South Korean rapper Psy may have become a YouTube sensation, but W Chan Kim still remains the most recognised business personality to emerge from Korea. If you have any doubts, try naming the chief executives of either Samsung, Hyundai or LG? In all likelihood, we would have a much bigger show of hands if we asked a random collection of management jocks if they are familiar with the term Blue Ocean. In South Korea, not to mention Japan, collective effort is much prized over individual daredevilry. That is why there is no Richard Branson in Japan and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son is an exception. Therefore, the rise to eminence of Korean born Kim and US born co-author Renee Mauborgne in 2005 was a big surprise. There is another achievement to Kim and Mauborgne’s credit that the Korean rapper will find hard to match. Their bestselling book, Blue Ocean Strategy, has been translated into 42 languages. Like all good story tellers, the duo is working on a sequel but wouldn’t give away anything at the moment.
"Whenever a blue ocean is created, competition is rendered irrelevant"
W Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne, professors of strategy, INSEAD
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