Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Blue Ocean

Often I find myself having a hard time relating what happens inside the MBA with what happens to be inside my head. Those who know me, will understand immediately what I mean by this. But for those readers who don’t- let me just say that when I decided to do an MBA, my friends/family/coworkers/and pretty much anyone who has ever come into contact with me- were quite surprised (to say the least) that this is the path I willingly chose to go down. It deviates from everything I stand for- everything I have done- and everything I have wanted to do. 
Bold statement, yes. But a true statement.

This lack of association has nothing to do with my capacity to understand the material or my interest in everything an MBA entails. (there’s my disclaimer). In fact, I am beginning to find the material not only interesting, but entirely appealing. Nevertheless, when it comes to writing- I am having trouble with the “disconnect.” 

I’m accustomed to taking my life- my feelings- and putting everything I feel and do into words. For this though, I don’t yet have the words- because I’m still in the process of defining how each hour of the day relates to me- as an individual comprised of everything I currently am- and that’s not simply speaking as “an MBA student”- because THAT, the “MBA student” thing- I could write about- I could define. But it wouldn’t mean anything to me. 

With that said, I feel the need to point out that there exist those rare flashes of recognition deep within the right side of my brain buried under the layers of the devastatingly long hours of classes and texts and cases and discussions. 

One of these flashes occurred two weeks ago during “Introduction to General Management and Strategy” where in the course of being presented with about a million unfamiliar and foreign concepts, the “Blue Ocean” strategy appeared in front of me like a beacon of light. 

Of course, it took a bit of extraction to get what I desired out of it, but this “Blue Ocean” thing was something I could understand. In MY terms. 

In the terms of approach to business, the “Blue Ocean” strategy “aims to create ‘Blue Oceans’ by discovering and exposing uncontested market space and essentially, making the competition irrelevant.”

The strategy, in written terms, is full of metaphors: blue oceans- bloody red oceans- all of which comprise the market universe. Blue oceans, as one would infer, are the unchartered waters of the global marketplace. 

I could go on and on defining Blue Oceans in strategy context but the book has already been written. Literally. What I felt however, when presented with this concept, was probably quite different from what was the expected response.

I took this blue ocean and saw it, not only as unexplored market space- an opportunity- but as myself. As an MBA student- as any one of us sitting in that classroom on that given day. 

We are all blue oceans- all unchartered- all currently sorting through the refuse of what we have done- accomplished- and who we have been. And now with this MBA- with all this knowledge, all these new experiences that I encounter everyday- who I am becoming, I’m moving into this blue space. At least I am trying to. And what is left behind me- what I am leaving behind me- are the bloodied waters of what which has already been touched and oftentimes tainted. Everything I have already felt. 

As with the blue ocean theory in business, this new “me” may work, it may not. That’s the risk I take with exploring the unknown. I may leave this program, leave this MBA, and have lost who I am- there’s the concealed prospect of being unhappy with what this has made me.
But I doubt it- because if anything, I’ll know that I tried. And what I tried is more important than where it will lead me- because no one else has ever tried it before…my personal Blue Ocean. My unknown- taking what I know, and pushing that knowledge into an indefinite space- a space where I hope to exist and prosper.

The “Blue Ocean Strategy” makes “The Competition Irrelevant.” So maybe that is what I have been hoping for the entire time. And maybe that’s what this MBA is doing for me…making the competition irrelevant so that when I graduate, I will be a soft-skilled, writing, dreamer with an international MBA in my pocket. And I don’t think there are too many of those… not yet at least.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fabulous...yet again.