W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Inventors of the ground-breaking “blue ocean strategy”, paving the way for organizations to break out of fixed market boundaries and create a whole new space.  


Ranked #3 in 2021.

Previous positions:

#3 (2019), #13 (2017), #16 (2015), #15 (2013), and #35 (2011).


Recipients of the Thinkers50 2011 Strategy Award for “the business book of the decade” Blue Ocean Strategy.


Shortlisted for the 2023 Thinkers50 Innovation Award. 

Shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2015 Breakthrough Idea Award.

Shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2013 Global Solutions Award.


Kim and Mauborgne’s blue ocean strategy pioneered a way to create and capture new, uncontested market space. They coined the terms “red ocean” – the known, competitive market within industry boundaries – and “blue ocean” – the unknown and uncontested market space, where demand is created, spawning new opportunities and growth. Kim and Mauborgne also developed the concept of “non disruptive creation”, challenging the notion that innovation must be disruptive.



Professors of Strategy at INSEAD, both Kim and Mauborgne are also co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute in Fontainebleau, France. They are fellows of the World Economic Forum, Davos and founders of the Blue Ocean Global Network.
Blue Ocean Strategy was featured on the Thinkers50 Management Classics Booklist in 2022.


Beyond Disruption: Innovate and Achieve Growth without Displacing Industries, Companies, or Jobs (HBR Press, 2023); Nondisruptive Creation: Rethinking Innovation and GrowthBlue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing (Hachette, 2017); Red Ocean Traps (Harvard Business Review, March 2015);  How Strategy Shapes Structure (Harvard Business Review, September 2009); Blue Ocean Strategy (HBR Press, 2005).

NATIONALITY: South Korean and American

Media picks


“Creators of the big strategy concept of the 21stcentury.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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