Challenges in the implementation of blue Ocean strategies in large indigenous banks in Kenya
To ensure success, the strategy must be translated into carefully implemented action. This means that the strategy must be translated into guidelines for the daily activities of the firm’s members and the strategy and the firm must become one – that is the strategy must be reflected in the way the firm organizes its activities, the key organizational leaders, and the culture of the organization. There however are many challenges that organizations face when carrying out this process for blue ocean strategies; strategies that target untapped markets where demand is created rather than fought for. This is a survey seeking to establish the challenges large indigenous banks in Kenya face in implementing blue ocean strategies and how they have responded to these challenges. The study covered three indigenous banks classified as large. These banks are Kenya commercial Bank, Cooperative Bank of Kenya and Equity bank. Data was collected by way of face to face interviews with heads of units involved in strategy implementation and two executives from each bank were interviewed. From the survey, it is evident that all the banks studied clearly focus on blue ocean strategies to create and sustain their market share, and in implementing these strategies, they encounter a number of challenges emanating from the various factors on strategy implementation. These include organizational culture, organizational structure, resources and capacity building, leadership and senior management, employees, customers and steps taken to continuously monitor and evaluate progress. The above factors affect implementation of blue ocean strategies by causing delays in implementation, wastage, conflicts of interest and in some cases abandonment of the strategy altogether. These challenges apply across the organization. The implication of this is that challenges that affect the implementation of blue ocean strategies need to be addressed at all levels of the reduce the challenges. We were able to deduce that research on blue ocean strategies before they are implemented provides a good basis for seamless implementation. Communication, engaging skilled staff, involvement, promotional campaigns, a robust performance management system and allocation of specific roles and responsibilities are key in addressing these challenges.