“Blue Ocean Strategy” is a book written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne that refers to the tactic whereby a company will create new, uncontested market space that seeks to make competitors irrelevant and creates new consumer value. The goal is essentially to look for ways in which companies are competing against no one but themselves, rather than working in the “red ocean”, where businesses are ferociously fighting against each other for a share of the marketplace. The authors pose that companies will succeed by systematically creating “blue oceans” of uncontested market space ready for growth, thereby transforming and redefining the marketplace.
I would suggest that this is a strategy that can be implemented internally in your Information Governance (IG) Program to drive it forward. Rather than fighting the same battles, take a “Blue Ocean” view of your program to make strides in taking it to the next level.
So, how should we do this? Start by asking yourself the following questions:
1. Which of the factors that your end users take for granted, should be eliminated? Do you allow different retention schedules across the company, for example? Is this helpful or hurtful? Even if your program has allowed this practice in the past, why should it continue, if having one structure will allow for greater efficiencies, especially when considered on a global level.
2. Which factors should be reduced well below your company’s information governance standards? What could be reduced to streamline your program? Is there a conventional structure that you have in place that has always been problematic? Is it time to approach it differently? An example may be having a Records Support person in every department. Many companies find these resources onerous to manage, educate and track. Is there a better way to provide support?
3. Which factors should be raised well above current program standards? Do you need to have more robust and persuasive legal research so that users have more confidence in your retention conclusions?
4. Which factors should be created that your IG program has never offered? What can you introduce that will dramatically improve your program? Do you have company-wide policies and procedures, for example?
A Blue Ocean Strategy is grounded in data, and is driven to pursue differentiation and low costs through step-by-step methods. It aims to reconstruct boundaries, and add a sense of empowerment by utilizing tools and reimagined frameworks to great effectiveness. When implemented correctly, it will work to ensure that your program is aligned around your new strategy to create a win for your end users, the company, and for the employees and other stakeholders.
Look at your program with a fresh set of eyes. Essentially a “Blue Ocean Strategy” for your Information Governance Program is reexamining what you have done and what you do, using data to inform your decisions to implement tactics that drive your program in a new and vigorous direction.