Creating a Blue Ocean of Innovation

Renee Mauborgne, coauthor of Blue Ocean Strategy, says companies can do what Cirque du Soleil did by following certain guidelines.

Water, water, everywhere

You don't have to compete in a red ocean of bloody competition. Even exhausted industries -- like the circus -- can be reinvented.

Don't swim with the school

Quit benchmarking the competition or setting your strategic agenda in the context of theirs.

Find new ponds to fish

Don't assume your current customers have the insights you need to rethink your strategy. Look to noncustomers instead.

Cut bait on costs

Put as much emphasis on what you can eliminate as on what you can create.

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