Blue Ocean Strategy Drowning

Blue Ocean Strategy DrowningWC Fields was always an exceptionally gifted performer. But some of his most unforgettable performances took place off-camera.

Like most actors in the start of their career, Fields found himself a little short of cash. A problem? Not for him.

The non-traditional Mr. Fields simply created a “Blue Ocean” job for himself in Atlantic City, one summer, as a professional drowner.

Here’s how it worked:

Several times a day, Fields would swim out to sea, pretend to be drowning, and then be “rescued” by one of his accomplices, the lifeguard.

Invariably, a large crowd would gather on the beach as the no longer struggling actor was “resuscitated.”

Once it was clear that this poor fellow was going to live, the suddenly relieved crowd would turn to Field’s third accomplice, the hot dog vendor, (who just happened to be standing nearby) and treat themselves to an “I’m-so-glad-he’s-alive” snack.

At the end of each water-logged day, Fields would split the take with his buddies — the lifeguard and the hot dog vendor.

Brilliant!

Now, I’m not suggesting that you do anything to deceive your customers. Not at all.

But what I AM suggesting is that you take a fresh look at what you might do differently to get an extraordinary result.

Is there a new risk you need to take? An experiment you need to try? A non-traditional collaboration to enter into?

If your product, service, or venture is drowning, what can you do to resuscitate it?

My company, Idea Champions, once got a sizable contract from AT&T by teaching the Director of Training and Development how to juggle in five minutes — something he’d been trying to learn for 25 years.

That’s what I’m talking about: a new approach, a different twist, a non-traditional angle that will spark extraordinary results.

So… what is it?

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Mitch DitkoffMitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.

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3 Responses to Blue Ocean Strategy Drowning

  1. Surrendipity says:

    This is probably the most ridicolous reference to Blue Ocean Strategy ever read.

    But maybe that is what he can do: just juggling.

  2. Kevin Molloy says:

    I’ve always believed that comedians are among the most creative people out there – since they see associations that make us laugh. The WC Fields anecdote confirms that view – great idea – maybe “hunger” is the mother of invention.

  3. Kevin Molloy says:

    Just to add – I’m intrigued by the thought processes that WC Fields went through – did he visualise the full experience and understand that the drama would result in a “comfort” snack – or as you say “I’m-so-glad-he’s-alive” snack. It’s a tremendous insight into audience psychology.

    The question is now – when will the likes of McDonalds adopt a similar strategy – suppose you could combine a dare devil stunt with post “I’m-so-glad-he’s-alive”/“I’m-so-disappointed-he’s-still-alive” snacks.

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