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Swimming in a Blue Ocean

Summer is one of the best times of the year for me to see and reflect on the state of SpringHill and to think about its future.  All the interaction with campers, staff, parents and donors as well as time traveling creates a unique space that allows me to peer into the future.

One of the things I do when I am traveling is listen to audio books.  And if it is a really a good book I will then also read through it.  This summer that book is Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.  It has been recommended to me by a number of folks over the last year including Craig Soderdahl our VP for Day Camps.

Frankly I put off reading it because I was sceptical that another book on strategy could provide anything new and helpful to me or SpringHill.  Boy was I wrong.

It is the best business/management book I have read since Good to Great by Jim Collins .  The premise of the book is that using the right approach to strategic planning you can “create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant.” By using case studies Kim and Mauborgne lay out a step by step process that outlines how an organization can create a “blue ocean.”

Reading the case studies themselves are both inspirational and illustrative and I have found myself continuing to repeat some of them as I have explained Blue Ocean Strategy to others.

If you are looking for a good summer read, one that might make a difference in your career or the organization you are a part of then I recommend Blue Ocean Strategy. And think about it, don’t we all want to be on a blue ocean during summer vacation?

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