Blue Ocean Leadership is an offshoot model of ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’; the latter helps businesses tap uncontested market spaces away from the competition. ‘Blue Ocean Leadership’ is likewise, a leadership strategy that businesses employ to release a sea of untouched talent and employee potential within organisations, whilst conserving the most important resource for any leader – time! The Blue Ocean Leadership concept draws on the 25-year research journey on ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ and applies similar frameworks to the challenges of leadership that most organisations face.

No leader deliberately leaves untapped talent locked in an organisation. It also comes down to employee engagement. While certain pockets of employees are passionate about what they do, there are some that merely show up to work to punch in and don’t go the extra mile to apply their ingenuity, which is essential to an organisation’s growth and well-being. That being said, employee engagement is also dependent on the leadership of the leader and can be squandered if an effective leadership strategy is not put in place.

Leadership can essentially be thought of as a service that the people in an organisation can ‘buy’ or ‘don’t buy’. As per the pioneers of the ‘Blue Ocean’ concept, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne; every leader has customers and if people value your leadership practices, they will buy your leadership. When employees don’t buy your leadership, they disengage, become non-customers and will not be driven to excel. This has got to do largely with the leadership style.

How Leadership Style Is Pivotal To Team Engagement

Blue Ocean Leadership styles vary greatly from the authoritative styles companies adopt. The latter focuses more on getting work done with authoritative conventions being established every now and then, with a focus on the profits and not the employees themselves. This leads to reduced efficiency, dissuasion and reduced team engagement.

Blue Ocean Leadership on the other hand, focuses more on driving the activities that can boost employee motivation rather than focus on results, connects closer with market actualities and distributes leadership across all levels and not just the senior levels. When Blue Ocean Leadership is extended all the way down to the lower levels, it makes employees feel important, gives them a platform to voice their thoughts and unleashes dormant talent, whilst creating a strong distributed leadership.

The outcome? Increased team engagement, productivity and a resultant rise in the organisation’s profits in the long-term.

Blue Ocean Leadership strategy opens communication at all levels and further allows employees to deeply engage with their leaders. This leadership strategy is essential because it lets employees have greater ownership of what their leaders doing, have a say in the decisions of the company and are given a chance to reawaken their sleeping potential.

Do you have what it takes to be a blue ocean leader?