Thoughts and Insights on Business Excellence in the Energy and Heavy Process Industries
Recently I attended an industry conference for a cross section of people in the petrochemical and refining industry, which included a very diverse group of people in terms of backgrounds, roles and companies. However, everyone was a technical person (very few if any HR people) that had direct accountability for managing an asset base and driving business improvement. What struck me at this conference was how many of the presentations and one-on-one conversations focused on culture—culture of ownership, culture of continuous improvement, culture of safety and reliability. I found this interesting for a variety of reasons. First, as someone who works with companies in capital-intensive industries to leverage culture change as an engine for business improvement, it was exciting—wow! Second, it struck me that even just a few years ago, “culture” was not a thing that would be discussed at a conference like this—in fact many people would have politely disengaged at the mention of the word.