“Blue Oceaning” Your Career

Sep 27, 2012 1 Min Read
Blue Ocean your stale career
How Jamie Oliver Blue-Oceaned His Career

Jamie Oliver is a renowned and successful international chef - with a difference. BBC discovered him in 1997 through an unscripted appearance in a restaurant documentary. From these rather humble beginnings, he went on to create his own “blue ocean.” He totally revolutionised the philosophy and concept of TV cooking shows. The concept of “The Naked Chef” was both simple and appealing.

A down to earth lad with a mock cockney accent in the kitchen, creating simple, tasty food, playing drums and whizzing around on his Vespa with groovy inner city Londoners, was a fresh and unique approach to this industry. It was an instant hit and his cookbook rocketed to the number one bestseller in the UK.

Jamie appealed to the “non-customers” of cooking shows. He created easy to prepare meals that could be made using simple and fresh ingredients. A straightforward “naked” approach appealed to the mass of everyday people, when compared to the complicated fine dining cookbooks and cooking shows that were the current order of the day. Obviously this also set the trend for other cooking shows to imitate and follow. Jamie is consistently pushing the boundaries of innovation by selling more cookbooks than any other chef both online and offline.

He created a “blue ocean” by creating Jamie’s kitchen where he teaches a group of unemployed youngsters how to cook in a restaurant. Apart from that, his passion for fresh ingredients and healthy food spurred him to take on school canteens in the UK, US and Australia teaching and encouraging them to create healthy meals. This saw the birth of “Jamie’s school dinners” and “Jamie’s food revolution”. This was a rather controversial project, and he drew some criticism. At the same time it focused a great deal of attention on the issue of fast or unhealthy food for kids at school. It enhanced his image as a leading international chef even further.

According to leadership expert, Roshan Thiran, in his article, Keeping Relevant. the Key to your Career Growth, he states that

we need to be wary when we start becoming so internally focused and consumed by tasks and to-do lists. Great leaders learn to reflect and take time off to notice the “little things” that are walking into their lives. There are small little signs everywhere telling us about the next wave that will hit our careers and lives. Are we seeing those little signs?

A key to your success will be to be to observe what is happening in the world, take heed and work towards "blue-oceaning" our work and our workplace with our observations and insights. In conclusion, we can deduce that Jamie created his “Blue Ocean” by taking time to truly understand the market and needs, wants and pain points of the mass of viewers. In addition his success is attributable to staying true to his vision; that of advocating simple, fresh, tasty and affordable meals regardless of where you are in the world or of your station in life.

For the specific tools on how Blue Ocean strategy can propel your career, read this article - Using Blue Ocean Tool for Career Growth

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Eva was formerly the Research & Development leader at Leaderonomics. Prior to that, she was an editor at Leaderonomics.com. Today, she is the Product leader of Happily, an engagement app at Leaderonomics Digital. She believes that everyone can be the leader they would like to be, if they are willing to put in the effort and are curious to learn along the way, as well as with some help from the people around them.

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