Sustainable Blue Ocean Strategies Developed in MBA Workshop

The course “Strategic Thinking for General Managers” exemplifies what BSL stands for in business education: preparing managers today for building sustainable businesses contributing to a sounder world. I would like to share with you one aspect of the course which particularly illustrates the BSL approach.

Students in the MBA program at BSL developed Blue Ocean strategies for sustainable solutions in the areas of health, transportation and nutrition. In a workshop atmosphere the students developed original product ideas in these future-oriented business areas which would help shape a greener, healthier – and more enjoyable! – world. In this way the students gained first-hand experience in realizing the three pillars of business education at BSL: Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Responsibility.

As part of the course “Strategic Thinking for General Managers”, students learned techniques to develop innovative ideas for products and services, differentiate them radically from the existing offers in the market, and evaluate their prospects for success. The key success factors for moving into an “empty space” guided them through these three steps in formulating a Blue Ocean strategy, in which companies, their stakeholders and societies gain quantum jumps in benefits by creating new industries.

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BSL’s Blue Ocean meeting room, named after the business strategy

Highlights of the ideas, and the unique benefits for all, are as follows

  • Check Your Health@Home Prevention Kit: A complete solution in which simple medical devices are used at home to check the basic health indicators, track their development over time, and report the results on-line to the personal doctor. Users become more aware of their health, and doctors can intervene in a preventive way, to together lower the incidence of medical problems, lowering the medical costs in society.
  • The “Fado” Minibus: A transport service dedicated to bringing passengers to and from airports in Portugal – as a first step – and their homes. The reliability as well as comfort and safety on board, including musical entertainment, would attract users away from using their cars, reducing congestion and emissions on Portuguese highways.
  • The Nutri-Patch: A body patch to introduce the nutrients and vitamins for healthy living directly into the blood system. Ambitious sports persons want precisely measured quantities of specific ingredients, and many people on the go would like to eat healthily but don’t always have the required time or access to their desired foods. The Nutri-Patch gives them the benefits of the latest scientific understanding of nutrition, customized to their own needs and preferences, combined with mobility, flexibility, and more free time – perhaps our most precious resource!

More about these ideas cannot be revealed here, because – who knows? – the budding entrepreneurs may want to work up these ideas into businesses without rivals in the know – which is exactly what Blue Ocean strategies are about.

Benjamin Wall, Professor at BSL

benjamin wall

Complete Strategy Pack for a Start-Up in Half-a-Day

On two Saturdays in mid-June 2015, the EMBA and MBA classes each separately conducted a fast-track strategy workshop with a founder of the start-up Twister Lighting. The lively exchange between the realities of bringing an innovative lamp to the market and the application of strategy tools and concepts resulted in implementable strategic initiatives and enthusiastic participants.

It was a meeting of two organisations with outstanding pedigrees. On the one side, BSL, No. 3 business school in Switzerland, represented by astute students possessing a tremendous range of international managerial experience in a wide variety of businesses and industries. On the other side, Twister Lighting, winner in February 2015 of the Award for “Solutions 2015” in the category of lighting at the Ambiente fair in Frankfurt, Europe’s largest exhibition for consumer products (www.twister-lighting.com). The USP of the Twister lamps is that they can be installed as ceiling or wall lights in less than one minute without a screwdriver.
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What I’ve learned from volunteering

The purpose of this article isn’t to convince you to volunteer, but to give you some real-life insight into what experience and skills volunteering can give you that can provide you with transferable skills for the workplace and vice versa, what workplace skills you can bring to a volunteer role.

If anyone would have said to me as a carefree student that I would have an in-depth knowledge of the workings of a synchronised swimming club in Switzerland, I would never have believed them! And then life happened and I am the mother of an 11 year old who has been swimming in a Synchro team for 5 years with Morges Natation. At first I simply drove her back and forth to her training sessions, then one day I was backed up against the wall by a member of the committee and asked to join them.
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Developing a Marketing Strategy in Complex Circumstances

As a Professor who comes from an operational transportation and marketing background, I try to ensure that my students get as close as possible to a real business environment while they study with me.

Earlier this year BSL’s MSc Global Marketing students had the opportunity to work with IATA, the International Air Transport Association, on an assignment to produce marketing strategy ideas for the air cargo industry in the Suisse Romande region (French-speaking part of Switzerland). Continue reading