Thoughts and Insights on Business Excellence in the Energy and Heavy Process Industries
Data – empirical evidence – is most certainly on the critical path to getting your organization engaged in a change effort.
Back in the days that paddlewheel steamboats plied their way up and down America’s mighty Mississippi and Ohio rivers, carrying passengers and cargo, one of the critical activities for the boat’s crew was the regular testing of the depth of the river.
As the leader of a business, you are constantly strategizing, setting direction, and pushing for improvements – many of which don’t “stick” or arrive at all. What is completely clear to you, may not have trickled down in the organization to the front line where improvements actually take place.
Most people are apprehensive of things they are unfamiliar with – especially if the idea of loss is implied. Within an organization, this can translate into overcoming the fear of change.
Over the years, I have had several clients ask me questions like “why is change so hard?”, or “why can’t we get this done?”. While there are many reasons for their frustration, I would like to focus on a couple that, in my experience, really get to the core of the question.
The first question is “Where do we need to get to?”. The second question is “Why do we need to get there?”, and the third is “Why would anyone else want to come along?”.
To thrive in the new $50 per barrel oil price environment, the most adaptable companies will have to move beyond the current mode of Cut and Cope, and transform to a nimble, lean, more efficient business model.
On Monday, October 27th, a Wall Street Journal article Cash Crunch Clouds Future for Oil Firms highlighted the cash crisis facing the major oil companies whose expenditures to fund projects, buyback stock and pay dividends is still significantly outpacing cash flow in the extended $50 per barrel oil price environment.
Many companies grapple with whether they should formally adopt Lean as their continuous improvement methodology, or to develop their own customized methodology under a continuous improvement label.
Reflections on the 2015 Operational Excellence in Oil and Gas Conference in Calgary.