In a book that challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, Kim and Mauborgne argue that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and 30 industries, the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors, but from creating "blue oceans"--Untapped new market spaces ripe for growth. Such strategic moves--which the authors call "value innovation"--create powerful leaps in value that often render rivals obsolete for more than a decade. Blue Ocean Strategy presents a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant.--From publisher description.
The proper "atom" to evaluate is initiatives. Initiatives allow you to see how to really prosper.
I think I agree with the assessment that this book is more of a description of how things *could* be than a how-to manual, but even that's a useful service since it adds another type of story to the "Business Narrative"
One such methodology is the Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create grid. Since reading that chapter, I've been applying the grid to nearly everything I've come across. It is a great way to have a fresh look at just about every aspect of your business. Look at your competition and identify what they are doing that can be completely eliminated without damaging your value to customers. For Southwest Airlines, it was seat assignment. Then look at what you can reduce that will set you apart. Again, for Southwest, it was meals. Now, although serving peanuts instead of a full meal is common-place today, when Southwest started doing it, it was a completely new idea. Next, look at what you can raise. What is your competition doing that you can do better, but that will also raise the value for your customers? For Southwest, it was the level of service. Southwest is known for their great customer service. Finally, what can you create that your competition isn't doing? Southwest created the short point-to-point departure system that made shorter trips more affordable for everyone.
There are a lot of other tools in this book that any business owner or corporate department manager can quickly apply and improve in their own business.