds execution into the strategy through its 4 Action Framework, which helps you prioritize and resource accordingly.

I have applied for over 10 years different aspects of Blue Ocean Strategy Methodology in many different companies, different industries and different situations. It has proven to be flexible, efficient and meaningful in every context. It never replaces traditional business planning entirely, however it creates an energized environment and provides a structured, fast process to go beyond the mundane planning and create remarkable value for the future of your business.

If you would like to learn more about the concept, I would love to hear from you. Simply contact me on +61401 147 493 or

Ursula Dauenhauer, founder of Business Backstage Pty Ltd, ( works with leadership teams of B2B organisations who look for fresh thinking, structure and processes to define a growth strategy and lift the revenue performance across customer facing functions or want to go further and look for Blue Ocean Strategy facilitation to drive innovation initiatives.