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Blue Ocean Strategy Chapter 7 – Overcoming Key Organizational Hurdles . Dylan Taylor, Scott Bednorz, Jenny Broussard, Grant Moffett. The Four Organizational Hurdles to Strategy Execution . New York Police Department in the Early 1990s. Murder-rate at all-time high New Yorkers under siege

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blue ocean strategy chapter 7 overcoming key organizational hurdles

Blue Ocean Strategy Chapter 7 – Overcoming Key Organizational Hurdles

Dylan Taylor, Scott Bednorz, Jenny Broussard, Grant Moffett

new york police department in the early 1990s
New York Police Department in the Early 1990s

Murder-rate at all-time high

New Yorkers under siege

Frozen police budget

Officer moral was at rock bottom

Budget cuts, dilapidated equipment, and corruption within the department

tipping point leadership in action
Tipping Point Leadership in Action

Bill Bratton turned NYC into the safest large city in the U.S.

Felony crime fell 39%

Murder-rate fell 50%

Theft-rate fell 35%

Public confidence in the NYPD jumped from 37% to 73%

Crime rates continued to fall after Bratton left

tipping point theory
Tipping Point Theory

Beliefs and energies of critical mass of people create an epidemic movement toward an idea

Concentration, not diffusion

Focus on identifying and leveraging the factors of disproportionate influence in an organization

key questions answered by tipping point leaders
Key Questions Answered by Tipping Point Leaders
  • What factors or acts exercise a disproportionately positive influence on…
    • Breaking the status quo?
    • Getting the maximum bang out of each buck of resources?
    • Motivating key players to aggressively move forward with change?
    • Knocking down political roadblocks that often trip up even the best strategies?
break through the cognitive hurdle
Break Through the Cognitive Hurdle
  • Hardest battle is to make people aware of the need for a strategic shift and to agree on its causes
  • Common way was to point to numbers and then set and achieve better results
    • Not a good idea
  • Tipping point leaders focus on the act of disproportionate influence
    • Make people experience the need for change in two ways
ride the electric sewer
Ride the “Electric Sewer”
  • Employees must come face to face with the worst operational problem
  • Bratton Examples
    • In the 1990s, New York subway was being boycotted by citizens who found it unsafe
      • Bratton made the high and middle brass ride the subway
    • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority purchased small squad cars
      • Bratton invited the MBTA’s general manager for a tour of his unit and made him ride in the squad car like a police officer
meet with disgruntled costumers
Meet with Disgruntled Costumers
  • No substitute for meeting and listening to disgruntled customers
  • Bratton Example
    • Boston’s District 4 was experiencing a surge in crime
    • The police department thought they were doing fine because they performed better than other departments
    • Bratton arranged town hall meetings between officers and residents
exxon mobil
Exxon Mobil

IT new hires have to work the help desk for a certain amount of time

jump the resource hurdle
Jump the Resource Hurdle
  • Most leaders face limited resources
    • Trim their goals and demoralize the work force
    • They fight for more resources from the bank and shareholders
  • Tipping point leaders concentrate on multiplying the value of resources they have
  • Three factors of disproportionate influence that can be leveraged to free up resources while multiplying value
    • Hot Spots
    • Cold Spots
    • Horse trading
redistribute resources to your hot spots
Redistribute Resources to Your Hot Spots

Before Bratton, higher ups though that having an officer ride on every line and patrol every entrance would make subways safer

Bratton achieved sharpest drop in subway crimes by having officers stationed at hot spots

Before Bratton, the narcotics unite worked only 9-5 on the weekdays and made up 5% of the police force

Bratton relocated staff and resources on the hot spot and drug crime declined drastically

redirect resources from your cold spots
Redirect Resources from Your Cold Spots
  • Bratton found processing criminals in court to be a cold spot
    • Took 16 hours
  • He brought processing centers to criminals
    • “Bust buses” outside subway stations
    • Cut processing times down to an hour
engage in horse trading
Engage in Horse Trading
  • Chiefs were unwilling to advertise excess resources or release them for other sectors to use
    • Fear of loss of control of resources
    • Some organizations were more endowed
  • Bratton and Esserman
    • Transit unit needed office space and had an excess of unmarked cars
    • Division of Parole was short of cars and had an excess of office space
    • Esserman and Bratton offered a trade between the two
jumping the motivational hurdle
Jumping the Motivational Hurdle
  • For a new strategy to become a movement, people must not only recognize what needs to be done, but they must also act on that insight in a sustained and meaningful way.
  • How can you motivate the mass of employees fast and at low cost?
  • Focus on three factors of

influence in motivating


    • Kingpins
    • Fishbowl Management
    • Atomization
zoom in on kingpins
Zoom in on Kingpins
  • Concentrate your efforts on kingpins, the key influencers in the organization.
    • Natural leaders
    • Well respected
    • Persuasive
  • Like bowling, when you hit them straight on, all the other pins come toppling down.

Bratton zoomed in on the 76 precinct heads as his key influencers and kingpins.

Naturally had a ripple effect of touching and motivating the 36,000 NYPD officers and force.

Internal surveys showed job satisfaction reaching an all-time high.

“We would have marched to hell and back for that guy”

place kingpins in a fishbowl
Place Kingpins in a Fishbowl

Kingpins’ actions and inaction are made as transparent to others as are fish in a bowl of water.

Light shines on who is lagging

behind, and a fair stage is set

for rapid change agents to



Bratton used a biweekly crime strategy review meeting to review the performance of all the commanders.

He placed these commanders in the spotlight in front of everyone else and evaluates their performance based off their crime statistics.

The commander was responsible for explaining how the new strategy is

working and address any issues.


As a result, an intense performance culture was created in weeks.

Incompetent commanders could no longer cover up their failings

The fishbowl gave an opportunity for high achievers to gain recognition for work in their own precincts.

atomize the organization
Atomize the Organization

Unless people believe that the strategic challenge is attainable, the change is not likely to succeed.

Bratton broke it down so officers at different levels could relate.

The challenge was to make the streets of New York City safe “block by block.”

Officers had specific goals to meet

and that was it. They were not to

worry about any other challenge.

overcoming politics in the workplace
Overcoming Politics in the Workplace
  • “Inescapable reality of corporate and public life”
  • Higher chance of change = strings pulled tighter
  • 3 disproportionate influence factors to overcome politics
3 influence factors
3 Influence factors

Angels- most to gain from strategic shift

Devils – most to lose from strategic shift

Consigliere- politically adept and highly respected insider

angels and devils
Angels and Devils

Identify both

Strive for win-win between detractors and supporters

Isolate detractors by teaming with angels

Build up counter arguments before the original arguments even start

exxon and fracking
Exxon and Fracking

Educate those willing to learn

CEO is for fracking…suing for fracking near his land?

Creates a problem: is CEO his own devil?

challenge conventional wisdom
Challenge Conventional Wisdom

Traditionally told to convert the mass of people during change

Instead transform the extremes

Focus on acts with disproportionate influence