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 / First Quarter 2002 / Issue 26(originally published by Booz & Company)


W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: The Thought Leader Interview

There is also the French company JCDecaux, which is the leading provider of outdoor advertising space. JCDecaux created an entirely new industry space by converting bus stops and metro stations into very desirable advertising space. Municipalities win by getting outdoor furniture that is stylish and free, while JCDecaux wins by selling the advertising spaces in these desirable prime-location city stops.

S+B: But surely emulating such peripheral organizations is very difficult and perhaps ill advised or even impossible? P&G is not Cirque du Soleil.

Kim: Businesspeople always say there are questions of culture, the stock market, rules and regulations, etc. Yet whenever we show the Formule 1 example, people say, “Why can’t we do that in my industry?” The challenge is not to emulate what any of these companies did, but to understand the thinking process that allowed these companies to create a new market and value innovations. Companies find this challenge inspiring. Learning to think differently about opportunities and risks, daring to move forward into the future, that is what keeps people and companies alive, young, and growing.

S+B: You appear quite prepared to commercially share your concepts and the notion of value innovation.

Kim: We gain more by giving people the value innovation trademark free of charge so long as they share their knowledge and research findings. It is an open-system approach. They tell us what works and what doesn’t work.

The more empirical evidence and market feedback we have either against or for our hypotheses, the richer the concepts we can build for theory and practice.

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Stuart Crainer, [email protected]
Stuart Crainer is a U.K.-based business journalist and a contributing editor to strategy+business. Mr. Crainer is author and editor of numerous management books, including the Financial Times Handbook of Management (Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2001) and The Management Century: A Critical Review of 20th Century Thought and Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2000).
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